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Modern Xeriscaping Ideas For Your Outdoor Space

I spent the weekend xeriscaping my side yard, and I can honestly say that while it was very hard work, I truly enjoyed the process. I’m adding some finishing touches tonight, and I’m looking for a little bit of inspiration. Hence today’s blog post on modern xeriscaping ideas! Curious about xeriscaping? This form of landscaping is all about saving water. Drought-tolerant plants are frequently used, as are mulch and gravel.

Not sure you’re ready to say goodbye to your grass? No problem! You can always xeriscape a portion of your yard, which is what I did in my side yard. This strategy adds dimension to your outdoor space by creating different areas (I chose gravel to create a rock garden of sorts). Not to mention, it makes the grassy portions of the yard seem extra special. I promise to share a few pics in a post at the end of the week, but until then, here are some amazing xeriscaped spaces to inspire you on your landscaping journey…

Xeriscaping Pathways and Steps

One of today’s most popular xeriscaping techniques involves pathways and stairsteps. That’s right–these transitional areas are perfect for the addition of gravel, stepping stones and yes, even plants! [from Huettl Design]

Native grasses in a xeriscaped lanscape

Use gravel and stepping stones to create a modern path, then fill in the side areas with native grasses and other pebbles, as shown in the beautifully xeriscaped outdoor space below. [from Huettl Design]

Xeriscaping with stepping stones

When it comes to pathways, you can get creative by forming an angular path with the help of small gravel (such as limestone) and edging. [from All Seasons Gardening and Landscaping]

Modern landscaping creates an angular pathway

Creating a special area at the bottom or top of the steps can be a nice surprise in a modern yard. Note the use of stepping stones and ground cover to form a gorgeous grid below. [from All Seasons Gardening and Landscaping]

Modern landscaping near steps in a contemporary outdoor space

Sometimes the stairs themselves become an area to xeriscape. Filling them with gravel and native plants can add an unexpected touch to the modern yard, especially when metal edging is involved. [from Phillips Garden]

Xeriscaping on the steps

Don’t hesitate to use a variety of xeriscaping materials. Can you count the interesting features near the stairs in the yard below? With the help of stepping stones, stairs, mulch, gravel, metal trim, various plants and a large sculptural rock, an outdoor paradise is created. [from Big Red Sun]

Xeriscaping with mulch and gravel

Xeriscaping the Yard

We now move from transitional areas to the yard itself. Whether you’re xeriscaping the front yard or the backyard, begin with a plan. Sure, it’s fun to see what happens as you go, but creating a nuanced outdoor space requires some measuring, designating and thoughtful strategy. [from Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture]

Mulch and rocks in a xeriscaped yard

Will your yard be one level, or will you create a terraced effect with the help of steps, planters and more? [from Big Red Sun]

Layers of xeriscaping in a modern yard

How many different areas will there be? Will there be a lawn or a play area? Where will the plants be located? Will they be grouped? Will they be used to create borders, as shown in the yard below? [from Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture]

Xeriscaping works with Mid-century homes

Can you use concrete or stepping stones to help define your outdoor space? Will there be large plants and trees nearby? Do not hesitate to enlist the help of professionals for this project, folks. And don’t hesitate to start small. [from Big Red Sun]

Xeriscaping in a lush backyard

Just as you can create interesting lines and angles by strategically planning your pathways, you can use gravel and cement to achieve a geometric look in your yard. Check out the interesting xeriscaping below… [from Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture]

Xeriscaping in a contemporary yard

You can even create a geometric effect by sculpting the lawn into an unusual shape. Gravel can help create just the look you desire, as shown in the next featured yard. Let’s hear it for trapezoids! [from Phillips Garden]

Angular xeriscaping

As you select plants for your xeriscaping endeavors, make sure you choose greenery that will thrive in your area. I’ve learned this the hard way over time, as half the plants I selected for my sunny yard last year did not survive the summer. Or the winter. This spring it’s all about low-maintenance selections! Once you’ve established which plants will thrive in your neck of the woods, opt for some colorful choices. The results can be stunning. [from Phillips Garden]

Colorful xeriscaping

Sometimes the most interesting pops of color can be created by going with one bold hue in a sea of green, as shown below. Varying the texture is also quite striking, as you can see by the selection of cascading silver falls dichondra, wispy Mexican feather grass, and long, full red foliage. [from Big Red Sun]

Terraced xeriscaping in a modern yard

It’s amazing how much color you can create by juxtaposing shades of green. The succulents below range from minty blue to lime. Throw in some hot pink, and you have a candy-colored yard that looks good enough to eat! [from All Seasons Gardening and Landscaping]

Striking use of color in a xeriscaped yard

If your yard is expansive, color can be very important. Vary it up by adding a variety of hues. Yellows, purples and pinks are eye-catching. Small gravel creates a modern sea of rocks in the next featured outdoor space. [photo by Hunter Ten Broech for Waterwise Landscapes]

Extensive xeriscaping on an albuquerque property

Today’s last featured yard proves that no space is too small to xeriscape. Colorful plants are the friend of a compact yard. They add oodles of visual interest and help make the area you have truly pop. [from Shelley Gardea Photography via Houzz]

Modern xeriscaped yard with colorful plants

I xeriscaped a small area in my side yard to test the waters. I’m definitely up for more, but if large pieces of rock, stairs or other special features had been involved, I would have paid the professionals to get me started. Don’t hesitate to get some help xeriscaping your outdoor space. But if you feel like taking the reigns, begin with a small area and see where it leads you. You just might be surprised by your patience and creativity! Happy xeriscaping!

Kate Simmons

Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and design blogger with a love of all things decor. She spent her childhood writing stories and working on interior design-themed DIY projects. Kate’s published writing reflects her special interest in how design has changed through the decades. Her blog Mirror80 ( http://mirror80.com/) explores the fashion and [...]

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