20 amazing desert landscape design for small backyard

By bobogarden 2 October 2023 26 Min Read
Desert Landscape Design for Small backyard20 amazing desert landscape design for small backyard
Your small backyard has the potential to be transformed into an extraordinary desert landscape. With the right design ideas, you can create a stunning, low-maintenance oasis that captures the beauty of the desert right in your own outdoor space. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore 20 amazing desert landscape designs for small backyards. Whether you live in a hot, arid climate or simply love the aesthetic of desert landscapes, these ideas will inspire you to transform your outdoor space into a captivating desert haven.

Embrace Xeriscaping for Your Small Backyard

Xeriscaping is like a super-smart way to design your small backyard so it doesn’t need lots of water. It uses special plants that don’t get thirsty and doesn’t need a ton of watering. Plus, if you use plants that are native to deserts, you won’t have to water them as much, and your backyard will look like a real desert! So, it saves water and keeps your backyard looking cool and desert-like!

Get Creative with Succulents in Your Backyard

Use Succulents in your small backyard
Succulents are like the superheroes of plants because they’re easy to take care of and can do so many cool things. You can use them to make your backyard look amazing!
You can put succulents on walls to make them look like living art. Or you can make a cool rock garden with succulents that look like tiny desert plants. Hanging them up in your backyard can also make it look like a secret desert oasis. And the best part is, succulents come in all sorts of cool shapes and colors that’ll give your backyard a touch of desert magic. So, let your imagination run wild with these awesome plants!

Turn Your Backyard into a Desert Campsite with a Fire Pit

use fire pit in to make desert landscape attractive in your small backyard
Imagine your backyard as a mini desert campsite! You can do this by having a special place called a fire pit. It’s like a cozy spot where you can make a fire.
When it gets a little chilly outside, you can gather around the fire pit to keep warm, just like people do around a campfire in the desert. It’s super inviting and makes your backyard feel like an adventure.
To make it even cooler, you can put desert rocks and gravel around the fire pit. This way, it looks just like the real desert! So, get ready for some marshmallow roasting and stargazing right in your own desert oasis!

Create a Peaceful Desert Zen Garden

Desert Zen garden for desert landscape
Picture a peaceful place in your backyard that’s like a calm desert. You can do this by making a Zen garden.
A Zen garden is all about tranquility, which means feeling really relaxed. To make one, you need sand, rocks, and just a few simple plants.
You can even make pretty patterns in the sand that look like desert dunes, like the sand in the wind. It’s like a secret spot where you can sit, relax, and meditate, which means thinking quietly. So, your Zen desert garden becomes your own oasis of calm in your backyard!

Add Tough, Desert-Like Paths and Patios to Your Backyard

Imagine having paths and a special area in your backyard that look like the tough desert ground. You can do this by using strong materials.
There are materials like flagstone, adobe, and weathered wood that are inspired by the desert. These materials are like superheroes because they can handle really tough weather. So, even if it gets really hot or rainy, your paths and patios will stay strong.
And the best part is, they make your backyard look even more like a real desert! So, you get both strength and style for your outdoor space!

Get Creative with How Things Feel and Look

Desert places are cool because they have lots of different feelings and colors. You can make your backyard like that too!
You can use things like tiny rocks, small stones, and desert rocks to make your backyard feel different when you touch them. This is fun because it’s like a desert adventure for your fingers!
And don’t forget about colors. Desert places have warm, earthy colors. You can use different plants that have leaves of different colors. This will make your backyard look bright and lively.
So, you get to play with how your backyard feels and looks, just like the cool deserts!

Decorate Your Backyard with Special Plant Pots

use cactus in your small backyard
Imagine having some fancy pots in your backyard where you can put your favorite desert plants. These pots are like cool decorations for your plants.
The fun part is that you can try different combinations of plants in these pots. It’s like mixing and matching your favorite toys. And guess what? You can move these pots around whenever you want to change how your backyard looks. It’s like redecorating your own outdoor space! So, let your creativity bloom in your desert-inspired backyard!

Create a Cool Stone Path in Your Backyard

Think about having a special walkway in your backyard made of small stones called gravel. This walkway is awesome because it’s easy to take care of, and it makes your backyard look like a real desert!
You know what makes it even cooler? You can put plants like succulents or desert grasses along the sides of the walkway. It’s like adding a beautiful frame to your path. So, you can have fun walking on your cool gravel path while enjoying the desert vibes in your backyard!

Plant Local Desert Plants

Instead of picking any plants, choose ones that are like local celebrities in your area. These plants know how to survive in your climate because they’ve been here for a long time.
You can pick plants like agave, yucca, and desert marigold. They’re like the experts of your neighborhood, and they don’t need much attention from you. So, they’ll make your backyard look awesome without a lot of work!

Make a Beautiful Stone Garden in Your Backyard

Imagine having a garden made of cool desert rocks and big stones. It’s like building a mini desert right in your backyard!
You can plant special plants that don’t need a lot of water between these rocks. These plants are like little adventurers that can survive even when it’s dry outside.
So, your backyard will look like a wild desert oasis, and it’s super fun to create!

Decorate Your Backyard with a Desert Style

Picture your backyard as a place filled with cool stuff inspired by the desert. You can make it look like the Southwest, which is a really neat place.
Use things like clay pots in warm earthy colors, colorful tiles with cool patterns, and special iron decorations to make your backyard feel like a desert adventure. These decorations will make your outdoor space look and feel like a desert wonderland.
So, go ahead and bring the spirit of the desert right into your backyard with these awesome decorations!

Add a Special Water Feature to Your Desert Oasis

Imagine having a cool water feature in your desert-themed backyard. It might sound a bit strange, but it’s actually a great idea!
You can have a small pond or a fancy waterfall that makes a gentle splashing sound. These water features don’t use too much water, and they make your backyard look even more amazing.
The sound of water is super relaxing, just like being in a real desert oasis. So, it’s like having your own peaceful desert paradise right at home!

Plan Your Backyard to Be Easy to Take Care Of

Think about making your backyard a place that doesn’t need a lot of work. It’s perfect for small spaces!
Choose plants that don’t need a ton of water and pick materials that don’t require a lot of fixing up. This way, you can enjoy your desert-style backyard without always having to do chores.
It’s like having a cool outdoor space that’s hassle-free, and you can relax and have fun in it more!

Make a Tall Cactus Garden on Your Walls

For desert landscape design, Grow cactus in your small backyard
Imagine having cacti in your backyard that grow up tall on your walls. It’s like a cactus skyscraper!
You can use special planters that hang on the walls. Then, you let the cacti climb up and make your walls look like a desert paradise. It’s a clever way to save space and make your backyard look super cool.
So, go ahead and create a cactus jungle on your walls and bring the desert to new heights in your backyard!

Create a Cool and Shady Spot

Imagine having a nice shady place in your backyard, especially when the sun gets really hot. It’s like your secret hideaway!
You can use things like big umbrellas or special shade sails that block the sun. These can look like they’re from the desert, which is pretty neat.
To make it even cooler, you can put climbing plants on top of these shades. It’s like having a mini jungle in your shady spot. So, when it’s super sunny, you can still relax comfortably in your desert oasis!

Make a Little Desert Adventure World

Think about turning a part of your backyard into a tiny desert wilderness. It’s like having a secret wild desert place!
You can plant special grasses, wildflowers, and bushes that are like the ones in the real desert. It’s like bringing the wild desert right to your backyard.
And guess what? You can let your imagination go wild and pretend you’re in a desert adventure right in your own space. It’s like having your own mini desert wonderland to explore!

Make Agave Plants the Stars of Your Backyard

Imagine having some really cool plants called agave in your backyard. They’re like the superstars of the desert!
You can put these special plants in your backyard and make them the center of attention. They have a unique shape that looks like a beautiful circle, which makes your backyard look even more amazing.
So, with agave plants, your backyard becomes a stunning desert stage where they steal the show and add a lot of drama to your outdoor space!

Make Your Backyard a Home for Desert Animals

Think about turning your backyard into a place where desert animals like birds and butterflies feel welcome. It’s like inviting them over for a visit!
You can do this by planting special flowers that these animals like. Also, put out water for them to drink and splash around in. It’s like having a mini oasis for them.
And if you want to be extra friendly, you can hang up bird feeders and little baths for them. So, your backyard becomes a cozy spot for desert creatures to hang out and enjoy!

Make Your Backyard Sparkle in the Dark

Imagine your backyard looking super pretty at night like a magical place. You can do this with special lights!
Put these lights in the right spots to make your desert-themed backyard look amazing even when it’s dark. You can use lights that run on sunlight, lanterns, or string lights. They all make your backyard look like a fairy tale!
So, when the sun goes down, your backyard still shines bright, creating a magical atmosphere for you to enjoy!

Choose Tough Furniture for Your Desert Backyard

wooden chair and a wooden table for small backyard
Think about having outdoor furniture that’s like superheroes and can handle the hot desert sun. It’s like getting furniture that’s really strong! You should use strong and multifunctional furniture for your small backyard.
You can pick furniture made from tough materials like metal, teak wood, or special wicker that doesn’t get damaged by the sun. This way, your chairs and tables stay nice and comfy all year long, even in the blazing desert heat.
So, you can relax and enjoy your outdoor space without worrying about your furniture getting too hot!

FAQ Section

How do I create a low-maintenance desert garden in my backyard?

Start by using drought-resistant plants like succulents and cacti. Add gravel pathways, and use desert-inspired hardscaping materials. This way, your desert garden will look great with minimal effort.

What are some budget-friendly ways to design a desert landscape in a small backyard?

Opt for native desert plants, which are often more affordable. DIY projects like building a gravel path or using recycled materials for decor can also help you save money.

Can I have a desert garden in a small space or apartment balcony?

 Absolutely! You can create a mini desert garden in small spaces using potted succulents and cacti. Choose small, low-maintenance desert plants to fit your space.

How can I attract desert wildlife like birds and butterflies to my backyard?

Plant native desert flowers and provide water sources like bird baths. Hang bird feeders and choose plants that attract butterflies, like milkweed.
What’s the best way to incorporate lighting into my desert landscape for a magical nighttime ambiance?
Use solar-powered lights, lanterns, or string lights strategically placed around your garden. This will create a beautiful and energy-efficient nighttime atmosphere.


Turning your small backyard into a desert paradise is a fun project that lets you enjoy the beauty of dry, sandy places. These 20 fantastic desert design ideas make your yard look fantastic while also being easy to care for and good for the environment.
So, let the desert’s special charm inspire you and turn your backyard into a peaceful spot for relaxing and having fun. With some good thinking and creativity, your little desert getaway will make your neighbors jealous!