5 Arizona Backyard Ideas for Frugal and Easy Backyard Decor

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Arizona gardeners often contend with arid conditions and find ways to beat the heat. However, with the right Arizona backyard ideas, you can create a beautiful and productive space even in the most challenging desert environments. 

Here are Five Eco-Friendly Ideas to Consider for Your Arizona backyard:

  1. Create an Arizona Food Forest
  2. Pergola Vegetable Garden for Shade Growing in Arizona
  3. Xeriscaping (Water-Wise Planting) in Arizona
  4. Arizona Rain Garden
  5. Adobe Garden Features for Arizona

But how can you build these Arizona backyard ideas?

Let’s discuss them in more detail.

Sound good?

1. Create an Arizona Food Forest

Food forests are an excellent permaculture solution that can work in a vast range of different environments. These layered planting schemes of trees, shrubs, climbers, and herbaceous plants that work well with one another help gardens create food-filled havens that largely sustain themselves over time. 

Bean Tree Farm, a 20-acre saguaro and ironwood forest farm with a learning center, and the Wisdom Culture Life, a 34-acre food forest with an off-grid start-up farm, are two excellent examples of this solution in Arizona. 

But even in a much smaller backyard, you can take the same approach for a sustainable future and a beautiful and productive garden. You might be amazed by how many edibles you can grow in your climate and the local environmental conditions. 

arizona backyard garden with lettuce and tomatoes
Raised garden beds are perfect Arizona backyard ideas. They’re also cheaper and easier to build than many gardeners expect. You may need to purchase several two-by-fours and a half-yard or a full yard of soil first. But – once you have garden soil, raised beds are easy to maintain with backyard compost and fertilizer. Before you build a raised garden bed – read our guide showing how deep should a raised garden be. We share our best tips for installing raised gardens – without second-guessing!

2. Pergola Vegetable Garden for Shade Growing in Arizona

The intense summer heat in Arizona can make it challenging to grow many annual crops or come up with many Arizona backyard ideas. One idea that you can consider is creating some dappled shade for annual polyculture planting below a pergola clad with climbing plants. 

With a structure with climbing plants to provide shade or a framing covered with shade netting, you can grow right through the summer heat in Arizona and provide for yourself and your family year-round. 

Here is an example of a design I created for an Arizona property.

tomatoes growing in bucket containers
If you need Arizona backyard ideas for growing more food? We recommend container gardening! Here you see four baby tomato plants resting in a bucket. You can grow other edible plants in buckets too! We also wrote a helpful guide for growing Jalapenos in containers. Buckets are perfect if your backyard doesn’t have enough fertile soil – and if you need to make the most out of every drop of water!

Read More – Best Florida Landscape Ideas!

3. Xeriscaping (Water-Wise Planting) In Arizona

AZ Gardening 101: Xeriscape Landscaping with Style in the AZ Desert

Managing water is, of course, a key priority in many Arizona gardens. Choosing native plants which can cope with dry or desert conditions is a remarkable way to create a more eco-friendly garden – and aid local wildlife, too. 

This arid climate landscaping is called xeriscaping – and understanding it is crucial for many Arizona gardeners. Choosing plants native to your area can help you find options for a beautiful, low-maintenance, and wildlife-friendly scheme that may work well in a non-irrigated spot – perhaps in front of your home. 

drought tolerant backyard landscaping xeriscaping
Xeriscaping is one of our favorite Arizona backyard ideas for dry climates – or droughts. And contrary to popular belief – if you are xeriscaping in Arizona – you can still use plants! Buffalo grass is a popular native crop for Arizona backyards – it’s famous for withstanding hot temperatures. And drought! It looks beautiful in your backyard – or front. It also grows well alongside other drought-resistant plants without fuss.

Read More – Guide to Installing Landscape Rock!

4. Arizona Rain Garden


Harvesting rainwater in a desert landscape and making the most of every drop falling on your property can also allow you to create oases in the aridest environments. Try choosing the best native plants. That way – you can produce productive zones even in the most challenging environments. 

rustic rain barrel garden
Rain barrels are another beautiful garden feature and a favorite Arizona backyard idea. If you have fruit trees, vegetables, or flower gardens that need water, then rain barrels are the best! We also found an epic rain barrel guide for Arizona that we recommend for all hot-weather homesteaders who want to conserve water. It’s perfect for dry gardens – and withstanding drought! Rain barrels are especially helpful if your thirsty plants need a drink during a dry spell.

5. Adobe Garden Features for Arizona

Beyond planting, Arizona gardeners can also find sustainable ways to turn their backyards into extraordinarily relaxing spaces to spend some time. 

Using adobe is one nifty way to create an Arizona paradise in your outside space. Adobe is a mix of the earth (sand, clay) and straw. It is surprisingly durable and lasts a very long time in dry climates. Some of the oldest buildings in the world got made using this material. 

You can add adobe walls around your property. Or a particular area such as a garden bed or seating area. You can make adobe benches or adobe structures like sheds or chicken coops. You can use adobe to make a massive range of garden structures! Consider outdoor fire pits or fireplaces. Or a cool adobe pizza oven.

There are, of course, many other eco-friendly backyard ideas for Arizona gardeners to consider. But these five ideas are some great places to begin when looking for inspiration for your Arizona backyard. 

Read More – 16 Beautiful Yellow Flowering Bushes!


Arizona gardeners and homesteaders face many challenges.

You deal with the scorching heat – and sometimes? A lack of water!

Choosing the best Arizona backyard ideas is tricky for those reasons.

But – we hope our guide to Arizona backyard ideas helped you choose the best backyard décor possible!

If you have questions?

Please share them!

We love brainstorming with homesteaders from all over the world.

Arizona homesteaders too!

Thanks again for reading.

Have a beautiful day!

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  1. Love this article, we’ve been redoing our whole backyard this summer and we’re about ready to start putting stuff in. It’s been a massive undertaking, much bigger than we expected (to the point of needing a dumpster rental) but I am SO excited to start decorating. These are some great ideas and I’m going to look more into the Rain Gardens! Thank you for the help!

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