Xeriscape Ideas: How to Add Concrete to Your Xeriscape Design

Xeriscaping is a landscaping philosophy with a goal of using water-efficient plants and layouts to create visually appealing landscapes that are less dependent on water.

Xeriscaping was created in Denver during a drought period in the 1970s and 1980s. (In fact, the word xeriscape comes from xēros, the Greek word for “dry.”)

Xeriscaping is great for anyone who lives in a desert climate that’s susceptible to drought, but it works wonderfully in non-dry climates too. And no matter where you live, decorative concrete can enhance the appearance and function of your xeriscape front yard or back yard.

First, let’s go over some of the benefits of xeriscaping before jumping into some beautiful concrete xeriscape ideas.

Why Do People Love Xeriscaping?

When it comes down to it, xeriscaping is really about conserving water without sacrificing aesthetics, which means the strategy can be easily adapted to any climate. That’s why the look and feel of your landscape will depend on your reason for embracing the philosophy, especially in a non-dry region like the Portland, Oregon area.

If you’re xeriscaping because you love the aesthetic of desert plants, you’ll want to choose those. On the other hand, if your primary goal is to save water, help the environment, or support your local ecosystem, you might choose native plants that will thrive in your area with little or no maintenance.

Here are just a few reasons why many people choose to embrace the xeriscape philosophy:

  • Water conservation
  • A low-maintenance yard
  • Reduced need for fertilizers
  • Gardening enjoyment
  • Aesthetics
Xeriscape backyard concrete

Adding Concrete to Your Xeriscape Design

Hardscaping with decorative concrete can be a beautiful and practical element of any xeriscape design since concrete is an extremely versatile material that needs relatively little maintenance. Here are some tips for incorporating concrete into your landscape:

Section Off Distinct Areas with Concrete

Group plants together by how much water and care they need. You can incorporate a variety of different dividers to add more interest or stick with just one type for a clean, minimalist look. Here are a few ideas:

If your yard is sloped, consider creating a few tiers and containing them with concrete walls to prevent erosion.

RELATED: Building a Landscape Retaining Wall on a Slope

More Concrete, Less Lawn

One of the main tenets of xeriscaping is avoiding a big, high-maintenance lawn. Replacing your grass with rocks, gravel, or a beautiful concrete design is an eco-friendly and low-maintenance solution. Here are a few decorative concrete ideas:

  • Wide concrete pathway to give you easy access to all your plants
  • Creative stamped concrete patio with the design of your choice
  • Smooth, sand finish stepping stones or stairs
  • Large, square concrete slabs with gravel or dirt between them to create a modern, geometric look
Xeriscape portland spaced concrete

Expand Existing Concrete Areas

One logical and easy way to incorporate concrete is to simply build on the concrete elements you already have. Could you use a bigger driveway to make more space for cars or potted plants? Do you have a small patio in the back yard surrounded by lawn? You might decide to expand the patio to create more usable space so you can add fun elements like:

  • Cozy outdoor furniture
  • Firepit
  • Outdoor kitchen or dining area
  • Pool or hot tub
Xeriscape stamped concrete back patio

Get Creative

You’re not limited to traditional garden elements! This is your space to enjoy, so you might as well design what you love. Consider more unexpected elements, such as:

  • Outdoor artwork like sculptures, recirculating fountains, and more
  • Calming labyrinth garden
  • Secret garden that’s sectioned off from the rest of your yard
  • Dedicated space for your favorite game, like a basketball court or bocce ball court
  • Anything else you can dream up!
Xeriscape concrete edge backyard

Planning to incorporate concrete into your xeriscape design? We can help!

The team at GWC Decorative Concrete has more than 75 years of combined experience working with decorative concrete. We have a long history of delivering great results for our customers through a combination of fine craftsmanship and great communication. We’d love to hear about your project and help transform your front or back yard. Call us at (503) 849-0901 or contact us online to get started.