Backyard design guide

Glam up your backyard with inspiration from these amazing landscaping and design ideas

50+ landscaping ideas with stone

Add stylish and practical touches to your outdoor space with these great ideas for paths, patios, firepits, showers, and more

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Barefoot patio
Photo by Charles Mann

Barefoot patio

Planting a conventional turfgrass lawn is not a water-wise solution in the arid West. Nor is paving a big area always practical, since that much hardscape creates a lot of heat and glare, says Nate Downey of Santa Fe Permaculture. But if you lace paving stones with ribbons of native buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides), you'll achieve an eye-calming "soft patio" effect, as Downey calls it, that needs much less water than a traditional bluegrass or fescue lawn.

 

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