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Just because a home exists in a region that doesn’t get a lot of water or is prone to droughts doesn’t mean its landscaping needs to look like something out of a Cormac McCarthy novel. A home’s landscaping can still provide great curb appeal even if it isn’t lush and green. As Christina El Moussa, an experienced house-flipper from California, writes for Zillow, there are plenty of ways to create a cool, low maintenance look for buyers that doesn’t require much watering.

The first tip for those landscaping in drought prone areas is to not give buyers a “golf course” to deal with. A yard covered in manicured green grass takes a lot of water and maintenance to keep up. If something like a water-restriction is imposed on the area, then after just a few weeks’ time, the once green front yard can end up looking like a giant tumbleweed.

But that doesn’t mean grass needs to be completely nixed. Areas of grass can be offset with water-conserving shrubs, mulch, and a stone garden. The varying colors and textures can create a unique look for a yard without completely sacrificing the greenery.

Thirsty plants often times are the ones that look the prettiest when in bloom in the spring and summer months, and the good news is these don’t need to be completely gotten rid of either. If there is an area of the yard that tends to gather water runoff, such as a low corner, it can be used as a place for shrubs and flowers that require a little more water. Grouping thirstier plants together in high water runoff areas and surrounding them with a bed of mulch or gravel can help them soak up as much moisture as possible.

Other tips include making sure to incorporate the architecture of the house into the landscaping, creating a park-like backyard, and don’t forget about creating a space that not only looks good, but is also functional, especially for families.

Additionally, there are some questions to ask when planning out a home’s landscaping, as well. Questions such as if pets will be using the area and how the flow of foot traffic will affect the yard can go a long way in creating the best design possible.

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