Landscape Wisely

Xeriscaping Inspiration 

As you plan your landscape, one of the best design resources is your local xeriscape demonstration gardens. They provide practical, first-hand examples of plants and plant combinations. Many of the gardens also have shady places to enjoy a picnic lunch, so plan to spend some time exploring and enjoying the surroundings as you build ideas for your home landscape. Visit again as the seasons change to get an idea of how the plants look at different times of the year.


The Avondale Xeriscape Demonstration Garden is located outside of the City Hall building. The garden demonstrates the utilization of low-water-use trees, shrubs, and ground covers. The garden is over 25,000 square feet and contains over 900 plants.

11465 W. Civic Center Dr.
Avondale, Arizona 85323
(623) 478-3373


This garden was installed in the late 1990s and highlights plants that attract wildlife. Local community groups helped with the design and installation, and a metal artist created a beautiful entry archway and metal shade tree. A large water feature provides a relaxing place to sit after strolling the paved pathways along the perimeter of the garden. One of the first demonstration gardens in the Valley, this small, one-acre demonstration garden boasts mature desert trees and shrubs. It is currently undergoing renovation to include new pathways and signage.

Xeriscape Demonstration Garden
410 N. Arrowhead Dr.
Chandler, Arizona 85224
(480) 782-3580


Entry to Glendale Cactus Garden at the Xeriscape Demo Garden

Glendale Xeriscape Garden
The Xeriscape Demonstration Garden at the Glendale Main Library is a living example of the diversity and abundant amount of low-water-use plants available for use in planning a lush and inviting garden for wildlife and people.

Glendale Public Library
5959 W. Brown St.
Glendale, Arizona 85302
(623) 930-3596


Working together, the City of Mesa and Mesa Community College have developed demonstration gardens at both the Dobson and the Red Mountain Campus.

MCC Xeriscape Demonstration Garden
The Xeriscape Demonstration Garden at MCC features a variety of plants from the Southwest and other desert regions around the world, with nearly 100 species of trees and over 80 species of cacti and succulents. Free and open to the public, visitors are welcome to explore the arboretum and its interactive online map which can be used to search for specific trees by their common or scientific name. MCC is the first college in Arizona to have achieved Level I Arboretum accreditation.

Mesa Community College
1833 W. Southern Ave.
Mesa, Arizona 85202

Native Plant Walk
The Red Mountain campus is a hidden gem! It is located behind the shopping plaza at the NE corner of Power and McKellips Roads. Not only does the campus have a beautiful Sonoran Desert native landscape that compliments the natural desert surrounding the campus, but there is also a Native Plant Walk with interpretive signage.

Mesa Community College at Red Mountain
7110 E. McKellips Rd.
Mesa, AZ 85207

Northwest Valley

EPCOR Water and Maricopa County Master Gardeners partnered up and created this Xeriscape Demonstration Garden at EPCOR Water’s Sun City Office to teach residents about low-water-use for their yards and gardens.

The garden features natural and low-water-use desert plants chosen by the Master Gardeners that are both beautiful, adapted for the Sonoran Desert, and will help you save on your water bill.

West Valley Xeriscape Demonstration Garden
15626 N. Del Webb Blvd.
Sun City, AZ 85351

Paradise Valley

One of our Water – Use It Wisely Partners, EPCOR Water, is pleased to showcase a Xeriscape Demonstration Garden in Paradise Valley. The Company planned the garden with neighbors, town council members, and Master Gardeners and turned an unused site into a fabulous demonstration for low-water use plants, Xeriscape principals and how to save water and money.

Paradise Valley Xeriscape Demonstration Garden
6229 N. Mockingbird Lane
Paradise Valley, Arizona 85253
(623) 773-7286


This garden welcomes visitors to experience the beauty of low-water-use landscapes. Combinations of low-water-use plants from desert-like areas around the world demonstrate that beauty and functionality don’t have to be sacrificed for water efficiency. The five themed areas in the garden also showcase a variety of mulch materials and different ways to bring color into the landscape.

Fusion Xeriscape Garden
8401 W. Monroe St.
Peoria, Arizona 85345
(623) 773-7286


Desert Botanical Garden

Covering nearly 50 acres, the Desert Botanical Garden showcases more than a thousand desert-adapted plants from all over the world. The Center for Desert Living Trail provides visitors with information on desert landscaping and gardening. Education programs and special events are offered throughout the year for children and adults.

1201 N. Galvin Pkwy.
Phoenix, Arizona 85008
(480) 941-1225

The Interpretive Trail, created through the Maricopa County Cooperative Extension and Arizona Master Gardeners, assists visitors with landscaping and gardening in the low desert climate. Visitors will find signs and flyers that will guide them in the creation and maintenance of their own environmentally sound landscape.

Maricopa County Cooperative Extension Office
4341 E. Broadway Rd.
Phoenix, Arizona 85040
(602) 470-8086


Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden
Demonstrating the beauty of saving water is the purpose that has guided the design and educational components of this xeriscape garden. Outdoor classrooms offer learning opportunities that engage the senses, demonstrate water-saving principles, and showcase beautiful low-water-use plants.

5401 N Hayden Rd.
Scottsdale, Arizona 85251

Surprise Xeriscape Garden


City of Surprise Xeriscape Demonstration Garden
Join us at the newly opened City of Surprise Xeriscape Demonstration Garden! This one-acre garden, located at Surprise City Hall, is available for public viewing from sunrise to sunset seven days a week. The garden will help you learn more about responsible and sustainable water use when creating beautiful arid landscapes. At the east entrance, visitors will find a kiosk providing them with information on upcoming programs, Master Gardener office hours, and education on Xeriscape principles. The garden offers four themes along its mix of concrete and granite pathways, including:

  • Low desert native plants
  • Native compatible plants that thrive in dry desert conditions
  • Sensory garden space with diverse colors, smells, and textures
  • Year-round color display with a variety of plants with different blooming times

Surprise City Hall Campus
16000 N. Civic Center Plaza (just west of Valley Arts HQ)
Surprise, AZ 85374
(623) 222-6000


Boyce Thompson boxed plants being transplanted for Wallace Garden The Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Photo shows transporting and planting to preserve the Wallace Garden collection originally located in north Scottsdale. This amazing project has been completed and is now open.

The Boyce Thompson Arboretum is a historic and beautiful desert garden. Plants are studied for drought tolerance, usefulness to people, and landscaping potential. Nature trails wind through 35 acres of grounds.

Just one hour east of Phoenix, the Arboretum features 3,200 desert-adapted plants from all over the world. The Demonstration Garden displays a series of low-water-use residential theme gardens. Education programs and special events are offered throughout the year for children and adults.

37615 U.S. Highway 60
Superior, Arizona 85273
(520) 689-2723


Along two miles of paths, visitors have the opportunity to view a collection of Sonoran desert plant exhibits, including a riparian corridor, a desert garden, pollination gardens, a cactus garden, and desert grasslands. Education programs and special events are offered throughout the year for children and adults.

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
2021 N. Kinney Rd.
Tucson, Arizona 85743-8918
(520) 883-1380

Tohono Chul Park
This 49-acre Sonoran desert preserve also contains specialty gardens, such as the native plant demonstration garden and the “sin agua” garden, which utilizes rainwater-harvesting technology. Education programs and special events are offered throughout the year for children and adults.

7366 N. Paseo del Norte
Tucson, Arizona 85704
(520) 742-6455

Tucson Botanical Gardens
Located in the heart of Tucson, the garden comprises 15 different themed gardens, including the Xeriscape Demonstration Garden and the Cactus and Succulent Garden. Education programs and special events are offered throughout the year for children and adults.

2150 N. Alvernon Way
Tucson, Arizona 85712
(520) 326-9686


Arizona State University Desert Arboretum Park
The Desert Arboretum Park is part of the greater Arizona State University Arboretum. Through a partnership of Arizona State University employees and outside consultants, the Desert Arboretum Park was created to serve as a botanical refuge for desert plants.

Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona 85287-3305
(480) 965-2682

Tempe Xeriscape Demonstration Garden
This xeriscape garden highlights desert and arid palettes, including plants from the Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts, Australia, and the Mediterranean. The garden provides practical ideas for both backyards and workplaces. This xeriscape also attracts plenty of hummingbirds.

Tempe Woman’s Club Park
1265 N. College Ave.
Tempe, Arizona
(480) 350-2668

Once you’ve visited one or more demonstration gardens and are ready to create your own lush xeriscape oasis, use these resources for help with design, installation, and maintenance: