Having a beautiful, green garden to please the eye is one of the biggest dreams of homeowners.
However, many of us are simply not living in an area that has a climate suitable for sustaining the type of sprawling, lush greenery you typically associate with a beautiful garden.
But there is a solution! A cactus garden can be just as stunningly beautiful and allows you to realise your dream even if you find yourself living in a hot, dry climate.
Since cacti are notoriously known for being incredibly hard to kill and can thrive and bloom on what amounts to approximately three drops of water per year, creating a cactus garden also comes with the added bonus of not needing a lot of watering, cutting and weeding once it is set.
In other words, by opting for a cactus garden you give yourself a wonderful, individual garden that comes with all the visual benefits but without the actual, never ending work to maintain the beauty.
Below we have collected some of the most beautiful cactus garden ideas for you. Let yourself be inspired and fall in love with the unique beauty of cacti!
Table of Contents
Mix and Match
When thinking about cacti, most people automatically see spiky, green plants in their mind’s eye.
While there are indeed a great variety of green cacti around, that is by far not all of it!
Mix cacti of various colours, sizes and shapes to create an exciting variety to liven up your garden.
Pick a Focal Shape
Pick an uncommon shape, like round cacti, to create a focal point of your garden.
You might use the picked shape in one specific location in order to draw the eye, or you could use it at various points of your garden to create a theme that runs though your garden and connects the various locations.
Size really isn’t everything!
Delimit a corner of your yard and use it to make a small but beautiful cactus garden. Pick a variety of shapes to make the arrangement more interesting, and settle for one, bright splash of colour that draws the eye to your cacti corner.
Make Use of Nature
Use tall species of cacti to create natural walkways or boarders.
Tightly spaced cacti planted along your property’s boarder can also be used to create a natural fence that beautifully integrates into the surrounding landscape.
Make use of items that could have been found in desert to set the mood.
Large clay jugs are a beautiful way of creating water features, sun-bleached, gnarled tree branches serve as dividers or focal points, cleverly places tumbleweeds create the illusion of being in an old wild west movie,… The limit is the scope of your creativity!
Create Geometrical Patterns
Use different sizes, shapes and colours to create large or small geometrical patterns. Think of mandalas, but made of living plants rather than coloured sand.
This kind of cactus garden typically works best on sprawling yards that allow the patterns to really stand out and capture the attention of the beholder.
You can also use a geometric cactus garden to create a masterful centrepiece in your front yard that dazzles the eye and entrances visitors before they even entered your property.
Change your point of view and go vertical! A garden doesn’t need to be on the ground!
Particularly if you’re short of garden space or want to incorporate a visual barrier that is more to look at than a regular wall or privacy fence, creating a hanging garden is a great way to go.
Cacti serve particularly well in hanging gardens since they need hardly any watering and will thrive even in the harshest sunshine and heat.
Sometimes less is indeed more.
Use stones in desert colours (browns, oranges, terracotta, and the like) for beds and walkways, drop in a few accents in matching colours (jade and rose quartz suggest themselves) that echo the plant’s colours, and dot a handful carefully selected cacti at most in-between to round out the look.
The minimalist approach to cactus gardens looks equally well in planned-out wide spaces and as small attention-grabber sections of your yard.
Work With What You’ve Got
You have a rather stone- or rock-heavy garden and don’t want to commit to the mammoth task of clearing it all out before beginning to grow your garden? Or you have subscribed to the (fleeting) trend of having a rock garden and are now stuck with the remains?
Make use of it! Cacti, by their very nature, thrive incredibly well in a rocky environment. And what’s more, they look perfectly at home growing between slabs of stone, gravel, small or large boulders, etc.
Plant smaller sized cacti in the crevices between stones, create colourful oasis in a field of pebbles, or go all out and create a convincing rock-desert setting by nestling large cacti between slabs of volcanic rock or granite.
Break the Pattern
Use large, suitable plants to break up the overall look of your cactus garden.
Undemanding plants like aloe are perfectly suited to grow in similar conditions to those of cacti. Make use of their sturdy nature and plant a large species between your cacti to shake up the view.
It’s generally a good idea to play with expectations. If you’ve predominately settled for smallish or ground-hugging cacti, use a sprawling, large plant to break the pattern in order to keep things visually interesting.
Make Use of Planters
There are many good reasons to use planters. Maybe you don’t have a lot of garden space but still want to have the visual pleasure of a cactus garden. Or you want to bring your cactus garden closer to your living space. Or you feel your porch needs a bit more greenery without the hassle of planting flowers or vegetables. Or maybe you just like the look.
Whatever your reasons for choosing planters, it is a good choice!
Planters allow you to group together certain types of cacti to create a certain look. But they also allow you to go for a completely different look in the next pot over. Additionally, planters very simply make your garden portable. If you tire of the overall image, you can change it up easily and rearrange to your taste. And last, but not least, employing big clay planters quickly helps to create the desert-y style cacti work in best.