Answer: The most important things when choosing plants are determining what sun exposure (full, partial, shady) they will thrive in and how much space they need to grow to maturity (both vertically and horizontally), and then comparing that with what your landscape offers. Desert plants, when sited where they have room to grow so no unnecessary pruning is needed, are remarkably low-maintenance, far more than people understand. There are so many colorful possibilities and since I can't know your likes and dislikes I'm going to suggest a great resource. Contact the Mesa City Water Conservation Department for a free copy of Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert. It is a color guide listing more than 200 low-water-use plants, along with growing and special characteristics (e.g., hummingbirds, screening, etc.) They also offer various landscaping classes to residents periodically, so ask them for a schedule. Take photos and/or rough sketches of the dimensions, sun exposures, etc. and you'll get a wealth of ideas. Good luck!
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