Beautiful Landscapes in Harmony with Nature

6 ​Super Low Maintenance Plants for Arizona


Let me introduce myself.

CharleneI love desert gardening—but I didn’t always!

Having gardened for a decade in the Midwest, I wondered if I’d ever figure out the secret to desert gardening when we moved to Arizona in 1990.

The grassy lawns of our neighborhood made no sense to me in the desert, and the “xeriscape” gardens around town appeared flat and one-dimensional. And, growing vegetables for our family seemed nearly impossible. I either over-watered or under-watered the plants, but couldn’t find a happy medium.

Do you ever feel frustrated with gardening in an arid climate?

Through lots of trial and error, reading everything I could get my hands on, and talking to Arizona natives and nursery owners, I finally saw our garden take shape.

The soil became rich and fertile with applications of organic mulch. I discovered the plants that could thrive with minimums of water. And I learned some tricks about how much (or little) to water. Our garden became a thing of beauty and enjoyment, and our vegetable garden produced food for our family

Do feel like you’re constantly fighting Nature? Tired of all the maintenance?

Even with all my newfound knowledge, I realized that I was trying to force my will on Nature…. Until I discovered permaculture design.

With Permaculture I finally had a system that provided a framework for working with Nature in designing my landscape. After that, gardening took on a new richness, vibrance and ease—and, I was caring for the Earth at the same time!

Are you ready for a landscape that is beautiful, provides enjoyment and is easy to maintain?

That’s why I started Westgate Garden Design: to help Arizona gardeners shorten the learning curve of desert gardening and to create gardens that reflect their own uniqueness and landscape desires, all while caring for the Earth.

If you’re ready to trade in your gardening frustration for a beautiful landscape in harmony with Nature, let’s talk!

“All the world’s problems can be solved in a garden.”

– Geoff Lawton


Native & Rain Gardens

Rain gardens make use of basins and other earthworks to capture and direct rainwater to plants. They are a simple, low-cost way to add beauty to your yard and address drainage issues, while eliminating or minimizing the need for supplemental water.

Butterfly & Sensory Gardens

Who doesn’t love hummingbirds and butterflies? Along with the beauty of the plants that attract them, pollinators add their own beauty as they flit around our gardens—all while performing an important function for Nature!

Edible Gardens

Whether an independent, in-ground vegetable garden, adding edible plants to an existing garden, or creating a container garden of edible plants and herbs, edible gardens can add beauty while producing food.

Permaculture Landscape Design

Permaculture is a system of working with Nature rather than against Nature; a system that was understood by native peoples for generations. At Westgate Garden Design, I use the 12 principles of Permaculture to create gardens that are beautiful and easy to maintain—that care for the Earth while providing enjoyment to People.

Here’s What Clients are Saying About Charlene

“Thanks for all your effort in preparing our landscaping proposal. We liked your attention to detail, the Plan folder with plant pictures and info, and the considerable time you spent with us explaining the proposal; and your fee was quite reasonable.”
Jim & Bonnie R.

“Charlene is always a delight to work with: she is creative, smart, quick, responsive, thoughtful and dependable. I know I can always count on her to do her best work…. I recommend Charlene to anyone who is looking for someone with great ideas, who can work on their own, and deliver beautiful work.”
Anne H.

“Charlene came to my house today and was such a GREAT help. I feel so much more confident and focused since talking to her. Tremendous suggestions. Call her with any doubts or confusion what so ever…she is so so knowledgeable.”

Judy N.

“I strongly recommend Charlene because of … the role model that she is in the community.”
Peter R.

“Love what you came up with. You were such an inspiration to us. Thank you for everything you did for us. We will most definitely ‘highly recommend’ you to others.”
Joan & Kurt J.

“Charlene is an asset and has so much to offer to her clients. . . . I highly recommend Charlene Westgate to you.”
Yasmin J.

Tuscon Audubon Society Habitat at Home

Rural Small Business of the Year

Westgate Garden Design named Rural Small Business of the Year by the Pima County Small Business Commission.

Read the press release.

Tuscon Audubon Society Habitat at Home

Home Based Business of the Year

Westgate Garden Design named Home-Based Business of the Year by the Green Valley Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce.