I'm in Idaho for a conference. One of my friends here has bought some land & is planning to build on it. He took several of us up there to see it. The place has great views. It's on a really steep hill, currently covered with juniper, which really smells wonderful. There were lots of deer tracks on the lot.
The contrast with home was really striking. Aside from the fact that there's no snow and lots of daylight here, the overwhelming impression is dry. It seems odd, since I actually live in an Arctic desert, but the permafrost keeps the water on the surface and it's so flat, it doesn't run off quickly. Here, it looks like they don't get much rain, since there's a lot of stuff built on steep places, and lots bulldozed for new construction don't seem to have much in the way of erosion control.
I haven't had much chance to look at gardens, but the ones I've seen seem to feature large rocks plopped in them, and more bark mulch than I've seen in *years*.