Desert landscaping can be a great option for the dry northwest. It can be pretty harsh or any kind of vegetation to grow out there in the constant dry weather with the sun blazing out all year round. The best way to go with desert landscaping is to focus more on plants that are best suited for such environments, poppy, cacti and acacia shrubs can add a lot f hue to your garden. If going for the normally large trees then better be prepared to tackle the necessities that come along with it. Some of them need to get proportionate shade and water via irrigation.
Another option that is easily executed in such circumstances is to go along with naturally present plants that are suited to the region. There might be some interesting options to choose from in the region and can actually beautify your garden with particularly low effort.