Pondless Backyard Fountain Pond and Waterfall. Even without the fountain, which in Az will grow algae like nobody's business, I think the idea of softening up the patio with a little rock garden with plants mixed in.
Designing your own vertical herb garden is a fun project. Vertical gardens allow you to grow herbs and some fruits and vegetables that do not require a lot of soil, such as strawberries or lettuce. Growing your own herbs for cooking or for medicinal.
Freeze fresh herbs in olive oil! Add the cubes to pasta/potato dishes, soups, or roasting onions, garlic, & veggies; These have a six month freezer life and do need to be stored separately to preserve individual flavors of the herbs.