When I toured the South Carolina Botanical Gardens earlier this summer, I found inspiration in this corner. This portion of the garden is made up of all plants that tolerate low water conditions. Perfect sort of plants for the two beds near the back of my yard, where the garden hose doesn't reach. I know I'll have to lug the watering can out there the first year to help get anything new established. But then they will be on their own.
I especially liked the striking contrast of the Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida) here, breaking up the green. There's a list of List of Drought Tolerant Plants from Clemson Extension if you are also inspired to try this at home.