Key elements of the scene:
The sand and colorations are improved variants from two of my previous scenes (Sand Landscape and Beach Scene). I assigned the faces for the mountains to a separate material to give them a more purple and red-ish tint based on various reference images of desert mountains in the distance.
The main Saguaro Cactus at the left front is modeled and UV unrapped. All of the other Saguaros in the scene are based on several variations of the model grouped to the right side of the ground plane and distributed by a particle system.
Other cacti in the scene are billboards except the one with the yellow flowers–that’s a detailed model that turned out well.