Are you tired of looking out at a dull and uninspiring backyard? Do you long for an upgrade that you can be proud of and enjoy with family and friends? Well, we’ve got great news for you. We’ve compiled 54 backyard landscaping ideas that you can replicate (some of them may even make your neighbors green with envy)!
1. Retaining Walls
Retaining walls are the unsung heroes of landscaping. They offer functionality, versatility, and style all in one. As you can see from the picture above, it offers all three things. The wall holds back soil and prevents it from sliding or eroding away, the trees and different plant life fit in perfectly, and the bricks add curb appeal to your wall’s overall look. Retaining walls are the solution your sloped ground has been waiting for. From solving slope and erosion problems to creating stunning focal points, it can do just about anything that benefits your landscape.
2. Stone Path
Stone paths are the essence of outdoor elegance and it never goes out of style. If you’re looking to create a meandering pathway through your garden, or you’re just tired of walking through a muddy surface (especially during the rainy season!), stone paths are the way to go. There are a variety of materials from which you can choose, including natural stone, pavers, and even cobblestone. The versatility that it offers allows you to create a unique and personal look that will catch people’s eyes! Not to mention, building one is inexpensive! And if you maintain it well, it can last for years.
3. Spread Mulch on Garden
When you add mulch to your backyard garden, you’re not just providing your plants with the nutrients they need to thrive, you’re also creating an eye-catching visual that will elevate the overall look of your outdoor space. The rich color of the mulch will complement the greenery of your plants, creating a cohesive and harmonious look.
Spreading mulch also helps to define garden beds and separate different plantings, creating a clean and organized look that will make your outdoor space appear more spacious. Whether you choose a natural wood chip or a colored mulch, the contrast between the mulch and the surrounding soil will add depth and texture to your garden, making it look more dynamic and interesting.
So, whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, adding mulch to your backyard garden is an easy and affordable way to give it a boost of style and sophistication.
4. Fire Pit
Imagine, sitting around a crackling fire, surrounded by your loved ones, enjoying the warmth and glow of the flames. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? With an outdoor fire pit, you can create a cozy gathering spot perfect for entertaining and relaxing. Once you have your outdoor fire pit ready, go for comfy chairs to complete the look.
5. Privacy Wall
Privacy walls are the ticket to creating your very own intimate space. Ain’t nobody gonna disturb your peace when you’re sippin’ on a cuppa joe or entertaining the masses. These walls are a surefire way to get the solitude and tranquility you crave.
But wait, there’s more! The choices are endless! Wooden fences, living walls, the list goes on. You can pick the privacy wall that speaks to your style and wallet. If you’re looking for a simple setup, shoot for the wooden planks. They’re not overly expensive, and not complicated to build and assemble. Want to get started? We have a detailed step-by-step process on how to build a privacy wall just for you.
Pergolas with built-in seating, side tables, and chairs are the bee’s knees of backyard paradise. Cozy, intimate, and oh-so relaxing, these structures are the perfect place to kick back, entertain, and bask in the great outdoors.
But here’s the real kicker – not only do they provide a comfortable space to unwind, but they also bring style and function to your backyard. That’s right, you can have it all!
When you’re designing your pergola, think about how you want to use it. Are you looking for a spot to lounge and catch up on your reading? Or maybe you’re dreaming of outdoor dining under the stars. Either way, with built-in seating and side tables, you can create a space that fits your lifestyle like a glove.
And let’s not forget about the looks! These pergolas bring a touch of architectural magic, and with some plants or trees around them, you’ve got yourself a stunning focal point that improves the scenery. If you’re thinking of building your own and you want one with a roof, you may want to check out our blog first before diving into your DIY pergola with roof project.
7. Illuminated Path for Better Lighting
Are you tired of stumbling around in the dark when you go for a walk outside? Light ropes are the way to go if you want to solve the problem of visibility and safety in the dark. It’s also a way to add a touch of enchantment to your walkway. Cozy ambiance for a romantic stroll or a dramatic statement for a big bash, light ropes has got you covered.
Imagine, strolling down a beautifully crafted stone path, the soft glow of lights guiding your way, surrounded by cool grass. Exciting, isn’t it?
And let me tell you, you have options! From warm white lights to rainbow-colored ropes, you can pick a lighting solution that fits your vibe and mood. And the best part? Installation is a breeze and you can highlight any part of your walkway, from the edges to the center.
8. Vertical Garden
Vertical gardens are the way to go if you’re looking to bring some green to your backyard using vertical space, even if space is tight. Living walls, towering herb gardens, or window boxes filled with plants, these gardens are the perfect solution.
Not only do they bring color and life to your outdoor space, but they also help you by improving air quality, reducing noise pollution, and even adding privacy (depending on where you put it).
And let’s talk about the looks! Vertical gardens add a touch of whimsy and creativity to your garden and with the addition of vibrant perennials and annuals, you’ve got yourself a stunning focal point that can catch your neighbor’s eyes. If you want to add a vertical garden to improve your outdoor space, we’ve got you covered. Check out our blog on how to build an outdoor vertical garden.
9. Retaining Wall Around a Tree
Do you have a tree standing outside? If it doesn’t bother your day-to-day activities too much, instead of cutting and removing the tree, you can build a retaining wall around it. You can even add a ground garden from the space between the wall and the tree. It’s good to consider a retaining wall because it supports the tree’s root system and protects the tree from soil erosion.
10. Raised Garden Bed
If you’re into gardening and want to cultivate your own personal garden oasis, consider giving raised garden beds a try. Not only do they provide a space to grow fresh herbs and beautiful flowers, but they also offer several benefits, such as better soil drainage, increased accessibility, and reduced pest problems. And the best part is, you can choose a style that fits your taste and needs, whether it’s a classic wooden box or a modern metal frame.
11. Relaxing Space for Gatherings
Photo by: @ann.living / Instagram
Want to create a private and outdoor seating area in your house? This cozy and spacious landscape idea features a bench and a sturdy table perfect for you and your family. Since it has fences on the side and shade trees, you will have the privacy you desire and you’ll also enjoy the serene ambiance that comes with it. You can even host some backyard parties with this type of backyard living space.
12. Outdoor Pool & Shady Pavilion
Photo by: @ladylandscape / Instagram
What’s better than a pool on a hot summer day? A pool with a shady pavilion beside it, of course! Adding a pavilion to your pool landscape is the perfect way to provide relief from the sun and create a functional, stylish outdoor living space.
Think about it, with a pavilion you can lounge on comfortable seating, enjoy a meal with family and friends, or even host an outdoor event. And the best part is, you have many options for customization. From materials to colors, you can choose a pavilion design that fits your style and complements your pool.
13. Concrete Path for Strolling
Photo by: KG Designs
If you have a large area filled with plenty of lush planting, consider building a concrete garden path that has plenty of room for walking or placing a chair to sit down and relax. For the surface, you have several options: flagstone path, bluestone pavers, and concrete pavers, which are up to you and your design sensibility.
14. Cafe-Inspired Setup
Photo by: @s.u.s.a.p. / Instagram
Got some extra metal chairs and tables lying around and a wooden fence installed around your property? This landscape design is a perfect spot for breakfast or afternoon coffee. And the color theme makes the area look natural and cool. The materials involved in creating this are easy to find, so it won’t be too hard for you to recreate this setup. Unless you don’t have a wooden fence yet.
15. Garden Oasis Filled With Colors
Photo by: @sunnygardentime / Instagram
Ah, a place with luscious plantings and two comfortable chairs in between for cozy seating – that’s what I call a little slice of heaven! This is the perfect spot to sit back, relax, and take in the beauty of nature.
Picture it, you can observe the birds hopping from tree to tree, hear the gentle rustle of leaves in the breeze, and bask in the peace and serenity of your own private oasis. And with the inclusion of two comfortable chairs, you have a place to share this moment of serenity with a buddy or loved one. What could be better?
16. Lowered Stone Patio
Photo by: @ladylandscape / Instagram
Adding a lowered stone patio beside lush plantings is a smart move. It provides a flat and stable surface for outdoor activities, but it also adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to your space.
From hosting intimate dinner parties, lounging with friends, or simply enjoying a quiet moment of solitude on your own personal patio, you can do anything that brings you comfort in an outdoor setting with a lowered stone patio.
17. Desert Themed Garden
Photo by: @beartrapgarden / Instagram
If you’re into low-maintenance designs, this one is for you. This idea consists of a series of garden beds with succulents (which are drought-resistant plants) and walkways with gravel. Both are known for having low maintenance requirements! Despite having a unique ‘desert’ theme, it is still eye-catching, especially if you love seeing succulents that are arranged in a nice manner.
18. Container Plantings
Photo by: @beartrapgarden / Instagram
Another low-maintenance, desert-inspired design. But this time, it features more containers with succulents. The good thing about this setup is, the containers can be moved around and you can opt to try different types of planters like ceramic planters, recycled planters, etc. And it’s drought resistant! It won’t be hard for you to maintain it and change the look whenever you want to, especially if you’ll be adding garden structures in the future.
19. Metal Fire Dish
Photo by: @ladylandscape / Instagram
A metal fire dish with chairs for cozy seating around it? That’s the epitome of outdoor living. It provides warmth and ambiance for those chilly evenings and it also creates a space for gathering and socializing.
Think about it, you can roast marshmallows with the kids, enjoy a glass of wine with friends, or simply bask in the glow of the fire while you relax. With the combination of the metal fire dish and chairs around it, it’s sure to become a much-loved feature of your outdoor space.
Photo by: Becca Interiors
Birdhouses are the cherry on top of your backyard landscape sundae! Not only do they provide a cozy and safe home for our feathered friends, but they also add a touch of charm and personality to your space.
21. Outdoor Couch
Photo by: M Lavender Interiors
This design is simple, but it fits the bill for a nice outdoor space where you and your family can spend time on. As long as you have a flat surface, it would be easy for you to create a brick patio. And then, after that, all you have to worry about is adding a chair for cozy seating, a table, and a sofa.
If you want to follow this landscape idea and you don’t have a brick patio yet, we got you covered. Check out our blog and learn how to lay a brick patio.
22. Hammock and Mulch
This backyard landscape idea is perfect for families with kids who love to play outdoors. The hammock makes it a great place to hang around for all ages.
23. Terraced Gardens
If you have a sloped ground outside, consider creating terraced gardens, similar to the image above, that make the plants stand out even more. You can plant a lush and colorful array of flowers and vegetables, create a series of intimate and inviting outdoor spaces, and enjoy breathtaking views from every level.
24. Water feature
Water features, my friend, are the melodic background to your outdoor paradise! They not only bring a sense of peace and calm to your outdoor oasis, but they also bring a touch of enchantment and wonder that the whole family will love. So why not add a soothing soundtrack to your backyard oasis?
25. Elevated Deck
An elevated deck with a pergola-like canopy, chairs, and a table, is the peak of outdoor living! This backyard landscape idea is perfect as an outdoor dining area for family and friends. As long as the weather is right, this spot is a good place to hang out on.
26. Outdoor Space For The Kids
An outdoor play area for the kids, surrounded by soft mulch, is perfect if you have little ones who love to play outside on a sunny day! This design concept may be simple, but hey, it can be a place where you and your kids can create memories that last a lifetime. That’s something worth considering.
And if you have some creative juices left, you can even add perennials and annuals to make colorful additions to the surroundings!
27. Succulent Garden
Want a garden, but don’t have much time for maintenance? Consider creating a succulent garden. The rich tones of green coming from these succulents won’t leave you behind in terms of adding beauty and curb appeal to your backyard space. The color theme of the succulents works well with other plants too. It’s also a good addition if you have a narrow backyard and are mostly focused on container gardening as most succulents don’t grow into large chunks compared to plants.
28. Tepee Playhouse
This wooden teepee playhouse can serve as a summer playhouse for your kids. It’s not too complicated to install and move around, so you won’t be having problems when winter comes. It’s definitely one of the low-key backyard designs that you can add to the mix.
There’s nothing quite like walking into a greenhouse, surrounded by the sweet scent of fresh herbs and flowers, wouldn’t you agree?
See, greenhouses are perfect for growing your own herbs, vegetables, and flowers all year round. And if you have a green thumb, you can grow just about anything inside a greenhouse, regardless of the season! There’s nothing quite like walking into a greenhouse, surrounded by the sweet scent of fresh herbs and flowers, wouldn’t you agree? If you’re eager to create your own little oasis and grow your own fresh produce, then check out our blog and learn how to build a DIY Greenhouse PVC.
30. Small Pond
Ponds add so much value to your backyard space. Although it may cost you a bit to have one created for you, the benefits make it worth your while. With a backyard pond, you add aesthetic appeal to your backyard space, attract a variety of wildlife, provide you with a peaceful retreat, and it increases your property’s value.
It’s a stunning feature to have especially if it’s surrounded by flower beds with a cool color palette.
If you have trees in your backyard space, you can try creating this treehouse to have a cozy and unique space for your kids. The treehouse offers a personal space for your children to play and make childhood memories that will last a lifetime. Although it may seem like it’s only suited for kids, but it can also be a perfect retreat for adults to enjoy nature from a new perspective. Plus, adding a treehouse can increase property value and offer a fun and functional addition to your outdoor living space.
32. Nature Retreat
Photo by: Jamie Rector
If this backyard landscape idea doesn’t show ‘one with nature’, we don’t know what is. Look at how the floating bed is situated in the middle of the garden, the nice pathway leading to it, and the hammock right beside it. With this design concept, you can have a lovely seating with your wife and family all while enjoying the aroma and color of leafy plantings.
33. Moss Garden
Photo by: Image courtesy of Moss Acres
Not the usual option to grow in a garden, but moss gardens are much superior to grass because they retain the moisture for your garden, and they don’t require mowing or application of pesticides or herbicides. If you’re fond of Japanese gardens, this one is a must-try.
34. Chicken Coop for Homesteaders
Introducing fresh eggs to your breakfast table, right from your own chicken coop! Adding this to the mix of landscape designs makes you a little closer to living sustainably all while having charm and character to your space. With this wooden, stylish coop and a little love and care, you’ll have the happiest hens in the neighborhood! If you’re looking to produce your own food, this one is a no-brainer.
35. Outdoor Dining
Imagine dining al fresco, surrounded by nature and the beauty of your own backyard! A dining table outside is the perfect addition to any landscape, adding both functionality and style. As long as you add weatherproof types of furniture, you can guarantee that it will last despite being exposed to weather and other elements.
Say goodbye to boring and bland landscapes and hello to the magic of pavers! These little beauties are the ultimate solution to boring old soil erosion and pooling water. Not only are they incredibly versatile and durable, but they bring so much character and pizzazz to your outdoor area!
Just imagine, you can create a cozy pathway, a stunning covered patio, or even a unique seating area that’s could last for years to come!
37. Stone Stairs
@falkner_gardens / Instagram / Photograph by Jean Allsop /Birmingham Home & Garden (cover)
Want a dramatic entry point to your outdoor living space? These stone stairs and walls fit the bill! It solves the problem of sloped ground and uneven terrain. The stone stairs act as a reliable path from one level of your yard to another.
With this design and concept, you can create an elegant transition from your house to your lawn. And, because stone is a durable material, you can enjoy your functional stairs for years to come without worrying about wear and tear. So, if you want to take your ground from ordinary to extraordinary, consider adding a set of outdoor stone stairs and a nicely placed walkway with clean lines and rectangular shapes. Check out this easy guide on how to landscape steps on a slope.
38. Add Curb to Perennial Beds
Photo by: @thepsychgarden / Instagram
If you have a spot full of perennial and flower beds and native plants in opposite directions, you can refine the edges around its curved shapes to make it look like there’s a pathway in between that leads to an outdoor oasis. The organic shapes coming from the built-in perennial beds make it more natural looking. This backyard design idea is perfect for people who want a low-key backyard design; it’s just really simple!
39. Playground With Stump and Lawn
Add a little extra fun and excitement by adding a playground in your outdoor space. This may look expensive to recreate but the beautiful combination of the playground, tree stumps where kids could sit, and a well-maintained lawn makes it a perfect designated area just for the kids! If you place a nice table beside it, this could serve as a good outdoor living space for you and your family to spend time.
40. Pergola With Climbing Wisteria
Pergolas are a good addition to any landscape. But if you add a climbing wisteria, you simply can’t go wrong in terms of style and function! You’re basically maximizing the vertical space that you have. And this breathtaking structure is not only a beautiful addition to your outdoor space, but it also provides shade and a cozy environment perfect for those lazy afternoons and summer evenings. The wisteria, with its luscious blooms and sweet fragrance, is the cherry on top of this outdoor oasis. An absolute, must-try concept.
41. Rock Garden With Flowers
A rock garden is a mesmerizing and fuss-free way to infuse a dose of peace and greenery into your outdoor realm. The blend of stones, abundant flowers, and plants produces a serene and eye-catching landscape that’ll elevate any garden. And the best part is, rock gardens are incredibly adaptable and can be tailored to suit any backyard design idea or size. So, if you’re seeking an original and restful haven, a rock garden is an ideal option!
42. Water Fountain
Aside from pools and ponds, the water fountain is also a great option as a central water feature in your landscape. If you have abundant flowers and native plantings with a cool color palette, you can turn your garden into an oasis in no time!
43. Deck with Pergola
This amazing deck with a pergola may require a lot of space and may be suited if you have a larger property. But the cozy seats and the colorful flowers leave a lasting visual impact on anyone who sees it! The surrounding area may not have glorious colors coming from perennial plants, but the potted flowers make up for it perfectly.
44. Privacy Fence With Plants Along Them
If you’re looking to add instant privacy and a pop of color to your home, a privacy fence with a beautiful garden around it is the way to go! From perennials, annuals, native plantings, and hydrangea flowers to ornamental grasses, you can add just about anything you want to create your dream backyard.
45. Festive String Lights
Festive string lights are one of the cheapest additions that you can use to spruce up your outdoor area. The ambient lighting that it provides will not only help you see in the dark but also create more stunning visuals. It’s relatively easy to set up as well since the lighting fixture will be attached from one tree to another solid structure.
46. Shrubs in Containers
Shrubs in containers are the perfect way to bring a pop of greenery to your outdoor living space! So, if you have a green thumb and are looking for an outdoor upgrade, shrubs cut in clean, straight lines fit the bill! And the best part? If you put proper care and attention to these little powerhouses, they can thrive in their containers for years to come.
47. Daybed Surrounded by Luscious Plantings
Photo by: Susanne Alfredsson / EyeEm
Having a daybed in the middle of a garden oasis provides you with instant seating, extra shade, and a gorgeous backdrop with stunning views of brilliant colors! The daybed offers comfortable seating for you and your family while you stare at the glorious colors these flowers bring. It’s definitely a good place to hang out on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Want to spark your imagination with spring-inspired ideas? Check out our blog and learn 20 Clever Spring Garden Ideas.
48. Cozy Outdoor Fireplace
Photo by: Andreas von Einsiedel
Want to take a dip in the pool without leaving the guests behind? The comfy chairs beside the fireplace and the cushion chairs near the pool offer extra seating for your guests on a hot summer.
49. Macrame Swing
Photo by: Yaroslav Litun
If you love swings, this one is for you! It’s not your regular tire or wood swing where you basically have your hands glued to the ropes. In this one, you can take a swing while reading your favorite books. With a macrame swing, you can relax, enjoy, and watch your kids while they do outdoor activities.
50. Bench Under a Canopy Tree
Photo by: rusgri
The image above features a bench good for probably 1 or 2 people. If you make it bigger, you instantly create an outdoor living space where you and the kids can spend time on. It’s a very simple garden design where there are bushes, trees, and tall plants in the backdrop. With the right combination of brilliant colors coming from flowers (or you can even add potted plants on the ground), you can design your own and create an oasis suited according to your style and needs.
51. Bench Swing
Photo by: PaulMaguire
A perfect hardscape to relax and maybe even reminisce. The beautifully cut green grass, the cozy seating, and the vibrant color of plants in the backdrop make you feel like you’re in tune with nature.
52. Vegetable Garden
Having your own vegetable garden allows you to grow your own food and control what goes into it, ensuring that you and your family are eating the freshest and healthiest produce possible. In terms of aesthetic appeal? It adds a touch of nature that enhances the overall appeal of your home.
53. Lush Lawn and Mature Trees
Photo by: Hannah Tyler Designs
If you have a large, matured tree providing dappled shade around your landscape, consider going the simple route. A well-maintained, level lawn, a picket fence, and a mulch bed around your plants. As long as your lush perennials and green grass is maintained well, you can never go wrong with this simple setup. There’s just a bit of work for the maintenance of grasses.
54. Outdoor Kitchen
Photo by: Martina Birnbaum
If you have a larger property and love spending time outdoors? Consider adding an outdoor kitchen to complement any outdoor living space that you have outdoors. With an outdoor kitchen, there’s no need for you to get in and out of the house during a house party. It’s also a good alternative if you initially planned for a bar cart. Want to see some outdoor kitchen ideas to get the creativity going? Check out our blog on 10 easy DIY outdoor garden ideas.
Tips For Making a Stunning Backyard Landscape
- Define different zones: Create different areas in your outdoor space for different activities, such as a seating area for entertaining, a lawn for playing, and a garden for growing plants.
- Use a focal point: A focal point, such as a water feature or sculpture, can add interest and draw the eye to a specific area in your backyard.
- Incorporate different textures: Mix and match different textures in your landscaping to add visual interest, such as using smooth stones and rough bark in your garden beds.
- Add lighting: Proper lighting can highlight different features in your property and make it usable at night.
- Incorporate native plants: Use plants that are native to your area. These plants will be better adapted to your local climate and require less maintenance.
- Think about function and maintenance: Consider how you will use your outdoor space and how much maintenance you are willing to do before making any decisions.
- Consider the view: Think about how your landscape will look from inside your house and try to design it so that it can be enjoyed indoors as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cheapest way to landscape?
The cheapest way to landscape a backyard is to do it yourself. This can involve simple tasks such as:
- Cleaning up and removing weeds
- Adding mulch to garden beds
- Planting perennials or self-seeding annuals
- Creating a patio or fire pit using stones or pavers found at a discount store
- Building raised garden beds using reclaimed wood
How can I cheaply transform my backyard?
Transforming your backyard on a budget can be done by focusing on low-cost, high-impact changes. Some ideas include:
- Repurposing items – Look for items that you can use, such as old pallets for raised garden beds or using stones from your yard for a rock garden.
- Edible gardening – Creating a vegetable or herb garden is an affordable way to add life and functionality.
- Focus on lighting – Adding lighting, such as lanterns or string lights, can make a big difference in the ambiance of the surroundings.
- Paint and stain – Give your outdoor furniture and structures a fresh look with a new coat of paint or stain.
- Simple upgrades – Upgrading outdoor items like cushions, pillows, and rugs can bring new life to your property without breaking the bank.
Remember, landscaping is not just about making changes to the appearance, but it’s also about creating a functional and enjoyable outdoor space. Start small and make changes gradually over time to get the backyard of your dreams within your budget.
How to do landscaping for beginners?
To start landscaping as a beginner, consider the following steps:
- Assess your space: Determine the size and shape of your yard, as well as any existing features such as trees, sheds, or pools.
- Develop a plan: Sketch out your ideas, research plants and materials, and make a list of what you need.
- Start small: Focus on one section or area at a time, rather than trying to tackle the entire yard at once.
- Use plants wisely: Consider the light and soil conditions of your space, and choose plants accordingly.
- Add hardscaping elements: Incorporate elements like patios, walkways, or retaining walls to add structure and interest to your landscape.
- Enjoy and maintain: Regular maintenance, such as watering and weeding, is key to a successful backyard landscape.