Everything in this slideshow
Play with Pavers
Backyard landscaping ideas can be as easy as adding pavers. Turn a garden path into a series of mini patios by using large islands of flagstone separated by ribbons of thick turf. In this backyard, the paved pieces have two functions: They act as a handsome and stable garden walkway, and they are large enough to handle outdoor seating when the family hosts a large party.
- Learn how to pick the perfect patio pavers.
Let the Water Flow
If your backyard has a drainage problem that causes runoff and erosion, capitalize on the problem and turn the area into a water feature. Here, the homeowners struggled with a low, damp spot for years until they excavated the area and transformed the problem into a landscaping focal point. Now, when they hear the sound of running water they can relax instead of worrying that their backyard is washing away.
- Have a small backyard but love water? See how to make a container water feature!
Landscape Around an Eyesore
It’s hard to believe, but the only view this backyard once had was of an old, oversize shed door that was falling off its hinges. Instead of living with the eyesore, the family tore down the door and covered the opening with a series of handsome vintage shutters.
Backyard landscaping idea: Add a pretty, weatherproof table that does double duty as a plant stand and buffet for food and drinks when friends stop by for a backyard party.
Backyard Landscape Design Idea: Soften a Deck
Improve the view from below your deck by adding planting beds to camouflage the leggy supports. Here, a six-foot-wide flower border was planted around the base of the deck and stairway. It not only hides the deck’s unsightly underbelly, but it also adds tons of color through the summer. Tall perennials such as ornamental grass, sedum, and black-eyed Susan provide plenty of screening.
- See our favorite ideas for backyard decks.
Set the Stage
If you have a boring, flat backyard, consider giving it a dramatic makeover. This once drab, level space was given a new lease on life after the homeowners developed a backyard landscape design that involved hauling in tons of fresh soil to create a two-level outdoor stage. They also planted a living curtain of tropicals that provide a sense of added height to the landscape.
Backyard Landscaping Ideas for Outdoor Living Spaces
Looking for more backyard landscape design ideas? Give an outdoor room interior-like appeal with these tips to maximize dining, relaxing, and entertaining areas.
Make a Grand Entrance
First impressions count. That’s why it’s important to pay special attention to your backyard’s entry. Nothing ruins the view faster than a rusty gate or muddy path. In this gorgeous garden, an oversize rose-encrusted arbor and stone patio create an elegant and welcoming doorway for family and friends.
- Get step-by-step instructions to build your own backyard arbor.
Create a Cozy Backyard Corner
Get up close and personal with your flower border by tucking in a small sitting area amid the beds. Here, a cozy corner was created with an angled trellis and a pair of pillow-packed Adirondack chairs. The tall trellis also does a good job of hiding an unsightly utility pole on the nearby street.
- Shop patio furniture for your backyard.
Consider Curtains for Backyard Privacy
Instant privacy! That’s what you’ll get when you add curtains to your deck, patio, porch, or pergola. On this colorful deck, weatherproof curtains were hung on the pergola to create privacy and add protection from the sun. The curtains also help block the wind so food and drinks don’t blow off the table.
9 Budget-Friendly Backyard Ideas
See how easy it is to enhance your backyard without spending a lot.
Reflect the Sky
Long, narrow backyards look larger than they really are if you capture some sky in a reflecting pool or pond. In this slender landscape, the homeowners added a 6×4-foot stone water area that doubles as a seating area. They also used a black pond liner that reflects the clouds overhead.
- Get ideas just for the front yard.
Add a Pergola
When you plan your backyard, remember that pergolas and arbors are often more effective when used as a stand-alone architectural element. Here, for example, a pergola constructed of thick black timbers makes this small seating area look like an art installation. Tight wire cables strung across the top of the pergola are strong enough to support heavy vines.
- Find the perfect pergola for your landscape.
Sink Your Patio
There’s something really inviting about a sunken garden or patio. If you have a sloping backyard, consider carving out a section to create a private retreat. Here, the homeowners terraced their backyard hillside and added a brick patio below grade level. A stacked stonewall keeps the hillside in place and provides extra seating.
- Get inspired by our backyard patio ideas.
Light a Fire
Extend the season for outdoor living by adding a fireplace to your backyard. This open-air living room can now be used almost all winter long once the family gets a roaring fire started. And, during the summer when it’s too hot to light a fire, the fireplace acts as a gorgeous stage for variety of blooming potted plants.
- Learn how to build a fire pit for your backyard.
Make it Multipurpose
The best backyards are those designed for multiple uses. Here, for example, the family added an inviting stone and concrete patio below their deck. One end of the patio has a seating area surrounding a fire pit, while at the other end there’s additional seating next to an above ground spa.
- Do you have a yard with no grass? See great landscaping tips!
Grow Your Own
Raising your own fresh vegetables and herbs is easy. All you need is a sunny backyard to create a food garden that’s as attractive as it is edible. In this long, narrow backyard a series of raised beds were created from repurposed cobblestones. Gravel paths makes maintenance and access to the beds a snap. The galvanized water trough in the center of the garden supports aquatic plants and is a handy spot to fill an occasional watering can.
- Shop gardening tools and supplies.
Turn Under Turf
If you love flowers and hate to mow, get rid of your lawn and divide the space into a series of beds and borders. In this lovely garden, most of the lawn was removed and replaced with a brick path that divides a quartet of small borders. A smaller fifth bed with sundial sits in the center, and a rose covered arbor and bench act as a romantic focal point.
Pop Up a Pavilion
Do you have a wedding, graduation, or family reunion on the calendar? If so, you might want to consider adding a pavilion to your backyard. Available at many garden centers and home stores, pavilions are easy to install and will quickly transform a backyard into a romantic hideaway or crowd-pleasing entertainment area. Once erected, the pavillion can be left in place, removing only the fabric when the season comes to a close.
Include a Shed in Your Backyard Design
Every backyard should include a garden shed to store tools, equipment, and pots. Why not build or buy a wooden shed that can be customized to meet your needs? They can include a potting bench, storage area, and even a spot for entertaining or relaxing. Plus they can be painted to complement your home. In this pretty backyard, a small shed with French doors becomes a garden focal point.
- Get inspiration for building your own shed.
Fence in Fido
Keeping furry family members safe should be a high priority when you landscape your backyard. Make sure you have a sturdy, escape-proof fence that is tall enough to keep your dog from jumping over. Also, make sure gates can be locked. Never leave your dog unattended for long periods of time. Here, a vinyl, gnaw-proof picket fence keeps Fido confined when needed.