Loading

14 Backyard Landscaping Ideas to Upgrade Your Outdoor Space

Decks Author Logo Smaller 2 Written By: Decks Team

For homeowners looking to bring their backyard to life, landscaping is an easy way to add personality without completely changing your space. From small additions to larger projects, there are so many backyard landscaping ideas to choose from to make your space one of a kind.

What to Consider When Designing Your Backyard Landscaping

Although you may be ready to dive right into the world of backyard landscaping, it's important to keep a few things in mind before getting started.

  • Clearly map out the size and shape of your yard, so you know which of your backyard layout ideas will realistically work in your space.
  • Establish a budget so you can find features that fit within the parameters of what you want to spend.
  • Research the cost of materials to understand what is and isn't possible within your budget.
  • Understand the maintenance needs of your backyard design ideas, as some may add more work to your plate than expected.
  • Factor in your area's climate to help you choose plants and greenery that will thrive in your backyard.

Once you've evaluated your space and budget, the fun begins. Here are some backyard landscaping ideas on how to beautify your space.

1. Create a Focal Point

Sel Alex Nye 022 Wb Trn Railing Cb Lighting Fascia Trexmoments Social Contest Winner Gathering Friends Climbing Tree 1280X1280
PinterestSave

Consider adding a unique focal point to your backyard landscape ideas. Standout features like a rock garden, statue, tree, or bird bath that will catch your guests’ eye and set the tone for how they should feel in your space.

2. Add Tropical Plants for Backyard Resort Vibes

Cq5dam Web 1280 1280 1
PinterestSave

If your climate allows, add some tropical greenery for a year-round vacation vibe. Plants like caladiums, elephant ears, and begonias can combine to create gorgeous garden beds throughout your backyard. Remember to consider your local climate and choose greenery that will thrive in your environment.

3. Use Tall Plants and Blooming Bushes for Natural Privacy

Trn Germanyultsch 32 Im Sunset Jpg 1000X1000jpg
PinterestSave

If you value your privacy but don't want to invest in solutions like walls and screens, try adding tall greenery to your yard. Planting arborvitae trees or privet shrubs are two backyard privacy ideas that’ll create a natural barrier between you and your neighbors.

4. Add Texture with Hardscaping

T95qhuvce5mkugza
PinterestSave

To give your backyard a more dynamic and interesting look, incorporate hardscaping elements such as gravel paths, stone patios, or stamped concrete. These elements add depth, texture, and contrast to your outdoor space and can also serve functional purposes like creating gathering areas or walkways.

5. Create an Outdoor Living Room

Cq5dam Web 1280 1280 4
PinterestSave

Enjoy the outdoors in style by incorporating a backyard living room with rugs, furniture, or even a TV area that will make your yard the best of both worlds. All the comforts of home coupled with the fresh air will take your outdoor space to the next level.

6. Embrace the Elements With a Fire Pit or Water Feature

Cq5dam Web 1280 1280 3
PinterestSave

Elemental focal points like a water feature or backyard fire pit offer instant visual appeal while creating spaces to gather and relax throughout the day. Just keep in mind the level of upkeep that may come with larger backyard landscaping ideas such as a koi pond, as well as the need for additional plumbing to run features like motorized fountains.

7. Define Spaces With Containers and Planters

Cq5dam Web 1280 1280 4 1
PinterestSave

To combat hard-to-grow soil conditions, add visual appeal to your backyard, and even create distinct areas within your space, invest in planters that work with your outdoor style. From terracotta pots to rail-mounted planters, you can add a touch of green wherever you see fit through different planter ideas for your backyard.

8. Choose a Color Palette

Cq5dam Web 1280 1280 10
PinterestSave

Keep your designs consistent with decorations that fall into an outdoor color palette. Try a light blue and white backyard color palette for a seaside look, or dark greens and browns for a more natural visual style.

9. Attract Pollinators with Wildflowers, Native Plants and Structural Elements

Sig Modern 006 Wd Decking Sig Bk Glass Railing Lighted Post Caps Plants Jpg 1000X1000jpg
PinterestSave

By planting wildflowers and native plants, you can bring in pollinators like bees, butterflies, and birds that will help your garden thrive while benefiting the environment. You can also add elements like birdhouses or bee houses to your design to improve your chances.

10. Create Shaded Areas With Plants and Arbors

Cq5dam Web 1280 1280 9
PinterestSave

Make sure your guests have somewhere to get out of the hot sun by adding shaded areas. Planting trees creates natural shade, but you can also think outside the box and add an arbor covered in plant life for a hybrid between natural and man-made cover.

11. Incorporate Your Deck or Patio Into Your Landscape Design

Cq5dam Web 1280 1280 14
PinterestSave

If you already have a deck, the look of its design will affect your space's overall appearance. (If you don't, consider building a deck to expand your landscaping options and level up your backyard.)

Backyard landscaping ideas with decks often incorporate natural-colored boards and deck shapes that complement their surroundings, or use on-deck elements such as planters to tie in the greenery of the landscaping with other areas of the backyard.

12. Use Vines and Climbing Plants to Create Vertical Interest

Cq5dam Web 1280 1280 18
PinterestSave

Your yard's aesthetic goes beyond eye-level. Add lattices or trellises covered in climbing plants like ivy, clematis, or wisteria for a natural vertical statement piece to your yard.

13. Consider Grass and No-Mow Alternatives

Cq5dam Web 1280 1280 21
PinterestSave

Your lawn is the base for your yard's overall look. Different types of grass have different growth patterns, preferred climates, fertilizer needs, and potential issues, so the type you choose can impact your yard’s maintenance time and overall vibe. You can also look into no-mow grass alternatives for backyards like clover, thyme, river rock, or even wood chips to create a unique look and cut down on upkeep.

14. Illuminate Your Backyard With Lighting

Cq5dam Web 1280 1280 2
PinterestSave

Weave creative backyard lighting ideas into your design, such as railing lights, riser lights on your stairs, or even recessed lighting for a minimalist look that lets you enjoy your backyard at any time of day.

Get More Inspiration for Designing Your Backyard


Popular Planning Articles
Building Permits

IRC Code Requirements For Decks

Residential properties have certain code requirements that must be met before building a deck known as the IRC. Learn more about IRC building codes for decks at Decks.com!

How to Hire a Contractor

How to Find & Choose a Deck Contractor

Finding a good contractor to build your deck doesn't have to be hard. Learn how to find a contractor and what to expect when working with one at Decks.com.

Building Permits

Residential PSF Deck Requirements

For a residential deck, the code requires it be designed to support a minimum 40-psf live load. Learn more about how much to put on a deck psf at Decks.com.

Next Step: Porches & Patios Articles
Porch Building

How to Build a Patio With Stone or Brick Pavers

Planning and installing a DIY brick or stone paver patio is a big project. Learn how to build a paver patio from start to finish here.

Porch Building

How To Build a Gazebo

A gazebo can be a great addition to your outdoor space. Learn the basics of how to build a gazebo for your space at Decks.com!

Porch Building

12 Backyard Gazebo Ideas

Gazebos are a great way to create a focal point in your backyard. Get ideas and inspiration before you start your gazebo project.

Get more helpful resources delivered right to your inbox

Explore Articles by Topic

Popular Planning Articles
Contracts

Contractor Problems? How to Communicate with Contractors and Handle Disputes

When working on a large construction project, there are bound to be bumps in the road. Learn how to handle disputes with a contractor with Decks.com.

How to Hire a Contractor

How to Find & Choose a Deck Contractor

Finding a good contractor to build your deck doesn't have to be hard. Learn how to find a contractor and what to expect when working with one at Decks.com.

Building Permits

IRC Code Requirements For Decks

Residential properties have certain code requirements that must be met before building a deck known as the IRC. Learn more about IRC building codes for decks at Decks.com!

Next Step: Porches & Patios Articles
Porches

9 Conservatory Design Ideas for Indoor/Outdoor Living

Conservatories are a great way to ensure that you (and your plants) can soak up the sun all year round. Get inspired with conservatory design ideas.

Porch Building

Parts of a Porch

Porches, just like decks, have a lot of different & important parts. Learn more about the anatomy of a standard porch with this article from Decks.com.

Porch Building

How To Build a Gazebo

A gazebo can be a great addition to your outdoor space. Learn the basics of how to build a gazebo for your space at Decks.com!

Get more helpful resources delivered right to your inbox

Explore Articles by Topic