Great Backyard Patio Landscaping Design Ideas

A backyard patio landscaping design is the icing on the cake. Plants soften a patio and add texture, color, height and interest. Consider using a combination of plants and lawn as this will cut down on the cost. If you love plants and want to have lots of them around your patio, that's great. Just be sure to leave some open areas for access to the back yard. In addition, don't forget walkways leading to the patio.

You will want to address landscaping for the following areas:

  • the patio itself
  • along the house
  • further out into the yard

This patio is almost completely surrounded by plants.

In all of the area mentioned above consider the use of trees shrubs, perennials and groundcover. You don't have to use all of them in all places.

  • Shrubs can offer color, flowers and winter interest (especially if they are evergreen shrubs).
  • The right perennial flowers can offer lots of color throughout spring, summer and fall.
  • Trees can provide height, shade, and ornamental features such as flowers, interesting bark or fall color.


I often add at least one interesting tree near the patio. I like the height and the welcoming feeling it provides...it can be quite charming. This can be a lovely shade tree which will have exciting fall color. It can also be a flowering ornamental tree. I have also used trees with interesting year round bark, such as a White Birch. I love to use River Birch for a backyard patio landscaping design since they create shade but you can limb them up so the branches do not crowd the area.

If possible, landscape part of your property so that while sitting on the patio you have either a nice view or an interesting focal point to look at.

  • Views may be as simple as looking through open lawn to an attractive rear planting.
  • A view may be a "borrowed view", where you are looking into an pretty area beyond your own property, such as mountains, a hillside, or a far off lake.
  • Focal points might be a nice bench, a water feature, a sculpture, or a pretty flower garden.

Your patio might extend right up to the house, or you might consider a planting bed to soften where the patio meets the house. This depends on the space that you have. You may not want to give up area to plants and prefer to have all patio for your backyard patio landscaping design. In either case make sure the patio is pitched correctly for drainage.

Most likely there will be a walkway leading to and from the patio. Wider widths are nice and the walk can have a few planting beds along its sides.

If your patio is in a hot, sunny area, you will want some shade. Here are a few ideas as to how to create shade:

Plant one or a group of three shade trees. Try to purchase them as large as you can afford. Include a outdoor pergola over your patio. The lattice on top should be fairly tight to keep out most of the sun's rays. Purchase a market umbrella. Actually any kind of umbrella will do, but I am partial to market umbrellas. Install an awning on your house. There are those that are electric and are very convenient.


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"Susan,  what a pleasure it was to work with you.  You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly!  Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant.  You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes.  Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"
Helen, Ontario-Canada 

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