Backyard landscaping is different than the front landscape in that it is typically less formal and often is designed for specific functions...like sitting outside and relaxing, for one! Entertaining is another thing it is geared towards, among other things.
It's wonderful to have a backyard garden design that has a special welcoming feel for you, your family and friends.
Many homeowners strive for this type of landscape, but don't know how to come up with backyard landscaping ideas that will create just that.
So what are the three most important parts of a backyard?
Don't forget to add special features to your landscape. I particularly like are sundials.
Patios are normally located right outside back of the house for ease of access to kitchen. Depending on how high up your kitchen floor (or any room accessing the patio) is, it might also be:
If you are very high off the ground, you are better off with a deck. Otherwise, you can use either one.
If they are both rather low to the ground, a patio will be less expensive. If the structure is a fair amount off the ground, then a deck will be the less expensive way to go.
The reason for this is the a raised patio must have side walls, which add on to the cost.
This outdoor pergola and patio that I designed was featured on the Nate Burkus show in 2011!
Outdoor Kitchen Island - there are numerous outdoor kitchen designs from the simplicity of a nice grill to the complexity of adding a sink, counters, refrigerator, and even an outdoor tv!
Here is a kitchen island kit offered by Oxbox Outdoor Kitchens that is
very basic and affordable, yet it can be custom tailored to your
backyard landscaping. The one you see here is an unfinished kitchen
island which had a stone veneer applied to match surrounding walls. They
can also be ordered completely finished with Stucco or tile!
Read more about gas grills.
Outdoor Fireplace - what can be better than sitting outdoors in your backyard landscaping and enjoying a fire on those chilly evenings?!
Pizza Oven - these are a lot of fun! See an amusing and fun pizza oven video on my outdoor kitchens page!
Patio Fire Pits - fire pits can be built in to the paving or they can be stand alone units. Some units are quite nice, and have the advantage of not taking up space in the hot weather when it won't be used.There are also units out now which provide a combination of fire and a water feature!
Hot Tubs - A great addition to your outdoor living space! It's best to locate a hot tub near the house for ease of winter use. In addition it should be well integrated into your landscape design.
Outdoor Pergola - Garden pergolas can create what seems to be an outdoor room. They can either be set alone or attached to the house or another structure. They can also provide much needed shade. A garden pergola can be a beautiful focal point in the landscape.
Gazebo - a great landscape feature and focal point.
Outdoor Garden Rooms - Different areas can create "rooms".
Garden Bridge - Add a wooden bridge to your back yard!
Outdoor Garden Benches - these make a special focal point! Read about the different kinds.
If you'd like to see some more detailed photos of backyard landscaping projects I designed, please visit any of the following pages. Go here to see an overview of these backyard landscaping designs.
This was a huge landscape design project which was completed in 2009.
It included extensive perennial flower gardens, a beautiful bluestone
staircase, stone retaining walls, numerous walkways and more.
In these pictures you will see a paver walkway leading to a two level
patio with outdoor kitchen, a lovely gazebo with stone columns, and
A dry laid, geometric bluestone patio and matching walkway were designed
and installed. A landing porch with bluestone steps and stone risers
allowed for a nice transition to the patio. There are also stone
Bluestone Patio and Seatwall
Looking for extensive backyard landscaping? This landscape includes a swimming pool, natural bluestone steps and walkways, a lovely pond with multiple waterfalls, and a pergola structure with arbor! And lots of perennials and other landscape plants.
Patio, Kitchen and Pergola
Think about adding a backyard fountain to your landscape. There is nothing like a water feature to make it special!
Bird Bath Fountains
Solar Bird Baths
How Do Solar Fountains Work?
Please also visit My Backyard Projects for more great backyard ideas and photos!
You will probably want some outdoor furniture also. Consider and learn about any of the following:
Aluminum Furniture - looks like iron but tough.
Wicker Furniture - for a traditional look
Teak Wood - a beautiful choice
Plantings can be simple or quite extensive in backyard landscaping. Even if you need open lawn space for children to play, the perimeter of your property can still be planted.
Perhaps you need some shade and want some landscape trees.
To get started learning about different plants, visit my page plants for landscaping.
If you are looking for some stunning patio designs, please take a look at my ebook Patio Plans For Inspiration!
Here are a few ideas for particular types of gardens. These may be individual areas by themselves or they might be incorporated into the rest of your backyard landscaping.
What would a landscape be without at least one bird feeder? Here is some information on different types to choose.
Bird Feeders - general tips
Thistle Feeders - for especially attracting those very yellow goldfinch
Window Feeders - great for watching the birds close up!
"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 !!! "
Do you have questions about landscaping your backyard? Whether it be hardscape design and materials, plantings, or anything else, just ask!
Click below to see what other visitors have asked.
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My back yard has 5 oak trees. When we planted these trees, we didn't realize how big they would get. The trees are around 30 years old. My problem is that …
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Here's a question about backyard playsets and play areas . We have three children ages 1,2 and 17. We have a yard that is our canvass. It is square …
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I live in zone 7, Northern Virginia, and I’d like to landscape my “suburban cookie cutter” yard with native plants to attract butterflies and birds. I …
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The house we are considering buying has a small yard -- about 20' flat and then it slopes up an additional 12' with a 6' retaining wall on top of that …
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Landscape Design Awards
Naturalistic Pool Award
Planting Design Award
Certificate of Merit
Formal Garden Award