Backyard Landscaping Ideas

Add personality to your back yard with easy landscaping ideas and design plans.
Succulent Garden Feature Rich Green and Purple Toned Plants, Stone Bed and Wooden Platforms

Succulent Garden Feature Rich Green and Purple Toned Plants, Stone Bed and Wooden Platforms

Wood decking is a way to make a small backyard space warm and inviting. It creates a sophisticated look for an outdoor living and dining area right outside the home.

Photo by: Warwick P Hunt

Warwick P Hunt

Wood decking is a way to make a small backyard space warm and inviting. It creates a sophisticated look for an outdoor living and dining area right outside the home.

When it comes to backyard landscape design, the phrase, “business in the front, party in the back” applies.

Although we don’t want to compare your yard to a mullet haircut, the back of your yard – and for that matter, any part of your property that doesn’t face the street – is where you can use a more casual approach to landscape design and plans.

Consider backyard areas to be a blank canvas for exploring garden projects or even creating multiple hardscapes where little plant life (and maintenance) is needed. While the front yard landscaping typically adheres to the same architectural style as the back of your home, backyards can be anything you want them to be.

When drawing up plans for the landscape design of your backyard, size and topography are the most important considerations.

If your backyard is large and flat with few trees, perhaps you’d love to sod or sow it with a low-maintenance groundcover such as Bermuda grass and then focus on small gardening projects closer to your house structure. (Potted geraniums are perfect for summer spice and pansies are fabulous for fall flair.) A flat, open space can be divided into zones and assigned a purpose (i.e., summer vegetable garden, sitting area with bench, natural flower patch, English garden with hedge, etc. If too many pesky pine trees and their trails of cones and straw are getting in the way of your visions for a backyard full of flowering shrubs and full-sun perennial flowers, remember you can always cut down old trees and plant new ones.

If your backyard is on a hill, fencing and retaining walls can be great additions to your landscape plan. Embankments above retaining walls make great spaces for beautiful spreaders such as liriope, which stays green in the winter and sprouts purple buds in the spring.

For rocky terrain, flowers that enjoy the company of pebbles and stones work best. Try dianthus or alyssum for rocky soil areas. For drier terrain, hardy shrubs such as bee brush and flame honeysuckle can be your best friends.

Small backyard spaces can be manicured so beautifully (if looking for inspiration, just keep in mind what city dwellers do with tiny rooftop and balcony spaces) that size truly doesn’t matter. You may create a strip of grass surrounded by pencil hollies or a fence draped in ivy or simply fill every available inch with your favorite annuals. Or perhaps you’d rather go natural with stonework and pavers and sprinkles of violets? Either way, a small backyard can be a big asset!

It’s true that “anything goes” in backyard landscape design. Don’t be afraid to try new ideas in your backyard. Just remember that your backyard is part of your home’s overall curb appeal, even if it isn’t in view to every car or jogger passing by. Have fun, but keep it pretty.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Hillside Landscaping Ideas

Turn a hill into an asset with easy hillside landscaping ideas.

Desert Landscaping Ideas

Desert landscaping ideas for beautiful yards in dry climates

Cheap Landscaping Ideas

How to use inexpensive landscaping ideas to make your yard look great on any budget

Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Give your front yard curb appeal with landscaping ideas and design plans that showcase the front of your house.

Creative Landscaping Ideas

These mix-and-match landscape designs spark nontraditional creative ideas for your outdoor grass and garden spaces.

Landscaping Steps

Form meets function in landscape steps made from diverse materials.

Beautiful Backyard Landscaping and Pool

For homeowners who didn't simply want a pool in their backyard, designer Janice Parker created a one-of-a-kind outdoor space that complements the surroundings and still has everything the homeowners wanted.

Ideas for Sculpting Turf

Learn how to take your lawn up a notch with these beautiful ideas for sculpting and reshaping your grass and garden spaces.

Garden Landscaping Design Ideas

Create attractive gardens with easy garden landscaping design ideas.

Landscape Edging Ideas and Options

Edging ideas and options for every yard.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.


House Hunters

12pm | 11c

House Hunters

12:30pm | 11:30c

House Hunters

1pm | 12c

House Hunters

1:30pm | 12:30c

House Hunters

2:30pm | 1:30c

House Hunters

3:30pm | 2:30c

House Hunters

4:30pm | 3:30c

House Hunters

5:30pm | 4:30c

House Hunters

6:30pm | 5:30c

House Hunters

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Fixer Upper

9pm | 8c

Log Cabin Living

11:30pm | 10:30c

Fixer Upper

12am | 11c

Log Cabin Living

2:30am | 1:30c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.