46 Backyard Landscaping Ideas

Need backyard design inspiration? Try these backyard landscape ideas for a sloped, shady or boring backyard.

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May 27, 2020

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Photo By: Warwick P Hunt

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Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

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Photo By: Warwick P Hunt

Photo By: Warwick P Hunt

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Photo By: Warwick P Hunt

Photo By: Warwick P Hunt

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Subtle Terracing in Backyard

This backyard benefits from the subtle use of various textures on its terraces that ups the excitement level.

Learn More : Tips for Working With a Sloped Yard

A Family Backyard Built for Fun

A modern hammock sits in this open backyard with trees and tall shrubs for shade. A round, tile hopscotch court and an outdoor chalkboard makes this a great place for the whole family to relax.

Welcoming Water Features

Creating a naturalistic stream and waterfall adds movement, noise and wildlife to the backyard landscape that will be enjoyed by the entire family.

Chic Rock Garden

Garden walls of horizontal wood slats provide a screen and create a focal point in this garden space. A water feature offers soothing sounds.

Add Color With Plants and With Design Features

Trees, shrubs and outdoor pillows bring color to this neutral modern patio. A forsythia tree boasts bright yellow flowers; a shrub with purple leaves bursts with jewel tones; and orange pillows add more warm color.

Botanical Bliss

This large outdoor deck is painted a dark charcoal color that subtly separates it from the home’s charcoal exterior. Wrapping the beams of the pergola in climbing vines adds a botanical transition from the outdoor living area to the adjacent yard.

Learn More : 35 Deck Design Ideas

Rustic Backyard

Perfect for entertaining, this rustic, funky backyard has an outdoor kitchen made from reclaimed wood with a built-in grill as well as a bar with metal stools. A custom stage also made from reclaimed wood overlooks a grassy lawn and a lounge area.

Outdoor Warmth

An outdoor fireplace creates a cozy place to gather after sunset extending evening entertaining long into the night.

Elevated Deck With Shade

This elevated deck features a stone border with ornamental plants. White curtains provide shade, making this outdoor dining area a comfortable place to enjoy a lovely meal.

Family Friendly Outdoor Entertaining Space

This Atlanta, Georgia backyard is fully equipped for outdoor entertaining with an outdoor entertaining/grill area, a trampoline, fire pit and seating area for guests, landscaping and even a tumble mat for children.

Cottage Charm

This lovely backyard includes a hot tub with a surround built to match a custom-built pergola and bench seating. which even includes built-in planter boxes full of colorful hydrangeas.

Dream Deck

A sprawling two-level cedar deck and brick patio anchored by an outdoor fireplace and pergola provide ample space for al fresco dining and relaxing with friends or family. To soften all the hardscape, Chris Lambton and crew pushed back the wooded area to make room for a raised bed filled with perennials for year-round appeal and blooming annuals for color.

Hip California Backyard

A modern rock garden, rows of succulents and restful geometry create a cozy-meets-chic backyard retreat. An ipe wood screen creates a focal point and draws the eye to a water feature. A shaded corner offers a great spot to relax.

Contemporary Tiers

Terraced tiers evoke a sense of peace, excitement and interest in this urban backyard.

A Balanced Succulent Garden

A collection of succulents adds color and texture to this backyard that balances a variety of textures from pebbles to wood to a natural rock fountain.

Mediterranean Backyard

Contemporary pendant lights hang under a covered patio in the dining area of this Mediterranean-style backyard. An outdoor grill station with a patterned tile backsplash sits to the right of the pool.

Mod Outdoor Patio

Outdoor art punctuates the landscaping along this privacy wall. An outdoor dining space continues the sleek, contemporary look.

Modern Backyard

A wall of horizontal wood slats turns this restful water feature into a backyard focal point. The garden's modern design features succulent plantings set amid smooth stones. A seating area in one corner offers a shaded spot to enjoy the garden's sights and sounds.

Succulent Garden

Wood platforms situated in the natural rock bed create a comfortable walking path by this succulent garden. The small plants feature rich tones of green and purple adding instant life to the space. Bamboo stalks shooting up against the wall add height to the area.

Create an Easy Backyard Playhouse

A canvas teepee creates a backyard summer playhouse for children to enjoy from spring through fall.

Backyard Vegetable Garden

A well planned backyard vegetable garden plot can yield a bountiful harvest of vegetables from spring into fall. A variety of crops, such as tomatoes, squash and herbs, will flourish in a well watered and sunny spot.

Personal Space

Create your own special space that combines gorgeous garden features with the comforts of home.

Something Useful for a Backyard

A small backyard greenhouse is a good spot to start early vegetables and flowers. Once the weather warms, the door and windows can be left open to increase airflow.

Garden Family Room

If you have a large backyard, you may have room for an outbuilding to use as a guest room, playhouse or private retreat. Furnish it with comfortable furniture to create a relaxing home away from home.

Courtyard Garden

A level backyard lends itself to a courtyard effect and multiple outdoor "rooms."

Steep and Shady

What some homeowners would see as deficits — a sloped and shady backyard — these homeowners have turned into assets. This tranquil, restful escape from busy city life features a path that winds through groves of 'Knock Out' roses, butterfly bushes, azaleas and areas of visual interest, from a koi pond to a bird bath, along the way.

Learn More : Garden Tour: A Shade Garden in Atlanta

A Newfangled Answer to the Back Deck

Old and new architectural styles combine in this striking backyard Southern pavilion. The focal point (#1) is the striking fireplace. A woven, seagrass rug (#2) softens the space. Water-resistant furniture (#3) makes sense in this space exposed to the elements.

Create a Garden Oasis

Pick and place a potting shed with an eye to the overall design of your garden and yard, so that it doesn’t sit out there like a lonely, disconnected outbuilding. The materials, design and placement of this shed tie it to the surrounding Asian-style garden.

Get Creative With Design

Think outside the big box when it comes to backyard design. Customize prebuilt sheds and other outdoor features for your own taste and needs. For under $100 and a quick trip to the hardware store, an ugly shed was transformed into this fun tiki hut by covering it in reed and straw.

Incorporate a Fire Pit

Fire pits can work in all kinds of backyard schemes, on decks, poolside, in a lush forest setting and in a vast clearing.

Consider a Shed for a Staycation in Your Backyard

Designer Egypt Sherrod created this charming shed in her Atlanta backyard to provide a close-to-home escape.

An Non-Traditional Poolscape

If you're interested in adding a pool to your backyard landscape consider all of the ways you can design and include items like firewalls, fire pits, outdoor kitchens, cabanas and garden elements to incorporate the pool into the landscape.

Family-Friendly Backyards

Create a backyard that both adults and children can enjoy. Areas for both play and relaxation will work for all ages, if the space is well designed.

Water Works

Exotic foliage surrounds the edges of this small backyard pond.

Backyard Pond Is a Tranquil Garden Feature

A pond can be a beautiful, calming feature in a backyard if the space is large enough. It will help attract wildlife and a variety of surrounding plants can be used to offer color and texture.

Surround a Backyard Grill With Beauty

Entertaining in the backyard is a favorite pastime of family and friends. A patio can easily be adapted for an outdoor eating area by adding a grill, table and chairs.

Double Duty Building

This clever structure combines an outdoor shed for stashing gardening equipment and a treehouse for a little extra fun.

Long and Winding Path

A winding backyard path is the perfect way to explore the many different areas of the yard. The path can go from the house, past a dining table, to a shed and around to a play area, all surrounded by plantings.

Secret Hideaway

A path leads the way to a nestled backyard playhouse.

Deck the Yard

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.

Live in the Trees

Is your backyard graced with large, sturdy trees? Then maybe what you need is a treehouse. DIY designs range from simple, open-air decks to fully-finished spaces complete with plumbing and electricity.

Create Areas of Interest

A backyard featuring a garden shed and swing add multiple areas of interest to this outdoor space.

Make Your Fire Pit a Focal Point

Fire pits create a wonderful focal point for an outdoor gathering space and add warmth to backyard gatherings on cool evenings.

Learn More : 30 Cool Fire Pit Ideas

Shady Retreat

Work with the landscape and light to create your ideal backyard escape. Landscape designer Jamie Durie removed the lawn from this shady backyard and then filled the space with tropical plants, a floating lounge and a daybed.

Moss Garden

Moss gardens mean even shade is no deterrent to green. Moss makes a beautiful border in this Japanese garden and requires no mowing, leaving more time for meditation.

Create a Homesteading Oasis

The owners of this tin roof chicken coop wanted to create a home for their chickens and guest houses for visiting bluebirds. The homeowners said landscaping was a key factor in placing this chicken coop on the far side of the garden. The height of the coop creates a separation between the yard and the street that runs behind the next-door neighbors' yard. The building works as both a privacy screen and has the added advantage of looking like a charming shed or rustic playhouse.

Learn More : 24 Fabulous Backyard Chicken Coops

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