Ideas & Inspiration

Backyard Landscape Ideas

How to Plan Your Backyard Landscaping
A landscape design sketch for a backyard.

Before you head to your local The Home Depot to buy plants, patio furniture or landscaping supplies, you need to have a plan. You don't need to be a professional landscape designer to develop landscape design ideas. An easy way to develop a landscape plan is to sketch it down on paper.

  • Measure the backyard area you want to landscape and transfer the basic dimensions to graph paper.
  • In one corner of the paper, mark the direction north. This will help you remember the type of sunlight parts of the landscape get during the day.
  • Mark the position of fixed features such as buildings, trees, driveways, yard entrances, hardscapes and irrigation systems.
  • Sketch in areas you want to add to your landscape. Include large features like water features or hardscapes you want to add. Roughly sketch in new garden beds or areas in which you want new trees or shrubs.
  • Add in the details. Color in trees, shrubs and garden beds, as well as, patio areas. This will help bring the landscape plan to life. Sketch in the details of the paver stones or brick. These details will help you envision the overall picture. 
  • Make a list. Now that you have a plan of your landscape, you can head to your local Home Depot to get all the tools and supplies for landscaping your backyard.
Backyard Landscaping Ideas
A woman pushing a shopping cart in a garden center.

If you’ve sketched the basic dimensions of your lawn and still have no idea how to landscape your backyard, no worries. Here are some affordable and fun backyard landscape ideas that will give your backyard the makeover it deserves and increase the curb appeal of your home.

Use Walkways and Pathways

Create a memorable walkway through your back yard with a simple path. Not only will a path guide a visitor through your backyard, you can use them to divide large areas into several smaller, more easily managed sections. This will help create the illusion of a larger space and add architectural interest. You can use a variety of materials for your path: pavers, crushed rock, bricks, stone or a more affordable option, mulch.

Add Water Features
A stone fountain on a patio.

A water feature can foster relaxation and peace in your landscape. A simple water feature, such as a fountain, will help attract different kinds of birds and pollinators to your garden. It’s also a good way to add an attractive focal point to your yard. 

Cover Eyesores with Screens
White screens covering an air conditioning unit.

If you’ve been looking for a way to hide an air conditioning unit or electric meters, this is a great opportunity to use a screen. A screen can be a built structure or a series of planted trees or shrubs. A strategically placed trellis screen or a row of evergreen hedges can hide less attractive areas in your landscape.

Use Plants to Soften Hard Edges
Flower containers on a deck.

If you have a deck or large, sharp-edged structures in your backyard, add perennial garden beds or native plants to soften the edges. Tall perennials such as ornamental grass, sedum or black-eyed Susan will add a soft, natural screen around a deck or retaining wall.

Make an Entrance with a Gate
A white fence surrounded by flower gardens.

First impressions are lasting impressions. An easy way to set the tone and feel for your entire backyard garden is with an entryway. Nothing welcomes a guest to your outdoor space like a gate or arbor. A gate or arbor is not just a functional outdoor doorway – it can also be an artistic statement.

Warm Up a Space with a Fire Pit

A fire pit can transform your back patio design into an extension of your living space. There are many ways to incorporate a fire pit into your landscape design. You can have a stationary pit built from pavers or stone or a prefabricated metal fire pit that’s mobile. Fire pits are a perfect addition for any outdoor living space.

Add Some Shade
A pergola with white drapes and patio furniture.

Create a shady resting spot in your landscape with a pergola. Pergolas add architectural interest while also providing cooling shade. If building a pergola is not in your plans or budget, consider getting a pavilion instead. Pavilions are easy to install and will quickly transform a backyard into a crowd-pleasing entertainment area. Best of all, pavilions are mobile and can be placed anywhere in your landscape without much effort.

Create a Seating Area
Outdoor furniture with red cushions.

Create a seating area on a patio or among your flower beds. Patio furniture is available in many styles and colors. Create several seating areas in your landscape so you have ample opportunity to take a seat and admire the various views.

Landscape Lighting
A landscape light unit in a garden bed.

Landscape lighting can extend living space physically as well as visually. When you add light to a dark backyard, it visually pushes the boundaries of a house and highlights the beautiful areas of your landscape. Not only does landscape lighting offer additional security and visual appeal, it allows you to use your backyard long after the sun goes down.

Plant a Vegetable Garden
A woman working in a raised garden bed.

Grow your own vegetables and flowers. Raised garden beds are wonderful ways to add to your landscape design. Delineate the garden borders with edging, stone, pavers or a decorative fence for a strong visual impact. Trellises and obelisks are a great way to add hardscapes to your garden that are functional as well as beautiful.

Having a beautifully landscaped backyard isn't as hard as you think. With the right tools and a solid plan, you can create an affordable landscape that will boost the curb appeal of your home. Stop by your local The Home Depot store for more backyard landscape ideas and view more of our guides for recommended lawn care tasks.