Creating a backyard landscape can be daunting, but with these 9 tips and ideas, you'll be able to develop a backyard garden space that you can love for years to come!
9 Layout Tips and Ideas for the Perfect Backyard Landscaping
"My extravagance is my garden - It’s the first thing I look at every morning when I wake up. It gives me so much pleasure." — Ina Garten
Whether you call it a backyard or a garden - the area around your house can be used for all sort of things and can be cultivated as a relaxation area with a few tips.
Gardening is relaxing, good for the environment, and brings you a little bit closer to nature - even if you're not growing vegetables! When you’re a beginner gardener, there are several simple ways to create a garden that will save you time, money and headaches.
A smart layout can help you even more to grow and maintain a backyard landscape that meets all your green needs. To make the best out of your outdoor space, think like a designer.
Use a designer’s perspective to envision your outdoor space as you would your interior. Here are 9 layout ideas to help you get a great head start:
1: Use Trees and Shrubs of Different Sizes for Visual Variety
Trees are the “accent” of the landscaping world. In a small yard, a large stately tree provides you with shade and also gives you a place to draw the eye.
We love these apple trees for warm climates, or you might consider a peach tree or a fig tree (pictured above). Either way, creating double duty with a fruit tree will give you a beautiful landscaping piece while also producing food for your family!
For larger spaces, you want to use different sizes of trees and bushes, to give your yard flow, as you would any other room in your home.
Give yourself a rustic fairy-tale flare with an elevated deck and plant hanging trees like willows along your walkway.
2. Deal with Tough Slopes by Using Rocks and Covering It with Flowers
Slopes seem trickier than they really are. If you’ve got a sloped lawn, create a stone staircase that breaks into a rock garden wall.
You can use these stones as a space for raised beds.
The stones could also serve as space for potted plants or trees, and young plants that are to be transplanted for later. Alternatively, Japanese Yew, California Lilac, and Snowberry are all plants that will thrive even if planted along a slope.
3. Work Seating in Naturally with a Rock Wall or Wooden Benches
Get more value from your garden by placing a comfortable throne for overlooking your leafy kingdom (when the hard work is done). But before planning out your seating area think for which purpose you’d want to use the space.
Will you be using it to entertain guests? Will you want your kids to play in this area? Do you want the space to serve as a place of retreat after all the yard work?
A functional seating area could give you and your family a place to sit and relax as you admire the beauty of the garden. It will be a good place to think of future garden plans as well.
After determining the purpose, get into the design details. You may choose to install a wooden deck, or paving stones, to make a home for your lawn furniture.
If you’re the DIY sort, try repurposing and installing a few rustic wooden benches, or even a wooden bench swing in your backyard space. Add a trellis or fence for some privacy, and turn it into the perfect space for reading, resting, or having some outdoor fun!
4. Create Seasonal Variety in Each Garden
Any experienced gardener knows that there will be times where your garden looks a little less lustrous. But this isn’t an excuse for your garden to have a “bald spot”.
When planning your layouts, include a variety of flowers or plants. This ensures you’ll have a garden filled with different blooms all year long. As you plan your garden, try not to use more than three colors in your choices. Mix flowers and plants that grow all year in with plants for at least three seasons.
You don’t want plants that crowd each other out, but you want to ensure a variety of colors and types all year round.
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5. Use Tougher Plants for Unpredictable Weather
If you’re in a climate known for unpredictable weather, it’s a good idea to mix in hardier plants. Know your area, and the climate you’re working with.
If your yard is lacking in shade, and you have a hot summer to look forward to, stick to dahlias and lilies, which will stay bright even as the temperature rises. Lavender, catnip, sage and foxglove are great choices if you live in a colder climate.
You can also keep your herbs indoors during weather that isn't favorable for them!
6. Pick a Design Theme and Stick to it
Like your interior design, you’d want your garden to have a flow, and be intriguing to the eye. Apply the same design principles considered in interior design when creating a layout for your garden.
You can use this to avoid a cluttered space. Stick to using three colors and three textures if you do not want to bombard anyone’s visual senses. A stone walkway with flowering shrubs can make a charming statement as it leads from your home to the street, or to a backyard deck or gazebo.
If you have space, you can take the time to create different garden plots or make use of different planters to denote different zones in your garden.
These 12 garden gate designs can help solidify your backyard garden feel!
7. Make Space for Everyone In The Family
The garden should be a joyful space for the whole family, so consider all the needs of your family as you make your plan.
Create some quirky paths in your garden space, with paving or a wooden deck. That will give your kids space so they can run or ride around. Don't forget to plan for your existing play equipment!
Choose a space in the garden that’s designed to be kid-friendly. Lay down some turf, and choose easy-maintenance and hardy plants and shrubs.
Have the kids help you choose plants in colors and types they like, and help you with the gardening. Create an outdoor art gallery with a high fence so the whole family can display their works!
Consider your pets and farm animals as well! Make space for dogs to run, and a safe cat enclosure.
Do you raise goats or chickens? Think about what they need to be happy and healthy, including space, enclosures, and plant life.
8. Grow Up Where You’re Short on Space
What if you don’t have much space to work with? The best way to use the space you do have is to grow up!
Go with hanging plants and a trellis. Stay away from huge, stately trees and try a Prairifire Crabapple tree or Camellia Japonica. You can even choose potted fruit trees for a patio or deck, such as blueberries!
Choose Petunias Tidal wave or Nasturtium Flame Throwers for your small hanging trellis. And give some curb appeal to your tiny front garden with some daylilies, nasturtiums, and oriental lilies planted around the fence or paving stones.
If you want to grow vegetables, you can trellis any vining produce, such as cucumbers, pumpkins, cantaloupes, and green beans!
9. Get More from Your Vegetable Garden
Companion planting is a method where different vegetables are planted together to benefit each other in a symbiotic relationship.
It’s a great way to handle a space issue in your yard, and also a better way to get a better yield. Planting veggies with your flowers and herbs lead to a healthier garden overall.
It’s also a great way to fill up raised beds, and add a variety of color and texture to your vegetable plants. Try to keep plants that are in the same family together – keep cabbage with other leafy green plants, and plant natural pesticides like lemongrass and mint in with it.
When designing your outdoor living space, and planning your backyard gardens, your first concern should always be to know what will grow, and how you intend to use the space.
Whether you want your garden as an outdoor oasis, a space to grow your own food, a place to raise livestock, an extra play space for kids and family, or a combination of all five (multipurpose), remember that your purpose should be accommodated by the design.
It takes a bit to sit down and plan, but your initial effort will pay off for the long-term when you can sit back and simply enjoy the view!