Backyard Landscaping Ideas

5 backyard landscaping ideas: pictures of parterre gardens, a unique water feature, ideas for creating a focal point in the home landscape, tips for using curved lines, color, and garden art.

1. Add a Water Feature

Unique homemade water feature.

Handmade water feature made from a pail suspended over a bed of river rocks surrounded by clipped balls of Plumbago.

backyard water feature can be as individual as you are and can be scaled to fit the available space. You can purchase a ready made fountain or design and construct your own.

A simple design like the one in the image above will still make a big impact on your backyard landscape design.

Stone pool and fountain.

The owners of this home constructed this pool and fountain from stones they found on the property.

You’ll find more backyard landscaping ideas for river rock water features, here.

Waterfall Landscape Design

2. Plant a Parterre Garden

Box parterres filled with white roses.

Box parterres filled with white roses in the backyard of a South African home.

Parterres make a garden seem formal and organized. Something about coralling plants inside beds bordered by low, clipped hedges appeals to our sense of order.

The beds in the image above are square but they do not have to be. Parterres can be clipped into any shape or pattern you desire.

Ligustrum parterres filled with Strelitzia reginae.

Parterre Maintenance

will be greatly reduced by choosing the right planting material in the first place.

Buxus, yew and cotton lavender are all good low hedging materials.

This backyard landscape design features Ligustrum parterres filled with bird of paradise plants.

The parterre has been pruned so as to be wider at the bottom than at the top. This pruning method insures that light touches every leaf and prevents dieback.

grape arbor stretches across the back porch, framing the door.

Rectangular parterres filled with Delphiniums and foxgloves.

Here, rectangular parterres filled with Delphiniums and foxgloves adorn a deep, narrow yard. The wooden bench at the far end of the gravel path makes a nicer focal point than the wall it sits in front of and gives weary visitors a comfortable place to rest.

Using spiky plants or a mixture of species keeps these formal beds from seeming too fussy and precise. For a more elegant display, fill each bed with a single species.

3. Establish a Focal Point

A white garden bech backed by a dark green hedge.

There are natural and man made focal points. A natural focal point is any point to which the eye is naturally drawn. Find these by looking at your backyard from the vantage points from which it is most often viewed: your kitchen window, back porch or deck, etc.

These natural focal points are the best positions in which to place man made focal points.

Backyard Landscaping Idea

Placing a light-colored or shiny focal point in front of a plain, dark surface will cause it to stand out.

To highlight it even more, frame it by placing an arbor in front of it.

A Japanese tea house is the focal poin of this backyard.

A man made focal point is any beautiful or interesting object or planting you have positioned so as to draw the viewer’s eye to a particular part of the garden.

In the image above, the Japanese tea house is the focal point.

Any number of items from a sculpture to a flowering tree may be pressed into service. Just remember that the landscape surrounding the focal point should match its style and enhance it.

For instance, the tea house above would be out of place in an English cottage garden, but a doll house-styled potting shed would fit right in.

4. Show Off Your Curves

A curvaceous back lawn.

View from the back patio onto the curvaceous lawn.

There are several good backyard landscaping ideas at play on this property:

  • The juxtaposition of straight and curved lines. The patio and bright blue wall are rectangular while the adjoining lawn is gently curved.

    Its shape is emphasized by the low hedge which borders it. The rounded tree crowns add more curves to the design.
  • The height of the feature wall and of the plants in this garden has been carefully controlled so as not to block the stunning mountain view.

    Always take advantage of great natural scenery. Doing so will not only increase your enjoyment of the property but its resale value as well.
  • Notice the artistic touches thrughout this backyard: the wooden roof covering the patio, the metal railing and the blue feature wall.

5. Using Color and Art

Blue feature wall.

This bright feature wall acts as a backdrop for the homeowners garden art and succulent plant collection. It is a beautiful expression of individualism and creativity in the landscape.

Being a personal rather than a public space, the backyard is the perfect place to experiment with bold color combinations or quirky art objects. You can relax and be your true self as few people aside from members of your own household are likely to view it.

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