59 Backyard Ideas (Photo Examples)

Below you can access a backyard ideas overview gallery showcasing a huge variety of options for your yard. Nothing is in-depth; it’s an overview gallery of ideas.

If you’re looking for more in-depth, access our specific galleries above or below. The toggle button below opens up an extensive summary gallery of ideas.

Backyard Structures

The first step to adding luxury and functionality to your backyard is determining if you have the space to add any permanent structures. Large yards may have space for a large covered patio or a gazebo, while smaller backyards might find that a privacy screen or patio fireplace is just what they need.

Gazebos

Gazebos are an elegant addition to larger yards, and can feel cramped in smaller yards, unless the gazebo is your only patio space. Gazebos are often mistaken for pergolas and pavilions, but the difference lies in that gazebos are covered and typically have decorative, polygonal roofs.

This cedar gazebo is nestled at the edge of the home's property nearest to the forest beyond. A crisp brick walkway leads up to the entrance to the gazebo.

This cedar gazebo is nestled at the edge of the home’s property nearest to the forest beyond. A crisp brick walkway leads up to the entrance to the gazebo.

This white hexagonal gazebo features a small planting bed around it and brightly colored hanging baskets of flowers are displayed near the front. Built in benches provide seating.

This white hexagonal gazebo features a small planting bed around it and brightly colored hanging baskets of flowers are displayed near the front. Built in benches provide seating.

A seaside gazebo flanked by evergreen topiaries and bold red flowers. The view from this structure is gorgeous. Truly a center of outdoor entertaining.

A seaside gazebo flanked by evergreen topiaries and bold red flowers. The view from this structure is gorgeous. Truly a center of outdoor entertaining.

A poolside gazebo attached to the main concrete patio by means of a simple wooden foot bridge with no railings. The property is surrounded by tropical flora and overlooks the sea.

A poolside gazebo attached to the main concrete patio by means of a simple wooden foot bridge with no railings. The property is surrounded by tropical flora and overlooks the sea.

Fences

Fences are a must-have for homes with close neighbors or for homeowners who desire privacy or own pets or children that need to be corralled in the yard. They come in many different styles, materials, and heights, so it’s best to do a little research before you pick out your new fence.

We’ve got the perfect guide to get you started picking out your favorite fence.

This tall, solid privacy fence is in a beautiful, rich stain and is punctuated with wooden trellises and a succulent planting bed.

This tall, solid privacy fence is in a beautiful, rich stain and is punctuated with wooden trellises and a succulent planting bed. Source: Zillow Digs™

This privacy fence is in a much lighter stain, but the slats are staggered to allow the breeze through. This is a great design for areas that see severe weather.

This privacy fence is in a much lighter stain, but the slats are staggered to allow the breeze through. This is a great design for areas that see severe weather.

A simple picket fence may be all you need, particularly if it's backed by a thick hedge for privacy!

A simple picket fence may be all you need, particularly if it’s backed by a thick hedge for privacy!

Pergolas

Pergolas are often mistaken for gazebos or pavilions, but the distinction here is that pergolas are made to provide a semblance of structure over a small patio area. They are uncovered on top, with interlocking beams. For those looking to add a bit of shade to a pergola, try weaving fabric between the beams.

Love the way pergolas look?

This white pergola is nestled above a small garden patio and bedecked with hanging baskets, climbing vines, and thick beds of flowers. The structure of the pergola is made up of trellises.

This white pergola is nestled above a small garden patio and bedecked with hanging baskets, climbing vines, and thick beds of flowers. The structure of the pergola is made up of trellises.

A poolside pergola above a small wicker dining set. The pergola doesn't provide a lot of shade, but is the perfect small, unobtrusive structure to hang a wrought iron chandelier.

A poolside pergola above a small wicker dining set. The pergola doesn’t provide a lot of shade, but is the perfect small, unobtrusive structure to hang a wrought iron chandelier.

This large pergola is attached to the narrow back veranda and extends over a larger patio area. This pergola adds a bit of grandiose style to this patio, drawing the eye upwards.

This large pergola is attached to the narrow back veranda and extends over a larger patio area. This pergola adds a bit of grandiose style to this patio, drawing the eye upwards.

Patios

If you plan to entertain outside, a nice, stable patio area is a must have. They are a solid, clean surface to place patio furniture on, and stand out against the landscaping of your yard. There are dozens of types, styles, and materials to consider, so you’ll want to do some research!

Want to weigh your options? Check out our definitive patio design guide!

A lovely brick patio with a mosaic type layout. This patio is spacious, with plenty of space for two lounge chairs, a dining set with an umbrella, and lots of decorative containers of flowers. The patio is shaded by several mature trees, but looks out onto the yard.

A lovely brick patio with a mosaic type layout. This patio is spacious, with plenty of space for two lounge chairs, a dining set with an umbrella, and lots of decorative containers of flowers. The patio is shaded by several mature trees, but looks out onto the yard.

A shaded, quaint cottage style patio with large format flagstone tiles and a green striped awning. A hedge along one side hems in the relaxation area.

A shaded, quaint cottage style patio with large format flagstone tiles and a green striped awning. A hedge along one side hems in the relaxation area.

A large open patio tucked into a private garden. Steps lead down from the wooden deck. The outdoor patio complete with plenty of seating is overlooked by a balcony and screened-in sunroom.

A large open patio tucked into a private garden. Steps lead down from the wooden deck. The outdoor patio complete with plenty of seating is overlooked by a balcony and screened-in sunroom.

Patio Fireplaces

And what’s a patio without a crackling fireplace? Fire pits are the the most common form of providing outdoor warmth, but an outdoor fireplace can be just as nice. Your guests will love sitting in front of a warm fireplace to chat on a summer or fall evening.

Patio fireplaces are just beautiful. Find more outdoor patio fireplace ideas here.

This elegant patio fireplace is attached to the main home, creating a small bump out. The fireplace is screened in, preventing any crackling or popping embers from escaping.

This elegant patio fireplace is attached to the main home, creating a small bump out. The fireplace is screened in, preventing any crackling or popping embers from escaping.

This fireplace is built into a concrete wall and takes on a much more rustic look when paired with the hanging, trailing flowers flowing like a waterfall over the roof.

This fireplace is built into a concrete wall and takes on a much more rustic look when paired with the hanging, trailing flowers flowing like a waterfall over the roof.

This fireplace is built against the side of the home's stone facade, blending perfectly. It extends through the top of the wooden roof of the patio and has a raised hearth that matches the brick of the patio.

This fireplace is built against the side of the home’s stone facade, blending perfectly. It extends through the top of the wooden roof of the patio and has a raised hearth that matches the brick of the patio.

Decks

Patios are nice, but a raised sundeck might be a better option for many families. Decks typically have railings and are constructed out of wood. They need a bit more maintenance than a stone patio, but the style and beauty they add to your home is well worth it, particularly if your property is a little hilly.

There are so many different styles of decks; if you’re interested in building a deck, check out your options.

A beautiful wooden deck with a latticed screen around the lower part to keep out rodents and other pests. The deck is in a rich cedar stain and has plenty of space for several seating areas in addition to a hot tub.

A beautiful wooden deck with a latticed screen around the lower part to keep out rodents and other pests. The deck is in a rich cedar stain and has plenty of space for several seating areas in addition to a hot tub.

A smaller deck with stairs leading down to the lower section of the yard. A small seating area is positioned perfectly to enjoy the view of the expansive yard that ends in a thin forest.

A smaller deck with stairs leading down to the lower section of the yard. A small seating area is positioned perfectly to enjoy the view of the expansive yard that ends in a thin forest.

A raised deck overlooking a swimming pool. This deck is surrounded on all sides by a railing and has several different tiers.

A raised deck overlooking a swimming pool. This deck is surrounded on all sides by a railing and has several different tiers.

Sheds

If you’re into gardening, a shed might be the perfect small structure to include on your property. It’ll keep all your gardening supplies out of the garage and close to the very place you need the most: the garden!

An adorable spring-green garden shed decked out with lots of containers of flowers and gardening accessories. A small pink table rests against one outer wall, a great workstation!

An adorable spring-green garden shed decked out with lots of containers of flowers and gardening accessories. A small pink table rests against one outer wall, a great workstation! Source: Zillow Digs™

This garden shed is built at the corner of the property, facing the raised wooden beds of vegetables and herbs nearby. The designated garden area is kept visually separate from the grass lawn

This garden shed is built at the corner of the property, facing the raised wooden beds of vegetables and herbs nearby. The designated garden area is kept visually separate from the grass lawn. Source: Zillow Digs™

This garden shed is actually fenced off by a decorative fence in addition to a privacy fence that surrounds the yard. Nearby is an arbor and plenty of potted trees.

This garden shed is actually fenced off by a decorative fence  in addition to a privacy fence that surrounds the yard. Nearby is an arbor and plenty of potted trees.

This pretty red shed is built to resemble an old country barn, and has cute shutters and a dark slate roof.

This pretty red shed is built to resemble an old country barn, and has cute shutters and a dark slate roof.

Painted a bright green, this ramshackle garden shed stands out against the surrounding planting beds. A small picket window box and a matching bench stand out against the bright green.

Painted a bright green, this ramshackle garden shed stands out against the surrounding planting beds. A small picket window box and a matching bench stand out against the bright green.

Garden Bridges

There are many reasons to add a small garden footbridge to your yard, but the best reason is probably to bridge the gap over a small creek running through your property. Of course, bridges are used in zen gardens as well, some of which do not have any water whatsoever.

Check out all the great ways that garden bridges are used in garden designs!

An ornate concrete bridge across a wide but shallow and slow-moving creek. This bridge connects two sections of an expansive, lush garden.

An ornate concrete bridge across a wide but shallow and slow-moving creek. This bridge connects two sections of an expansive, lush garden.

A much more rustic bridge with a high arch above a crystal clear, shallow creek.

A much more rustic bridge with a high arch above a crystal clear, shallow creek.

An ornate stone footbridge over a small creek leading into a pond. Stones piled up on either bank keep the bridge stead and in place.

An ornate stone footbridge over a small creek leading into a pond. Stones piled up on either bank keep the bridge stead and in place.

This simple Asian style footbridge leads from a circular patio to a small trail through the rest of the garden over a small pond fed by a stream.

This simple Asian style footbridge leads from a circular patio to a small trail through the rest of the garden over a small pond fed by a stream. Source: Zillow Digs™

30z-backyard-pillar-post-bridges A small wooden footbridge connecting the flagstone pathway to a small stone outcropping. The bridge expands over a small koi pond in a Japanese Zen garden.

A small wooden footbridge connecting the flagstone pathway to a small stone outcropping. The bridge expands over a small koi pond in a Japanese Zen garden. Source: Zillow Digs™

Trellis and Lattice Structures

Trellis and lattices are great ways to create decorative vine displays, and are also great for growing grapevines, strawberries, and even tomato plants!

Want to see all the different ways to design using trellises or lattice?

An iron lattice is placed against a large open section of facade, and roses are trained to grow over each section. The result is a flaming display of roses around an elegant water fountain.

An iron lattice is placed against a large open section of facade, and roses are trained to grow over each section. The result is a flaming display of roses around an elegant water fountain. Source: Zillow Digs™

This tall trellis structure creates a tunnel of light pink roses that form a blanket above the small seating area to the rear of the tunnel.

This tall trellis structure creates a tunnel of light pink roses that form a blanket above the small seating area to the rear of the tunnel. Source: Zillow Digs™

This trellis is combined into an arbor and trained with flowering vines. It also has a wrought iron gate.

This trellis is combined into an arbor and trained with flowering vines. It also has a wrought iron gate.

Greenhouses

Like a garden shed, if you’re an avid gardener, you might like to have a greenhouse on your property. Greenhouses are particularly a great idea for gardeners who live in colder climates. The greenhouse’s glass doors and roof allow sunlight to warm the building, keeping climate sensitive plants healthy.

Check out all the fantastic ways to create a greenhouse in your own backyard!

An adorable red and white greenhouse with a small stone walkway out front. The greenhouse is separated from the rest of the yard by a small, ankle-high hedge

An adorable red and white greenhouse with a small stone walkway out front. The greenhouse is separated from the rest of the yard by a small, ankle-high hedge. Source: Zillow Digs™

A small white greenhouse the doubles as a gardening shed. This structure is placed upon the brick patio.

A small white greenhouse the doubles as a gardening shed. This structure is placed upon the brick patio.

This greenhouse has been combined with a sunroom for a conservatory feel. The building is attached to the rear of the house and is accessible from either the yard or from inside the home.

This greenhouse has been combined with a sunroom for a conservatory feel. The building is attached to the rear of the house and is accessible from either the yard or from inside the home.

An enormous white greenhouse that is mainly used for cultivating brightly colored roses.

An enormous white greenhouse that is mainly used for cultivating brightly colored roses.

Another lovely greenhouse with green structural beams, but the bottom section is built in stacked stone, giving it an all together different appearance.

Another lovely greenhouse with green structural beams, but the bottom section is built in stacked stone, giving it an all together different appearance. Source: Zillow Digs™

Garden Patios

While similar to a patio, a garden patio is a type of patio that is kept separate from the home and is accessible only by walking through the garden on a pathway. They’re great private refuges that allow homeowners to relax amongst the beauty of their landscaping.

This lovely, small patio is tucked behind leafy plants and tall flowers in great variety. To the right is a man-made creek with a small fountain. This spot is perfectly relaxing with the addition of white noise.

This lovely, small patio is tucked behind leafy plants and tall flowers in great variety. To the right is a man-made creek with a small fountain. This spot is perfectly relaxing with the addition of white noise.

A secluded patio tucked underneath a pergola and lit by strands of twinkling lights in addition to small lights tucked into the trees beyond.

A secluded patio tucked underneath a pergola and lit by strands of twinkling lights in addition to small lights tucked into the trees beyond.

Another secluded patio underneath a large white pavilion. A small chandelier hangs from the center above the coffee table.

Another secluded patio underneath a large white pavilion. A small chandelier hangs from the center above the coffee table.

Privacy Screens

Privacy screens are the perfect way to create a secluded spot to entertain or relax even in a small yard. In larger yards, privacy screens can be used to segment off a section of the property for a specific purpose.

A private seating area is enhanced by adding a wooden screen to one side. Trailing vines draw the seating area back into the garden.

A private seating area is enhanced by adding a wooden screen to one side. Trailing vines draw the seating area back into the garden.

This latticed screen is decorated with a strand of lights and punctuated with contemporary containers of ornamental trees.

This latticed screen is decorated with a strand of lights and punctuated with contemporary containers of ornamental trees. Source: Zillow Digs™

These lighted privacy screens make a serious statement when added to a garden or patio. They're best placed in patios where the landscaping is simplistic, so they don't compete.

These lighted privacy screens make a serious statement when added to a garden or patio. They’re best placed in patios where the landscaping is simplistic, so they don’t compete.

Privacy screens come in a wide variety, and these bamboo shades are the perfect way to combine the need for a privacy screen with an existing pergola structure.

Privacy screens come in a wide variety, and these bamboo shades are the perfect way to combine the need for a privacy screen with an existing pergola structure.

Pavilions

Pavilions are the last of the trio of often confused structures that also includes gazebos and pergolas. The difference between pavilions and the other two structures has to do mainly with size, but gazebos are typically not enclosed on the side and feature complete roofs that are similar to the roof on a home.

Pavilions are a great place to relax with family and friends. Find more pavilion ideas here!

A massive pavilion strung with lights to create a magical glow during large events. The pavilion has tons of furniture in a variety of different seating arrangements.

A massive pavilion strung with lights to create a magical glow during large events. The pavilion has tons of furniture in a variety of different seating arrangements. Source: Zillow Digs™

This large pavilion breaks the rules a tad by adding a railing, but that is due to its position on at floating bridge. This pavilion is a great place to stop and admire the landscape.

This large pavilion breaks the rules a tad by adding a railing, but that is due to its position on at floating bridge. This pavilion is a great place to stop and admire the landscape.

A tiny rustic pavilion with a built-in picnic table. This small area is the perfect spot to stop for a picnic lunch while on a hike.

A tiny rustic pavilion with a built-in picnic table. This small area is the perfect spot to stop for a picnic lunch while on a hike.

A beachside pavilion with lots of lounge chairs beneath. The rocky shores lead into the pounding surf.

A beachside pavilion with lots of lounge chairs beneath. The rocky shores lead into the pounding surf.

This stilted pavilion rests alongside a bridge across a large marsh and overlooks the beautiful mountainous region on either side of the marsh.

This stilted pavilion rests alongside a bridge across a large marsh and overlooks the beautiful mountainous region on either side of the marsh.

Arbors

An arbor is simply an arch-shaped trellis that’s meant to cover part of a pathway. They’re purely decorative, but with a bit of imagination, an arbor can be the jewel of your backyard or garden.

Find the perfect arbor to add elegance to your backyard garden with our guide to arbors.

A beautiful white arbor tucked into a massive hedge wall, creating a portal through to the other side of the garden, a large courtyard. Along the flagstone path leading to the arbor are small but thick plants.

A beautiful white arbor tucked into a massive hedge wall, creating a portal through to the other side of the garden, a large courtyard. Along the flagstone path leading to the arbor are small but thick plants.

This is a much more simple design, with a top similar to a pergola. The sides are covered in dense vines that merge into the planting beds on either side.

This is a much more simple design, with a top similar to a pergola. The sides are covered in dense vines that merge into the planting beds on either side.

This arbor is a little thicker and has much wider lattices on either side. It's the perfect accompaniment to this thick, colorful garden.

This arbor is a little thicker and has much wider lattices on either side. It’s the perfect accompaniment to this thick, colorful garden.

Backyard Garden Ideas

If your backyard is a little smaller or you’re looking to add a little bit of beautification while still sticking to a tight budget, you might want to consider adding more flower beds, potted plants, or other solutions for adding color and variety to your existing garden.

Flower Boxes

Flower boxes are a simple way to make a big impact anywhere you have a window. They’re perfect for adding bold pops of color in a very targeted way. With so many ways to personalize a flower box, it’s a great way to spruce up your home.

These bright white wooden window boxes are simply constructed, which allows the lovely lavender pansies to take center stage.

These bright white wooden window boxes are simply constructed, which allows the lovely lavender pansies to take center stage.

This is a simpler design. The window box itself is wrought iron with lovely scrollwork, but the geraniums are planted separately in terra cotta pots before being placed in the box. This makes it easy to swap out flowers when needed.

This is a simpler design. The window box itself is wrought iron with lovely scrollwork, but the geraniums are planted separately in terra cotta pots before being placed in the box. This makes it easy to swap out flowers when needed.

This is a simple black window box overflowing with trailing vines, brightly colored flowers, and some taller plants for texture and height.

This is a simple black window box overflowing with trailing vines, brightly colored flowers, and some taller plants for texture and height.

Terraced Gardens

Terraced gardens aren’t an incredibly popular feature outside of agriculture or large, public ornamental gardens, but they’re a great way to landscape a hilly yard, and they’ll help keep your soil in place and reduce runoff from your property.

This garden has tall terraces that lead up the hill at the back of the property. Stairs built at the center help the homeowners get up to the higher terraces to water or fertilize.

This garden has tall terraces that lead up the hill at the back of the property. Stairs built at the center help the homeowners get up to the higher terraces to water or fertilize.

The stone terraces lead along the side of the house following the shape of the walkway running alongside it.

The stone terraces lead along the side of the house following the shape of the walkway running alongside it.

Flower Planters

Adding the proper planter full of colorful flowers is a great way to spruce up any yard or patio. Depending on the size of your yard and your personal style, there are a lot of interesting objects that can be transformed and upcycled into beautiful, unique flower pots or planters.

This antique, rusted wagon is filled with a large varieties of flowers, including a few taller varieties to give the display height.

This antique, rusted wagon is filled with a large varieties of flowers, including a few taller varieties to give the display height.

If you prefer a more simple approach, some ceramic, brightly colored planters might be just the ticket.

If you prefer a more simple approach, some ceramic, brightly colored planters might be just the ticket.

Even an old clawfoot bathtub can get new life as a planter. This idea is perfect for an eclectic or country garden.

Even an old clawfoot bathtub can get new life as a planter. This idea is perfect for an eclectic or country garden.

Container Gardens

Even if your backyard is a little small, with just enough space for a patio, you don’t need to abandon dream of brightly colored flowers decorating your outdoor living space. Container gardens are easy to assemble, care for, and even bring inside before the first frost.

Beautiful red, orange, and yellow standard tulips dominate this small arrangement of three terra cotta planters.

Beautiful red, orange, and yellow standard tulips dominate this small arrangement of three terra cotta planters.

Choosing planters of different heights, textures, and shapes is a great way to add subtle texture to a small container garden.

Choosing planters of different heights, textures, and shapes is a great way to add subtle texture to a small container garden.

Vary the colors and materials as well. Herb gardens do especially well in container gardens, as it's easy to keep the different herbs separate.

Vary the colors and materials as well. Herb gardens do especially well in container gardens, as it’s easy to keep the different herbs separate.

A container garden can even consist of smaller raised planting boxes. This garden is made low-maintenance by removing grass in favor of mulch and pebbles, with a few small planting beds for color.

A container garden can even consist of smaller raised planting boxes. This garden is made low-maintenance by removing grass in favor of mulch and pebbles, with a few small planting beds for color. Source: Zillow Digs™

Flower Beds

If you do have the space for showy displays of flowers, consider adding bold swaths of flowers in thick beds. They require some maintenance, but they’re totally stunning.

Explore the possibilities you have when you add a flower bed to your backyard.

This lovely garden has dozens of colors of flowers packed into beds that slowly merge together, creating a quilt-like pattern of delicate flowers.

This lovely garden has dozens of colors of flowers packed into beds that slowly merge together, creating a quilt-like pattern of delicate flowers.

While not as densely packed, this flower bed filled with daffodils provides much needed color to this manicured lawn.

While not as densely packed, this flower bed filled with daffodils provides much needed color to this manicured lawn.

If you prefer a smooth edge, use pavers to easily define your flower beds. Then feel free to allow your plants mingle in an explosion of color.

If you prefer a smooth edge, use pavers to easily define your flower beds. Then feel free to allow your plants mingle in an explosion of color.

Tulips come in incredibly bright colors, and when paired with smaller flowers that are just as vibrant, create a blanket of beauty that has few rivals.

Tulips come in incredibly bright colors, and when paired with smaller flowers that are just as vibrant, create a blanket of beauty that has few rivals.

Rose Gardens

Roses are classic choices for gardens, as they come in many colors and have large, showy blooms and a lovely fragrance that everyone loves. They also come in many different varieties, from large bushes to climbing roses that look fantastic on trellises.

Roses are traditionally beautiful.

This thick garden is just filled with many different kinds of roses, creating a classic, and no doubt fragrant garden.

This thick garden is just filled with many different kinds of roses, creating a classic, and no doubt fragrant garden.

These beautiful magenta roses look amazing when placed in front of a large, showy water fountain in a plaza.

These beautiful magenta roses look amazing when placed in front of a large, showy water fountain in a plaza.

Even in smaller planting beds, roses have a certain appeal. This display has light pink, red, and pale yellow blooms.

Even in smaller planting beds, roses have a certain appeal. This display has light pink, red, and pale yellow blooms.

This country estate is filled with slightly overgrown rose bushes, creating a magical and beautiful display.

This country estate is filled with slightly overgrown rose bushes, creating a magical and beautiful display.

Vegetable Gardens

If you’d rather start a vegetable garden, there are a lot of ways to make it easier on your knees and back. Vegetable gardens are rewarding in different ways than flower gardens, namely in that you can eat the fruits of your labor, rather than admire their beauty.

Try growing your own vegetables! Vegetable gardens come in all shapes and sizes.

This is an example of a classic vegetable patch with mulch between the rows of vegetables to ward off weeds. Some small flowers are complementary to vegetables, and keep pests away.

This is an example of a classic vegetable patch with mulch between the rows of vegetables to ward off weeds. Some small flowers are complementary to vegetables, and keep pests away.

If you prefer, you can add small planting boxes to keep your plants corralled and separate. Add cages for taller plants like beans and tomatoes.

If you prefer, you can add small planting boxes to keep your plants corralled and separate. Add cages for taller plants like beans and tomatoes.

These raised beds make it easier to keep certain plants separate and the soil free from weeds or volunteer plants.

These raised beds make it easier to keep certain plants separate and the soil free from weeds or volunteer plants.

Shrub Gardens

Not all gardens need to be rife with flowers to be beautiful. For those with severe pollen allergies, a simple green garden with bushes and ornamental trees is infinitely preferable.

If you have allergies but still love a lush garden, shrubs may be a great choice for you, so you can still enjoy your outdoor space.

This garden is filled with shrubs and bushes and has a small shrine to one side. At the center is a small pond surrounded by stones.

This garden is filled with shrubs and bushes and has a small shrine to one side. At the center is a small pond surrounded by stones. Source: Zillow Digs™

Just like with flowers, shrubs and bushes come in so many different textures, heights and shades that you can create a varied display easily.

Just like with flowers, shrubs and bushes come in so many different textures, heights and shades that you can create a varied display easily.

Small Gardens

As mentioned above, small yards can also have beautiful flower displays. You’ll just need to be clever about the way you plan out your displays to maximize the beauty while not sacrificing function.

Small gardens are perfect for vegetable gardens or flower beds, and are super manageable.

This vegetable garden is built in an L-shape in raised beds, taking advantage of a mostly unused corner of the garden by the patio

This vegetable garden is built in an L-shape in raised beds, taking advantage of a mostly unused corner of the garden by the patio. Source: Zillow Digs™

Hedges, topiaries, and other small shrubs are added in small, square sections of this zen garden

Hedges, topiaries, and other small shrubs are added in small, square sections of this zen garden. Source: Zillow Digs™

This garden is packed around the patio, leaving the rest of the yard for play.

This garden is packed around the patio, leaving the rest of the yard for play.

Large Gardens

Of course, if you have the space, you can really go all out with your designs. Add a pond, statues, larger trees, a pathway… it’s up to you!

For those with spacious backyards, a large garden is a way to make a statement.

This enormous garden really takes advantage of the space available, adding a pool, egret statues, and a large fountain in the back corner with a bench from which to enjoy it all.

This enormous garden really takes advantage of the space available, adding a pool, egret statues, and a large fountain in the back corner with a bench from which to enjoy it all. Source: Zillow Digs™

This garden extends into the distance, never seeming to end. A pathway of grass winds through the thick displays of ornamental trees, shrubs,and flower beds.

This garden extends into the distance, never seeming to end. A pathway of grass winds through the thick displays of ornamental trees, shrubs,and flower beds.

A simple gravel path winds through this thick garden and off into the distance. Vibrant color is center stage in this garden.

A simple gravel path winds through this thick garden and off into the distance. Vibrant color is center stage in this garden.

Gardens with Plants

Yes, most gardens do have plants, but there are a few that don’t, like some types of zen gardens. Either way, if you choose to add plants to your garden, you’re sure to have more maintenance than grass-only or zen gardens.

There are so many different ornamental plants that you can combine to make your own unique garden.

This contemporary garden is packed with dense grasses and plants, but not many flowers. The result is a mostly green, but relaxing garden with just a hint of fragrance.

This contemporary garden is packed with dense grasses and plants, but not many flowers. The result is a mostly green, but relaxing garden with just a hint of fragrance.

Large flagstones make up a pathway through this densely populated garden that includes shrubs, grasses, trees, and water-loving plants.

Large flagstones make up a pathway through this densely populated garden that includes shrubs, grasses, trees, and water-loving plants.

This garden is dense as well, filled with flowering ornamental trees and flowers with large, showy blooms.

This garden is dense as well, filled with flowering ornamental trees and flowers with large, showy blooms.

Rock (Alpine) Garden

Rock gardens, or Alpine gardens, favor landscapes with hills, lots of large rocks or boulders, and naturally growing plants found in those environments.

Have a hilly backyard?

The rocky landscape of this garden is covered in moss with a few small trees. The stone steps and pathways are marked with a railing for stability.

The rocky landscape of this garden is covered in moss with a few small trees. The stone steps and pathways are marked with a railing for stability.

The enormous boulders in this garden are used to facilitate a lovely multi-tiered waterfall. The land between is filled with bushes, water-loving plants, and some flowering shrubs.

The enormous boulders in this garden are used to facilitate a lovely multi-tiered waterfall. The land between is filled with bushes, water-loving plants, and some flowering shrubs.

This zen garden focuses namely on sand and stone, but has a few patches of sturdy, thick shrubs.

This zen garden focuses namely on sand and stone, but has a few patches of sturdy, thick shrubs.

Perennial Garden

Perennial gardens are filled with plants that live two or more years, meaning that new bulbs or plants won’t need to be planted every year, like in annual or biennial gardens.

Perennial gardens will flourish year after year.

A colorful garden with lovely daylilies, white daisies, and an assortment of other tall flowers.

A colorful garden with lovely daylilies, white daisies, and an assortment of other tall flowers.

Rows upon rows of daisies and cone-shaped flowers in salmon and red.

Rows upon rows of daisies and cone-shaped flowers in salmon and red.

Thick planting beds filled with many different kinds of flowers, and featuring a variety of colors and textures.

Thick planting beds filled with many different kinds of flowers, and featuring a variety of colors and textures.

Japanese Garden

Japanese gardens are known for being meticulously planned out and for having a structure based on scenes. As you walk through a Japanese garden, you are meant to take in each individual scene as a whole before moving onto the next section. They also tend to favor a natural, slightly overgrown look.

Some Japanese gardens, particularly Zen gardens, feature stones in the place of water features, but these rocks are meant to represent water.

Love the idea of a peaceful meditation garden?

Large, flat stones are placed into the water to form a path across to the next section of this lovely Japanese garden.

Large, flat stones are placed into the water to form a path across to the next section of this lovely Japanese garden.

A similar effect is achieved with this garden, although it is meant to look more refined and less natural.

A similar effect is achieved with this garden, although it is meant to look more refined and less natural.

This view shows a massive swath of this Japanese garden from across a large pond. Trees densely populate this large example.

This view shows a massive swath of this Japanese garden from across a large pond. Trees densely populate this large example.

Garden Lighting

If you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors during the evening hours, you may want to invest in some lighting options to ensure you or your guests aren’t tripping over plants or squashing more delicate plants.

Gardens need light.

Small lights hidden in short hedges provide light along a walkway, illuminating the path through the yard. These are typically solar.

Small lights hidden in short hedges provide light along a walkway, illuminating the path through the yard. These are typically solar.

Or, opt for larger lanterns around the yard. These give off much more light than smaller varieties, but are more visible during the day.

Or, opt for larger lanterns around the yard. These give off much more light than smaller varieties, but are more visible during the day.

Cactus Garden

If you’re looking for something low maintenance that can survive in dry climates, a succulent or cactus garden might be just the thing for you.

Love low maintenance gardens? Find out why a cactus garden might be the perfect solution for you.

Taller varieties of cacti are matched with flowering varieties and a few moss-covered logs.

Taller varieties of cacti are matched with flowering varieties and a few moss-covered logs.

This southwestern garden has all kinds of different varieties, and is sure to be a low maintenance garden.

This southwestern garden has all kinds of different varieties, and is sure to be a low maintenance garden.

This is a more manicured and planned garden filled with color and geometry.

This is a more manicured and planned garden filled with color and geometry.

Topiary Gardens

Topiaries require regular care to ensure they keep their shapes, but are a wonderful way to really make an impression in your garden.

This pyramid shaped topiary stands out amongst the many different shaped topiary in this garden.

This pyramid shaped topiary stands out amongst the many different shaped topiary in this garden.

Even hedges can be transformed into topiary art. This garden has arches formed out of the hedge walls.

Even hedges can be transformed into topiary art. This garden has arches formed out of the hedge walls.

Each of these hedges is shaped into little topiary balls that match the concrete ones in the center.

Each of these hedges is shaped into little topiary balls that match the concrete ones in the center.

Backyard Water Feature Ideas

Water features come in all shapes and sizes, and some are more functional than others. Whether you want to use your water feature for recreation or maybe a little white noise to relax to, we’ve got you covered.

Swimming Pools

Swimming pools are the largest water feature you can add to your backyard, and definitely the best option if you’re looking for recreational fun.

This massive swimming pool is elegantly landscaped and is plenty large enough for a pool party!

This massive swimming pool is elegantly landscaped and is plenty large enough for a pool party!

A more narrow swimming pool flanked by a row of large palm trees. Patio furniture along the side closest to the home rounds out the design.

This freeform infinity pool takes up the majority of this home's backyard, but also includes an attached jacuzzi.

This freeform infinity pool takes up the majority of this home’s backyard, but also includes an attached jacuzzi.

Water Parks

Water parks are among the most luxurious backyard recreational pools, and they require three things: a water slide, a waterfall, and a lazy river or cove for relaxing. These are pricey, and the ultimate in luxury.

This is a small water park, complete with a faux stone slide, a waterfall with torches and a pathway, and even a hot tub and a small cove.

This is a small water park, complete with a faux stone slide, a waterfall with torches and a pathway, and even a hot tub and a small cove. Source: Zillow Digs™

 An aerial view allows us to really see this private water park. It has a small lazy river, plenty of coves to play in, and a waterfall along the rocky edge with a slide hidden in those same rocks.

An aerial view allows us to really see this private water park. It has a small lazy river, plenty of coves to play in, and a waterfall along the rocky edge with a slide hidden in those same rocks. Source: Zillow Digs™

 This water park's slide is enormous! You're sure to get some momentum from that one before splashing into the separate splash pool! A waterfall trickles down from the hot tub.

This water park’s slide is enormous! You’re sure to get some momentum from that one before splashing into the separate splash pool! A waterfall trickles down from the hot tub. Source: Zillow Digs™

Ponds

Ponds are on the opposite side of the spectrum from water parks. They’re meant for decoration, not for play, and typically are used to set a relaxing mood with the soft trickle of a small fountain or waterfall cascading in to them.

A small fish pond with a bubbler at the center, keeping the pond aerated and suitable for fish life.

A small fish pond with a bubbler at the center, keeping the pond aerated and suitable for fish life.

A more expansive pond complete with a waterfall and plenty of water-loving plant life.

A more expansive pond complete with a waterfall and plenty of water-loving plant life.

Koi ponds are popular in Japanese gardens. This one features Japanese maples amongst a host of water-loving grasses and a single stone lantern.

Koi ponds are popular in Japanese gardens. This one features Japanese maples amongst a host of water-loving grasses and a single stone lantern.

Waterfalls

Waterfalls usually go hand-in-hand with backyard ponds, but many also involve natural or man made creeks. Either way, the gentle rush of water down the rocks is sure to soothe a stressed out mind after a long day at work.

Large diagonal stones, boulders, and stone slabs are positioned over this waterfall, giving it a unique, if somewhat eerie look.

Large diagonal stones, boulders, and stone slabs are positioned over this waterfall, giving it a unique, if somewhat eerie look.

A large stone waterfall flows into a backyard pond with stepping stones leading up to the bank.

A large stone waterfall flows into a backyard pond with stepping stones leading up to the bank.

A massive backyard waterfall that leads down from the main yard to a lower patio that is surrounded by water.

A massive backyard waterfall that leads down from the main yard to a lower patio that is surrounded by water.

 

Related Posts

Wonderwall: Why the World Needs More Gal Gadot

There‚Äôs the kind of fame you gain from playing heroes like, say, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. Eddie Redmayne can still pick up his own dry cleaning in a pinch, without…

Read more

LeBron James Makes a Splash with Record-Breaking Yacht Purchase following the 2022-2023 NBA Season

LeBron James and his infamous bulge have arrived in Italy. The Los Angeles Lakers star, 36, left little to the imagination while working out aboard a yacht Sunday afternoon. James…

Read more

Steph Curry Opens Up About His True Feelings on the LeBron James Rivalry

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry have written another chapter of their rivalry. With the Lakers defeating the Warriors in Game 6 on…

Read more

LeBron James’ Iconic NBA Draft and the Fate of Other Picks

LeBron James was picked No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Reuters   James is now in his 20th season and is still regarded as one the best players in…

Read more

Reggie Miller Sparks Debate: Stephen Curry’s Impact on NBA Basketball Surpasses MJ, Who’s Often More Recognized for His Shoes

Reggie Miller is one among the few from the older generation of NBA fans who believe that Stephen Curry has been more of a revolution than Michael Jordan. Advertisement   Stephen…

Read more

Oklahoma City Could Draft Bronny James And Sign LeBron James in 2024

The Oklahoma City Thunder have put together one of the most talented teams in NBA history in 2012. They had an MVP player in Kevin Durant, an All-Star and the…

Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *