Even though it’s not covered by the roof, your backyard is an amazingly advantageous and (potentially) beautiful extension of your home! It’s a place to grow and share food with loved ones, make long-lasting memories and enjoy the everyday beauty that comes along with it.
Vine-climbing trellises, multi-level waterfalls, stonewall fire pits, and calming backyard ponds are all great additions to any modern garden design. Whether you want a complete backyard garden makeover or maybe just a little facelift, these backyard garden ideas will spark the botanist in all of us!
Creating the Perfect Backyard Garden
Our fast-paced digital culture is trying to reach us as soon as we open our eyes. For years, we have flocked to the outdoors as a place of solace from this crazy world that we call ours. Recent travel restrictions have made it hard to leave home and nature lovers like us have begun turning their stale, abandoned backyards into lively, little pieces of heaven.
Throughout this article we will be covering some tips and design ideas for the following:
- Backyard Garden Design Basics
- Mastering the Backyard Zen Garden
- Fantastic Backyard Flower Gardens
- Backyard Vegetable Garden Tips
- Radiant Backyard Rose Gardens
- Living Backyard Gardens
Before you dive in, it’s important to note that starting a garden is no easy undertaking. The outfits may be pastel-colored and adorned with daisies but there is a hard-working person under those clothes! You will need to be realistic in mental endurance, physical capabilities, and time constraints. More than the initial installation of vegetable boxes, pond rocks and statues is the continued maintenance, love, and nurturing needed for each plant moving forward. But don’t let this deter you. As soon as your botanical babies thrive and blossom, no matter how much dirt and sweat you had in your eyes on Day 1, it is worth it!
Let’s get planting!
Backyard Garden Design Basics
First and foremost, you have to decide on the placement of your garden. It is your garden and you should be able to enjoy it when and where you want to. When making this decision you should also think about access points, possible seating areas and if you would like to see your garden from inside your home. Some yards may not offer this type of freedom with placement due to size or other fixtures, but if at all possible, your garden should be exactly where you want it.
Once you have an idea of where you’d like your little sprouts to be, you will need to see how much sun exposure that area gets throughout the day. The amount of sun exposure, as well as the composition of the soil, will determine what type of plants will thrive in that area. You will also want to decide on whether or not you will be installing a sprinkler system. If not, you should make sure that you have a hose long enough to reach all areas of your garden. To know if your ideal spot is also ideal for your city, make sure to call Dig Safe at 811 and verify that there are no important cables or lines in your yard. If the city approves the area, then you are ready to start laying out the design.
Using thin rope or twine and small stakes is an easy and affordable way to design and redesign, the look of your new backyard garden. After the stakes are in place, marking off the new garden bed, there are many ways to remove or smother the grass. The method you choose will depend on multiple factors, but personal preference is usually the driving factor.
Once the grass has been removed and the soil is ready for planting, new gardeners should focus on not overcrowding the seeds. The seedlings may look a little too far apart in the beginning, but the space is necessary for growth. When planting you will want to make sure that the ground is not compacted and oversaturated. You will know that the ground is too wet if you can squeeze it into a ball and it does not fall apart.
Mastering the Backyard Zen Garden
Over time many people have adopted the amazingly beautiful aspects of Asian culture and design. This fact is exceptionally true when referring to the traditional Japanese gardens, or Zen gardens. Intended as spaces of mediation and reflection, these peaceful backyard sanctuaries are simple and refreshing, calm yet thought-provoking, and designed with a strong purpose.
Every design element is focused on creating Zen. Walkways tell a story and are used to encourage thought. They are paramount in the design of Zen gardens and play an important role in the dreamers’ experiences and mental journey throughout the garden. Zen gardens find their symmetry through asymmetry. If there is a rock placed on one side of the path there will be a tree planted on the other. This offset showcases the different shapes, sizes, and lives expressed in nature.
There may be no vibrant colors throughout a traditional Zen garden, but radiantly red Japanese maples are a must. Traditional Zen gardens also refuse the use of any man-made or unnatural objects like glass or painted wood. Each of the four elements should be represented throughout the path as well: fire, water, wind, and earth. Of these, the most important is water. The fluidity of water is said to mimic the mind, floating along with its own thoughts, welcoming paths to new beginnings. If there is no way to have water throughout your backyard garden path, light-colored sand directed by rows of rock and pebble can be used to recreate the idea of a stream.
Fascinating Backyard Flower Garden Designs
The lack of color in a Zen garden might not be for you, and that’s ok! Maybe, the focus of your garden is going to be vibrantly beautiful flowers, which is so much fun! And if this is the case, using height to your advantage is important. All gardens thrive with an array of different-sized plants. Varying the height of your flowers not only increases the depth of your garden but the excitement as well! There are so many height and width options for flowering plants that even the smallest garden can appear extremely full.
To avoid what some landscape designers call the ‘clown-pants’ look, it’s recommended that you keep the same type of flowers together. Planting them together allows the individual groups of flowers to shine. If you are going to be planting multiple types of flowers close together, it’s recommended to plant them in groups of no less than three.
You can enjoy season-long colors with annuals and perennials. Perennials are a type of flower that comes back year after year. Annuals on the other hand only live for one season. Staggering the types of flowers and their planting times can create color all year long! A great tip is to look for perennials that have pretty foliage, this way they are not ‘unattractive’ to you after their blooms have passed. For more great tips on flower care check out The Old Farmer’s Almanac Growing Guide.
Backyard Vegetable Garden Tips
If you’re ready to prosper from your backyard garden investments, read on! Vegetable gardens are a great way to bring love and life into your home all year round. The food from your garden can be used to encourage the little chefs at home, at work, at school, and with others in your local community.
Successful backyard vegetable gardens are well planned and easily accessible. The design should be calm, organized, inviting and aesthetically pleasing. Well-designed beds and paths are a must. With at least 30” set aside for walkways between planters, the planter boxes themselves should be less than 4’ wide. These measurements ensure that you’re not leaning into the soil while tending to your future foods, or squeezing past someone else along the path. If you need help building planter boxes of your own you can check out this 5-minute video that teaches you how to build custom raised backyard garden beds!
Most veggies grow best in full sun so it’s best to place them in a spot where there will be at least 5-6 hours of sunlight a day. This can be a difficult feat for some homeowners with small yards. If you’re running into the issue of space vs. sunlight, it’s a good idea to run your planters in a North-South direction to achieve more sun exposure. When planting your vegetables, you need to be mindful of their height and light displacement. Make sure you place short and tall vegetables next to each other in a way that they don’t overshadow each other throughout the day.
Radiant Backyard Rose Gardens
Roses are a beautiful addition to any backyard garden, but their beauty abounds when they are the start of the show! Roses come in hundreds of varieties ranging in style, size, shape, smell, and texture.
Roses love a sunny area with good drainage and lots of organic fertilizer. While they are all gorgeous, it’s not a great idea to have one of each. Some roses are climbers while others like to stay a little closer to the ground. Choosing friendly varieties that work well together will be much more gratifying than a bunch of mismatched classes that do not grow well together.
Keeping the soil moist is important for all roses, but watering them nonchalantly can cause more harm than good. When you water you will want to do so evenly, keeping the water directed at the base and avoiding the foliage. To defend against common diseases like powdery mildew and black spot, it’s recommended that you prune regularly to avoid overcrowding and allow for air circulation through all parts of the bush, plant, or vine.
Living Backyard Gardens
For those of you that want a little more wild in your life, it would be a good idea to establish an ecosystem that you can interact with. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are frequent flyers in habitats with lots of native plants and little mess. Birds will be happy to stop by and feed on fruiting trees, take dips in small pond baths, and snack on accessories filled with nuts and berries. Planting bigger trees like evergreens can offer shelter and create nesting sites for all kinds of wildlife.
Start Creating Your Unique Backyard Garden Oasis
Whether your backyard is used for quiet morning Tai-Chi practice, late-night salsa dancing, or growing the town’s biggest watermelon, you can design a backyard garden oasis that brings peace and happiness into your life. You will be spending days, and maybe some nights, tending to your new loves and we believe that you should choose plants and garden accessories that you love. No matter how big your space is, the design options really are endless. Our wide selection of solid-colored cushion covers can accent any color scheme and bring life into any seating arrangement. Even though this article has been filled with rules about placement and accessories, the space is ultimately yours and we recommend that you make it you-nique!