Backyard landscaping, when done thoughtfully, can benefit your household and surrounding environment in many different ways. You can expand your living space into the outdoors and spend more time immersed in nature, which is great for your mental health. You can create more spaces to socialize and entertain your family and friends. And you can make your backyard a more eco-friendly and welcoming habitat in the process.
Read on for some of our favorite backyard landscaping and garden decor ideas– then get ready to enjoy your new backyard oasis with some of our outdoor cushion covers!
10 of Our Favorite Backyard Landscaping Ideas
1. Create a covered patio to provide protection from the elements.
Depending on your local climate, a fully-covered or partially-covered patio can help provide shelter from the rain or shade from the sweltering sun. You can keep it simple and hang a sail shade or construct a full-on covered patio with everything you need for indoor/outdoor living. Check out our covered patio guide for more specific ideas.
2. Transform your backyard into a natural habitat and incorporate native plants as much as possible.
The key elements of a natural backyard habitat are native plants, noxious weeds, pesticide reduction, wildlife stewardship, and stormwater management. In some places in the United States, like Portland, Oregon, you can take your environmental stewardship to the next level and participate in an official backyard habitat certification program!
3. Make a cozy firepit area.
A backyard firepit is a perfect place to gather with friends and family and create special memories together. Add some circular seating and waterproof outdoor cushion covers so that you can enjoy the gathering space throughout the year.
4. Build raised veggie garden beds and grow your own food.
A vegetable garden can help improve your health and save you money at the same time– it’s a win-win! In order for your veggie garden to flourish, use high-quality soil, choose high-yield vegetables, plant the right crops for your region and climate, and make sure they get plenty of sunshine and water.
5. Choose a more eco-friendly lawn.
Unfortunately, traditional grass lawns are not the most environmentally-friendly landscaping choice. In fact, each year in the United States, grass lawns consume nearly 3 trillion gallons of water, 200 million gallons of gas (via lawn mowing), and 70 million pounds of pesticides! Instead of a grass lawn, consider low-maintenance and cost-effective groundcover plants such as clover, evergreen moss, or native grasses. These alternatives are not only more environmentally sustainable but also more unique and visually interesting.
6. Add a pond or water feature to your backyard.
Whether it be a tiny zen container pond or a large creek-like pond, a water feature can really make your backyard feel like an oasis. It can provide a relaxing place to meditate and help welcome more wildlife into your garden. Read our article on backyard pond ideas to explore your options.
7. Incorporate a rock garden for visual interest and environmental sustainability.
A rock garden usually includes carefully placed rocks and drought-resistant plants. These types of gardens look great but require very little watering and maintenance. They are a great option for homeowners who aren’t blessed with a “green thumb.”
8. Create a butterfly garden to welcome more wildlife and biodiversity to your backyard.
To attract butterflies, you’ll need to plant a variety of nectar plants and host plants, plus include a water source. Different plants attract different species of butterflies, so you’ll need to do some local research and see what kinds of butterflies can be found in your area.
9. Build an outdoor kitchen to encourage more time outdoors.
When designing the layout of an outdoor kitchen, think about how the space will be used and how many people will be cooking at one time. When choosing appliances, consider what kind of food you plan to cook outside. You’ll also need to think about your local climate when you’re choosing between different materials, countertops, etc.
10. Turn your backyard into a luxurious retreat with a hot tub, pool, swim spa, or home sauna.
Read our guide to backyard pools for more specific landscaping tips and budget-friendly pool ideas.
Garden Decor Ideas to Top it All Off!
Once you’ve planned out the core elements of your backyard landscaping, it’s time to add some decor and finishing touches to bring it all together!
If you plan to enjoy your garden after hours, be sure to add some outdoor lighting for visual interest, comfort, and safety. Hang some twinkly string lights to set the mood, illuminate your walkways to minimize risks, and add planter lights to highlight your favorite plants or shrubs. Consider investing in LED or solar-powered lighting, as these options are better for the environment and more cost-effective in the long run.
Next, plan out some comfortable seating areas. Choose patio furniture materials that will hold up well against the elements, such as teak, eucalyptus, aluminum, wrought iron, or all-weather wicker. Finally, make your seating arrangements more comfortable and colorful with our wide selection of outdoor cushion covers. Some fun pops of color or festive patterns will help bring your outdoor spaces to life!
Lastly, consider some fun garden art, statues, birdbaths, fountains, or other decorative items to add a bit of extra personality and charm to your different outdoor areas. Read our complete guide to creating the perfect backyard garden for more garden decor ideas!
Backyard Fire Pit Tips & Inspiration
Backyard fire pits have been growing in popularity for many years, and for good reason. They’re a relatively easy and affordable addition and can provide countless hours of comfort and entertainment. Backyard fire pits come in many different styles to suit a wide range of budgets– from more simple wood-burning fire pits that resemble campfires to fancier gas fire pits built into tables, and everything in between. If you go with a gas fire pit or fireplace, you can choose between propane, natural gas, and gel fuel. For safety reasons, you’ll want to position your outdoor fire pit away from any buildings, overhangs, or trees.
Simple Landscaping Ideas & Tips for Beginners
Below are a few basic landscaping tips and ideas for those who are new to gardening:
- When shopping for plants, choose perennials that will come back year after year rather than annual flowers and shrubs that will die each year and need to be replaced.
- Opt for low-maintenance landscaping ideas, such as rock gardens or xeriscaping (planting drought-resistant plants in an arrangement that conserves water).
- Find out if your community has a mulch program– you might be able to pick up free mulch nearby! If not, start a backyard compost station to save money on the cost of mulch and make your garden more eco-friendly.
- Get creative and recycle old items like tires or barrels and turn them into unique planters.
- If space is limited, think vertically! Create or buy a vertical garden to grow a variety of flowers, herbs, and veggies on a small patio or balcony.
Bring Color to Your Outdoor Space with Fig Leaf
When all the landscaping is done and your new backyard oasis is ready to enjoy, invest in some colorful cushion covers so that you can sit back, relax, and take it all in! After all, what’s the point of a beautiful backyard without some comfortable places to unwind and appreciate it?!
Our outdoor cushion covers are durable, weather-resistant, and easy to clean so that your outdoor furniture will be comfortable and inviting throughout the year– and for years to come!