101 Backyard Landscaping Ideas for Your Home (Photos)

Welcome to our backyard ideas page where we feature access hundreds of outdoor living spaces including decks, patios, balconies, porches, verandas, swimming pools, outdoor kitchens, gardens, plants, flowers, gazebos and other structures and more.

To date we’ve nearly covered everything imaginable for backyards and landscaping, but we’ll likely come up with more so be sure to check back regularly.

21 Ways to Create a Better Backyard
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21 Ways to Create a Better Backyard

  1. Plant Flowers, Shrubs, Cacti and Succulents
  2. Build a Deck
  3. Design and Construct a Patio
  4. Put in a Swimming Pool
  5. Add an Outdoor Kitchen
  6. Gain Privacy with a Beautiful Fence
  7. Build a Gazebo
  8. Use Retaining Walls as Garden Opportunities
  9. Stay Cool with an Awning
  10. Get Some Chickens
  11. Put in a Backyard Pond
  12. Landscape it Beautifully
  13. Create Walkways
  14. Add Light with Outdoor Lighting
  15. Make Your House Exterior Prettier
  16. Get Inspired with Aerial View Photos of Fabulous Houses
  17. Put in a Pergola
  18. Build a Shed that Looks Great and Gets Rid of Clutter
  19. Get or Build a Playhouse for Kids
  20. Go Up with a Treehouse
  21. Have Fun with a Playground
  22. Front Yard Ideas
    59 Backyard Ideas (Photo Examples)
    Backyard Structures
    Gazebos
    Fences
    Pergolas
    Patios
    Patio Fireplaces
    Decks
    Sheds
    Garden Bridges
    Greenhouses
    Garden Patios
    Privacy Screens
    Pavilions
    Arbors
    Backyard Garden Ideas
    Flower Boxes
    Terraced Gardens
    Flower Planters
    Container Gardens
    Flower Beds
    Rose Gardens
    Vegetable Gardens
    Shrub Gardens
    Small Gardens
    Large Gardens
    Gardens with Plants
    Rock (Alpine) Garden
    Perennial Garden
    Japanese Garden
    Garden Lighting
    Cactus Garden
    Topiary Gardens
    Backyard Water Feature Ideas
    Swimming Pools
    Water Parks
    Ponds
    Waterfalls
    Backyard Landscaping Ideas
    Retaining Walls
    Hedges
    Walkways
    Backyard Kids Activity Ideas
    Courts for Various Sports
    Tennis Courts
    Trampolines
    Playgrounds
    Yoga Studios
    Tree Houses
    Putting Greens
    Playhouses
    Swings
    Stargazing Stations
    Relaxation and Entertainment
    Backyard Furniture
    Hot Tubs
    Outdoor Kitchens
    Fire Pits
    Picnic Tables
    Hammocks
    Benches
    Adirondack Relaxation Spaces
    Saunas
    Animals
    Dog Houses and Kennels
    Bird Houses
    Bird Baths
    Chicken Coops
    Apiaries and Bee Hives
    Other Backyard Ideas
    Trees
    Sculptures
    Stone Steps
    Backyard Lighting
    Vines
    Palm Trees
    Fruit Trees
    Astro Turf
    Berry Bushes
    Grass
  23. Plant Flowers, Shrubs, Cacti and Succulents
     

Click here for our massive garden, flower, plant, shrub and cacti page.

One of our greatest backyard gardening features is our massive plant, flower, cacti and shrub database with well over 1,000 entries and is totally searchable.

You can search via perennials, annuals, sun and water requirements, hardiness zones, soil pH and much, much more.

The database or garden directory includes a photo of each flower or plant and in most cases a tutorial video along with all the key information.

If you’re planning a garden, our garden directory/database is a must-visit feature.

  1. Build a Deck
     

Click here for deck ideas

We have a spectacular deck designs photo gallery featuring hundreds of different deck designs.

Various features you can drill down your search for include size (small, medium, or large), flowers, railings, covered or uncovered, pergola, privacy screen and/or stairs.

If you’re looking for deck ideas, our deck gallery is a great resource.

  1. Design and Construct a Patio
     

Click here for patio ideas

Sometimes it’s not easy choosing between a deck and patio and sometimes you don’t have a choice.

A patio is only a viable option if you can build it flush on the ground.  If it needs elevating, you go with a deck.

Patios can more easily blend into the surrounding landscape of your hard.  You can use materials that further blend or stick out to create more contrast.  You have many options for patio materials such as brick, flagstone, cobblestone, tile and more as well as many colors, shapes, textures and design options.

Planning and designing a patio is a great task.

  1. Put in a Swimming Pool
     

Click here for pool ideas

Without tooting my own horn, our swimming pools gallery is one of the best on the web.  We showcase almost 1,000 swimming pool designs in all shapes, sizes, blues and features.

If you’re considering getting a pool built, our gallery is a must-see page because you will definitely get some great ideas.

  1. Add an Outdoor Kitchen
     

Click here for outdoor kitchens

For people who spend a lot time outside, an outdoor kitchen may well be the answer.

Yes, you can get a grill, but when it comes to outdoor kitchens, that’s just the beginning.  In fact, I don’t think having a grill qualifies as an outdoor kitchen.  You need more such as counters, a refrigerator… a dedicated prep and cooking space on your patio or deck.

While it’s still fairly novel, more and more people are building outdoor kitchens in their backyard.  Our outdoor kitchen gallery showcases hundreds of designs.

  1. Gain Privacy with a Beautiful Fence
     

Click here for fence ideas

There are a lot of backyard fence styles and designs to choose from.  It boggles the mind.

And it’s not some random mix of designs either.  There are solid fence classifications such as dog ear, scallop, flat top, lattice top, picket, shadow box, rail, and spaced picket.

On top of that, there are fence materials, the two biggies being wood and vinyl.

Then there’s purpose which is security, privacy, pool, decorative, garden or perhaps a combination.

The point being, a fence is not just a fence.  You need to carefully decide which fence is best for your backyard.

  1. Build a Gazebo
     

Click here for gazebo ideas

Not terribly popular, but can be a great addition on your deck, patio or in the yard.

Gazebos aren’t cheap, especially a quality cedar type, but if you enjoy eating outdoors, it can be a great way to get a covered outdoor dining space.

In fact, we had a gazebo growing up and used it all summer long.  While not huge, it comfortably sat 5 of us for dinner.  What was nice about it was the square table which makes for plenty of surface area for dining.  Check out our huge gazebo article and gallery.

  1. Use Retaining Walls as Garden Opportunities
     

Click here for retaining wall ideas

If you have any kind of a slope in your yard, you may consider building a retaining wall in order to landscape it and get more use out of it.

Retaining walls are a great way to get more surface area for gardens, sitting areas or other uses in the yard.  Typically they’re built for creating additional garden space.

We have 2 retaining wall articles.  One is our retaining wall gallery and the other is our retaining wall materials article.

  1. Stay Cool with an Awning
     

Click here for awning ideas

A covered deck or patio is really nice to have, especially an option that is retractable.  That’s what an awning offers and it’s great, but can be expensive.

Sometimes you want the sun; other times shade.  If your deck or patio is adjacent to your house structure, you can attach an awning.  Actually, there are freestanding awning options too.

And that’s the point of our extensive backyard awning article… it explains the key five types of awnings.

  1. Get Some Chickens
     

Click here for chicken coop ideas

Homesteading, self-sufficiency, vegetable gardening, canning… are all activities on the rise, even in suburban and urban areas.

Included in this pursuit of being more environmentally friendly, budget-conscious or simply for the challenge, is including a chicken coop for eggs.

Our friends had a chicken coop for years.  They enjoyed fresh eggs daily and even made a few bucks selling them.  While a bit of work, if you enjoy your yard and the thrill of providing your own food, a chicken coop is an inexpensive option.

  1. Put in a Backyard Pond
     

Click here for backyard pond ideas

While we don’t have a natural backyard pond, I’d love to design and build one.  I love water features.

A small or large pond can enhance any yard, but it’s important to do it right so the water doesn’t get stagnant and that it doesn’t look DIY.  For instance, you need to really put in an effort so that it looks natural in backyard.  You don’t want tarp or other materials showing.

But, when done well, it’s a great feature for any yard.

  1. Landscape it Beautifully
     

Click here for beautiful backyard landscaping ideas

Sometimes when planning out your yard you simply want to look at a wide variety of photos and designs to see if anything strikes a nerve.

  1. Create Walkways
     

Click here for walkways

Walkways are a relatively inexpensive backyard (and front yard) feature many homes can add.  They make for a great feature that you can plant gardens around and are also functional in providing clear paths to various parts of the yard.

There are many materials one can use for a walkway.  Some materials are easier to use than others if you are going the DIY route.  For instance, most people could create a good gravel walkway; however, brick requires far more craftsmanship.  Our main walkways gallery features all types of walkways including gravel, paver, flagstone, brick, wood, stone and combinations of materials.

  1. Add Light with Outdoor Lighting
     

Click here for outdoor lighting ideas

When it comes to outdoor lighting, you have as many options as indoor lighting (which is a lot).

We put together a massive series focusing on all your outdoor lighting options, including a succinct list of outdoor light options plus buying guides for specific types of outdoor lighting.  Click the link above to check out our massive series on outdoor lighting.

  1. Make Your House Exterior Prettier
     

Click here for home exterior inspiration

Need inspiration for home exterior?

Check out our massive searchable home exterior photo gallery.

Big, small, many colors, all styles – get many ideas.

  1. Get Inspired with Aerial View Photos of Fabulous Houses
     

Click here for aerial photos of awesome houses

I love checking out aerial shots of beautiful homes.

Hence, I published a great gallery of houses viewed from above.

These spectacular houses look even better from the air – you can see the yards, grounds and the home.

  1. Put in a Pergola
     

Click here for pergolas

Do you like the idea of a pergola on your deck to provide some relief from the sun without totally obstructing it?

Pergolas are popular deck and patio structures for good reason.  They provide some shade while not totally obscuring the sun.

  1. Build a Shed that Looks Great and Gets Rid of Clutter
     

Click here for shed ideas

Building a new shed?

Or, perhaps looking to buy a new shed?

Whatever the case may be, you need to check out our epic shed guide which sets out, illustrates and describes the 42 different types of sheds via features, style, roof, materials, foundation and purpose.

  1. Get or Build a Playhouse for Kids
     

Click here for playhouse ideas

When I was a kid I had a terrific playhouse build by my dad.

Last summer my son and I built a bunker playhouse, which while a bit rough around the edges, is pretty cool being partially underground.

  1. Go Up with a Treehouse
     

Click here for treehouse ideas

Of all backyard structures, tree houses are my favorite… but for younger kids, playgrounds are best.

I hope to build my son a tree house one day high up in a tree.  For now he has a custom built bunker (which is also cool).

  1. Have Fun with a Playground
     

Click here for backyard playground ideas

If you have young kids, a backyard playground or set is an ideal addition.

These days your options are amazing, whether you build it yourself or buy the entire set.

  1. Front Yard Ideas
     

See 101 front yard landscaping ideas here

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 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 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. 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.

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? Check out more ideas here.

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.

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 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.

Related:Patio potted flower and plant ideas

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 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.

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.

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