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What are Some Backyard Design Ideas?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 31 August 2016
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Backyard design ideas should not only suit the home's exterior looks but create usable yard space for the residents. No matter how small a back yard is, it can at least provide a pleasant area in which to sit outdoors. If plant containers and/or a garden is added, flowers or vegetables can be a part of many backyard design ideas.

An organized look with yard space divided into zones or areas works even for small backyards. For example, if the yard has only a tiny porch and a limited area of grass, distinct sitting and lawn areas can be created to give the outdoor space function as well as form. The small lawn section can look more interesting if it's framed by attractive landscaping. For instance, rather than planting shrubs, flowers and small trees directly along fences or property borders, one of the most attractive backyard design ideas for a small yard is to group plants in tasteful displays at fence corners.

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For larger backyards, plain expanses of grass can look unimaginative. A tasteful fountain or birdbath can break up the space in an attractive way. A stepping stone path lined with flowers could create a pleasant pathway leading from the back door's steps to a garage or gate. In planning backyard design ideas, it's important to think of safety and maintenance issues. For example, a pond could make a striking focal point for a backyard, but it's not a suitable choice if small children can access it; ponds also take a lot of maintenance to keep them looking attractive.

Backyard design ideas for gardens should include plants that are easy to maintain and thrive in the particular geographical area. Speaking with local nursery owners can help in finding the best shrubs, trees and flowers to plant. Attractive planters for growing container vegetables or flowers can be placed in a row around a patio edge to create a finished look to a sundeck.

An outdoor table and chair set is essential for usable backyard design ideas, as it allows an area for relaxing and enjoying the yard. Outdoor table sets are also popular for outdoor entertaining and eating barbecue meals. A good design idea for a backyard barbecue and eating area is to include a small, closed door, weather-resistant cabinet for storage. The extra storage saves having to keep going inside the house for items such as dishware, utensils and napkins.

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OeKc05
Post 4

@orangey03 – I love a tropical atmosphere, but I live up North where bitter winters would kill anything that could grow in a very warm climate. So, I decided to use container plants in my backyard design.

I bought some tropical hibiscus plants that really look the part. The blooms are the size of saucers, and they are hot pink. They look like something you would see at a rich person's condo across from the ocean.

I have a brick patio out back, and the container plants line the edges of it all around. I have a wicker table and chairs out there, and that adds to the beachy look.

I can leave these container plants outdoors all

summer long, and even though the temperature rarely rises above eighty degrees, I feel a bit transported to the sea just by looking at my plants. I bring them indoors during the fall and winter, and though they go dormant, they don't die.
wavy58
Post 3

I have a small yard because I live in the city limits. It was very important for me to have a serene green space, so I decided to plant a few things around my backyard patio.

From my front yard, you can see the street. However, step into the backyard, and you will think you are in the country. I have surrounded the patio with tall shrubs and semi-short trees to block out the world.

I planted some rose of sharon shrubs, which grow large enough over time to resemble trees. They have beautiful blooms and leaves. I also have some small fruit trees in the mix, so I get fresh fruit in addition to a nice shade.

I would suggest this design to anyone looking to escape to nature in their own backyard. I sit out there for hours at times, forgetting about the stress of life indoors.

seag47
Post 2

My lack of a weed-eater has limited my backyard landscape design ideas somewhat. I can't trim the weeds around objects and plants. I can only yank them up by hand, which is very exhausting, so I have avoided placing certain things in my yard.

Though I love them, I have had to avoid stepping stones. It would be so tedious to have to pull up the grass around these, so it's best just not to have any.

I have to mow as close as possible around the trunks of trees and next to the house. I have planted creeping moss that spreads like wildfire around the edges of my foundation, and this keeps the weeds down.

orangey03
Post 1

I have an above-ground swimming pool in my backyard, and after I had it installed, I knew that I wanted some sort of tropical looking plants near it to give me that beachy feeling. I have always loved the exotic look of brightly colored daylilies, so I planted these, along with a couple of large hibiscus bushes.

The lilies have gotten bigger each year, and now, the spaces between them have diminished. They bloom in shades of pink, purple, red, and orange, and the blossoms are huge. Each one only lasts for a day, but there are enough to keep the plants covered in flowers all summer.

Hibiscus flowers come to mind when I think of tropical flora

. I have seen several swimsuits with hibiscus designs, so it seemed like a natural choice for a tropical garden.

I also have a pile of white sand left over from the construction of the pool nearby. I sometimes put a lawn chair in the sand and stare at the flowers, and I feel just like I'm somewhere in the tropics.

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