20 Landscaping Ideas for Your Backyard

Property Resources

20 Landscaping Ideas for Your Backyard

Posted by All Metro Service Companies LLC
5 months ago | March 13, 2021

According to Angi, landscaping should be updated or refreshed every 5-10 years. While that doesn’t always mean you need to update your entire property from scratch, it does mean tweaking areas of your yard that need attention. In our previous post, we explored 20 landscaping ideas for your front yard. For this article, we’d like to show 20 landscaping ideas that you can incorporate into your backyard design plans. 

Create Warmth

Adding a fireplace or a fire pit is an immediate way to add a focal point (and warmth) to your backyard or patio. Adding a fireplace within a patio area is a great way to create a space that you’ll want to sit in for hours. An outdoor fireplace can be as simple or elaborate depending on what your budget and plans will allow. For instance, add a pizza oven to your outdoor fireplace to give it more functionality. 

Unique wall and stone pavers make up wonderful entertaining area

Outdoor fireplaces can add a beautiful focal point to an outdoor entertaining or dining area.

If a patio or full fireplace isn’t ideal for you, consider adding a fire pit surrounded by a patio for seating. The patio provides a nice area to place chairs or furniture and can be emphasized with decorative mulch and boulder borders. A well-placed stone bench also acts as a buffer for windy days. 

An outdoor firepit surrounded by a patio area and rock and pine mulch. Landscaping boulder add an accent to the landscaping.

An outdoor fire pit surrounded by a patio area and rock and pine mulch. Landscaping boulder adds an accent to the landscaping.

Paver patios are great spaces for a firepit and offer a versatile space to gather around with your friends and family. Additionally, you or your guests won’t have to worry about getting your shoes dirty by walking in grass or mud – especially after a rainy day! 

Landscaping Ideas for Your Backyard - wall and stone pavers make up wonderful entertaining area

Stone pavers and a gas fire pit make a wonderful area to relax right outside your home.

Terraces & Retaining Walls

Having a backyard with a hill doesn’t mean you can’t do any landscaping. In fact, sloped yards can provide some of the more dramatic and eye-appealing landscaping there is. For larger hills, adding a terrace (or two!) can turn your sloped yard into a series of functional flat spaces. 

Landscaping Ideas for Your Backyard - creating a terrace in your back yard for more useable areas

Creating terraces in your backyard establishes more useable spaces. (Image coutesy of Alkor)

Smaller slopes in your backyard might not require something as dramatic as the image above. Below is an example of an installation done in Minneapolis, MN. The retaining wall created a natural separation between their patio area and their grass areas. 

Retaining walls and steps on a home in Minneapolis creates a flat yard and removes the unwanted slope in their backyard.

Retaining walls and steps on a home in Minneapolis creates a flat yard and removes the unwanted slope in their backyard.

On the other hand, retaining walls can be a big problem for you and your backyard if they are not installed correctly. Poor leveling, rough soil compaction, improper drainage, unwanted mineral deposits, and rust are some of the problems that will occur if they aren’t installed in a professional way. Boulder walls used as retaining walls for your backyard are highly functional planted areas and increase the value of your property.

Boulder wall install with decorative shrubs done by All Metro Services.

Boulder wall installs with decorative shrubs done by All Metro Services for an apartment complex.

Rocks & Mulch 

Adding mulch is the easiest way to freshen up your landscaping at an affordable price. Not only does it emphasize the design and look of your yard, but it also adds functionality too! It helps plants retain moisture, keeps the soil cool so less water is needed in the summers, and helps prevent frost in the winter. 

Rock mulch is ideal for areas that have shrubs or plants that don’t need annual maintenance. Most of the time, when rock mulch is installed, a weed control barrier is installed underneath so unwanted plants are less likely to thrive in your garden areas. Best of all, this makes rock mulch a very low maintenance solution! 

Landscaping Ideas for Your Backyard - Decorative sprinkling of flowerbed paths with gravel

A decorative rock mulch used in landscaping around flowerbeds and shrubs.

On the other hand, mulch doesn’t need to to the focal point when it comes to landscaping ideas for your backyard. If pine mulch is better suited for your backyard, make sure you freshen it every 1-3 years. And for something new, mulch comes in a variety of colors to choose from! 

Backyard garden landscaping with paver bricks patio hardscape trees potted plants shrubs pond rocks and decor

Backyard garden landscaping with paver bricks, boulder retaining walls, and fresh organic mulch.

 

Utilize the Shaded Areas in Your Back Yard

Don’t neglect the shaded areas in your yard! Maybe you have an area in your yard that just doesn’t grow grass or is always muddy. Or perhaps you have an area in your yard that’s very plain because you can’t grow plants there. Take into account shaded plants! Planting shaded plants in areas that would otherwise not grow anything is a great idea to spruce up an area that is all too often neglected. 

A lake home that utilizes shaded areas for shade-tolerant plants where grass would not grow otherwise.

A lake home that utilizes shaded areas for shade-tolerant plants where grass would not grow otherwise. (Image courtesy of University of Minnesota)

Better yet, turning your shaded areas into an outdoor oasis may be the ideal solution to making your yard the space you’ve always dreamed of. A small walkway and intimate pave patio make this area ideal for a homeowner who enjoys spending time in their backyard.

Shaded areas in a back yard can create an oasis if designed and planned properly.

Shaded areas in a backyard can create an oasis if designed and planned properly.

Outdoor Living Spaces

Turning your backyard into an extension from your home is the ideal way to instantly add more living space at half the cost. Outdoor “kitchens” can add a great place for your family and friends to gather around during the summer. 

Adding a built-in grill and kitchen area can turn your backyard into an extension of your home.

Adding a built-in grill and kitchen area can turn your backyard into an addition off of your home.

New houses are built quickly and can lack the finishing touches that you get from a landscaped yard. This new build is a great example of what you can do with a new area right away. All Metro installed a patio area with a built-in bench. Outdoor furniture turns this area into an outdoor living room!

Landscaping done on a new build which indcludes new plantings, mulch beds, and a patio

Landscaping by All Metro Services on a new build which includes new plantings, mulch beds, and a paver patio.

Back Yard Landscaping for the Minimalist

When you think of landscaping, it doesn’t need to be elaborate to make it look welcoming. This backyard was easily transformed with an organic mulch border, edging, and plantings. Utilizing the surrounding area (like this pond) is also a great way to make your landscaping stand out.

A playground in a suburban backyard surrounded by simple backyard landscaping.

Even a playground in a suburban backyard can be surrounded by simple backyard landscaping.

A simple border around your yard can make a dramatic statement and give your yard a polished look. While landscaping and planting can take a while to become established, it’s important to remember that you need to start somewhere. Planning your plants and borders now will ensure that you have gorgeous plants in the future.

Backyard landscaping doesn't have to be elaborate. Creating simple borders around your property and accenting with plantings can give a boring yard a finished look.

Backyard landscaping doesn’t have to be elaborate. Creating simple borders around your property and accenting with plantings can give a boring yard a finished look.

Nighttime Entertaining & Lighting

In Minnesota, the melting of the snow also brings the emergence of people we haven’t seen all season long. In the same fashion, that means outdoor entertainment. With shorter summers, it’s important to get every minute you can outside and nighttime entertaining is the best way to do that. Adding lights around your yard instantly gives your landscaping an elegant feel and provides better lighting for entertaining guests or spending in your own backyard. 

A home garden at night, illuminated by globe shaped lights for backyard landscaping.

A home garden at night, illuminated by globe-shaped lights and boulder retaining walls for backyard landscaping.

This backyard utilizes all the spaces and is they have to make their backyard ideal for entertaining at night. Boulder walls, a fire pit with a built-in stone bench, landscaping lighting on their stairs, terraced areas, a deck, and a blue-lit hot tub.  

Brilliant Blue hot tub and an awesome fire pit and landscaping in the background surrounded by a boulder retaining wall and a fire pit.

Brilliant Blue hot tub and an awesome fire pit and landscaping in the background surrounded by a boulder retaining wall and a fire pit.

 

Walkways

Do you have an area in your yard that constantly gets walked through making it hard to grow grass? Stone or paver walkways are a great way to reduce the amount of time you spend on lawn maintenance. In addition, they add an additional focal point to your backyard. Walkways can be installed in a variety of styles to fit the needs of your backyard. 

Landscaping Ideas for Your Backyard - New sod installed around a stepping stone pathway in a garden or back yard

New sod installed around a stepping stone pathway in a backyard.

Similarly, for a more natural look, a simple stone walkway can be installed to blend into the surroundings more seamlessly. 

A simple stone walkway used in high traffic areas where grass may not grow as easily.

A simple stone walkway used in high traffic areas where grass may not grow as easily in a backyard.

Patios Built for Entertaining

When thinking of landscaping for your backyard, it’s important to consider what you want to use your space for. If you prefer to entertain, then it’s important to design and plan accordingly. 

For smaller backyards, adding a big patio area and built-in seating will utilize your space. In effect, you’ll have more areas to put patio tables, above-ground fire pits, or even a grill. 

For smaller backyards, a seating area and stone patio make this area more useable for entertaining.

For smaller backyards, a seating area and stone patio make this area more inviting for entertaining.

Adding a focal point, like a small pond, also gives your entertaining areas a serene feel with the sound of water. It also gives your guests something to look at. Also, don’t forget patio lights and landscaping lights! Adding lights to your landscaping extends your entertaining hours and makes your backyard a safer place to walk in at night. 

Garden Paver Patio with Trellis Japanese Stone Lantern Pagoda Waterfall Pond and Landscaping Lights

A Japanese-inspired garden paver backyard patio with landscaping lights and a pagoda waterfall pond.

As shown above, there are many examples of what you can do to turn your backyard into the yard you’ve always wanted. Terraces, landscaping lighting, and mulch are just a few of the many ways you can transform your yard this season. And remember, gathering ideas is the first step to completing your landscaping project. The next step is to turn your dreams into a reality!

Call us today for a free quote or to speak with an expert on your next backyard landscaping idea.

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