101 Backyard Gardening Ideas
There’re a ton of factors that come into play when determining what to feature in your backyard garden. What ideas we choose to feature depends on how much space we have, our geographical location, and our homes' style—the list goes on and on.
For this blog post, we collected some achievable backyard garden ideas ranging from bigger landscaping projects to DIY projects you can do yourself.
So now, looking at your backyard, you see either an expansive backyard with space to entertain, have pets frolic and watch your family play, or you have something more humble in mind; a sanctuary for you to be alone and plant nutritious fruits and vegetables. No matter what your backyard is going to look like, you’re going to need a plan, so here’s a list of some fantastic backyard garden ideas!
First, we have to consider some initial preparations. It cannot be easy to start filling your space with paths, gardens, and other additions without having some more foundational work laid out. Having your hardscape and drainage systems laid out beforehand is essential to a fully functioning backyard garden.
So what does positive drainage look like? Ensure that your yard is sloped away from structures and that there aren’t areas where water can collect too quickly. Water is our greatest ally in the garden, but it can also be incredibly destructive and our greatest foe. Plan accordingly.
Maybe you’re wondering what hardscaping is exactly. These are your patios and walkways. Determine these first to avoid moving things around and undoing all your hard work in the garden.
Backyard Fruit and Vegetable Garden
We like to choose function over everything, and having your own mini farmers’ market in the backyard is the most functional use of your space, hard work, and natural resources. Growing fruits and veggies in your backyard turn your yard into a little ecosystem and return the favor of a little hard work and attention by feeding you and yours.
If you have a tree in the backyard, a DIY swing can be a great place to hang it from. There’s something so calm and relaxing about enjoying the comfort of your backyard while suspended by a swing.
A Large Carpeted Lawn
While this isn’t my favorite feature of many backyards, having a little space where kids and pets can frolic is great. We love having space to lie out on a sunny day or look up at the stars on a clear night.
Having some well-placed light in the garden to accentuate trees and shrubs and light a path to see at night can be a game changer for your backyard. Lighting up as opposed to down can make things feel more alive too.
Natural Swimming Pool
I wouldn’t typically mention a pool because of cost and the upkeep, but recently I’ve been nerding-out on some incredible natural swimming pool designs. These designs rely on biological filtration systems. That means no chemicals feed into the body of water constantly. These designs are low maintenance and blend into many landscapes seamlessly.
Built-in Grill and Patio
While in Argentina, I noticed that almost every backyard featured a grill and patio. I loved the Argentine tradition of the “Asado.” The setup was relatively simple, rather than a gas range or enclosed charcoal grill. An Asado grill is made of brick and has a low-hanging steel grill to rest meats and veggies. This is a simple and stylish way to show off a part of your home built for entertaining.
Daybeds are a comfy and somewhat posh addition to a backyard. One of these would go great next to your natural swimming pool. Not only do they look great, but this is a beautiful place to relax and read a book when the weather is nice.
Okay, so maybe the full-on natural pool is a bit ambitious. Building a pond can be a much easier task. This can also be a great place to keep fish like coy. So many plants go with a pond as well, so this will open up another world of exploration when it comes to filling your space with plants.
There’s no better place to hang underneath on a warm summer day than a backyard gazebo. This feature fits better for larger backyards, but even a tiny gazebo can be a great place to do a few chairs and grow some vines.
There is something very peaceful but also a bit dramatic about a rock garden or incorporating rocks in your backyard garden design. Some of my favorite backyard designs take notes from Japanese zen gardens and feature rocks sticking out of the ground. Stones can be challenging to move, but once they’re in place, they can become focal points of your garden’s design.
Raised Garden Beds
Raised beds work well for a variety of reasons. Some of the best features are their ability to resist environmental stress like flooding and pests. Raised beds tend to be smaller and are easily managed. You can have the soil the way you like, and there’s no need to worry about gophers. Then when the winter months come, you can easily cover the beds to prevent frost. Raised beds don’t necessarily need to be involved in planning your backyard design. They can be added at any time.
There are so many backyard garden ideas worth discussing that we could be here all day. But this is a list of some of my favorites. I hope you find some inspiration in the list, and check back in to see more additions as we discover new and innovative ideas for your backyard garden.