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Last updated: June 7, 2022
Whether you have a small or a large backyard, it’s always a good idea to put some effort into landscaping that beloved outdoor space behind the house.
While landscaping itself is a skilled profession, with a bit of research, anyone can achieve so much with simple landscaping ideas, ideas that are mostly inexpensive and relatively easy to implement.
In this article, I am going to share 15 easy and simple landscaping ideas that will help transform your backyard into the centerpiece of your property.
15 Landscaping Ideas for the Backyard
In no particular order, here are 15 easy, simple and inexpensive landscaping ideas for your very own backyard.
1. Colorful Mulch Beds
One of the easiest ways to give your backyard a makeover with a neat and clean look is by creating mulch beds, either in the same color or in different colors.
Mulch is very useful when it comes to protecting and nurturing plants, but well laid-out mulch gardens can also greatly improve the visual aspect of the landscape in your backyard.
Good quality mulch is available in various forms, such as rubber and wood, and in different colors, such as red, brown, and black. I love creating sections in different colors, to further enhance the visual appeal.
2. DIY Backyard Fire Pit
Creating a fire pit in your backyard is actually much easier than you might think, and is not only a nice design feature to have, but it’s also a good opportunity to get together with family and friends.
Since this article is about landscaping, you are going to want to build an outdoor fire pit that can stand the test of time and also looks fantastic.
The best way to go about this is by purchasing a bunch of pavers or wall blocks in different shapes from your local home improvement store and creating a ring-like structure.
This sounds simple, and it is, but this work does of course require a bit of planning and preparation. Check out this guide which explains how to go about this in a simple and easy way.
3. Rock Garden
Rock gardens come in various shapes and designs, but I love the smaller rocks to create a nice and smooth surface. A layer of rocks creates a nice contrast with, for example, mulch beds.
A rock garden is another simple way to elevate the visual appeal of the backyard. It’s easy to implement, it’s super cost-effective, and, if done well, just looks very stylish.
Rock gardens are also an easy solution to sections of dead grass or wasted corner areas of the backyard, and they can also help in preventing weeds from growing.
4. Tire Planter
Do you have old tires eating dust in your shed, or know of someone who’s going to change tires on their car? Put them to good use!
Old tires are perfect for backyard decorating as part of an overall landscaping effort. Clean the tires, attach them to a wall or tree, and put plants in them.
For even more visual appeal, you can paint the tire in a nice and bright color. If you have multiple old tires, use different colors for each. Kids love that too!
5. Vertical Garden
While the tire planters in the previous landscaping idea can be placed both vertically as well as horizontally, I do have a thing with vertical gardens.
Vertical gardens are a fantastic opportunity to enhance the look of walls and fences that are already there, and it’s one of the simplest ways to add a finishing touch to your landscaping efforts.
And if you think outside the box, you can also use old ladders and old shoe organizers as vertical gardens. Check out this YouTube video to see how shoe organizers can be used for this purpose.
6. Garden Lights
For those warm summer nights in the backyard, lights are essential. Not just for functional reasons, but more so for creating that perfect backyard atmosphere.
Installing a set of lights in the backyard is an easy and simple way to add a personal touch to your backyard landscaping.
There are many different types of lights to choose from as well, such as festive colorful lights on trees, to calm and gentle atmosphere enhancing lights along the walking path.
And if you’re worried about your electricity bill going up after installing lights, don’t be, as there are some great energy-efficient solar and LED lights available today.
7. Flower Box
Placing one or more large flower boxes in the backyard is another simple, effective, and creative way to make your backyard a more pleasant place to be.
There are many options when it comes to flower boxes. You can make one yourself out of spare wood, or you can buy a more decorative one like in the picture above.
They are versatile as well because they can be placed anywhere in your backyard or even attached to fences, walls, or trees.
8. Lawn Area
This might be the simplest of backyard landscaping ideas on this list, but it’s also my personal favorite. In my backyard, I have a dedicated area that is just grass. Beautiful, green grass that I look after very well.
Grass that has been looked after is not only the perfect place for kids or the dog to have a play, but it’s also something that can greatly enhance the design of your backyard.
The lawn area with just plain grass is located in the middle of my backyard and takes up around half the total area. And as I mentioned, I do look after it with passion, because grass can easily go brown or overgrown.
A big plus of having a lawn is that it creates a space to play games. Check out my list of best backyard games for some great ideas.
9. Backyard Pergola
Backyard pergolas come in various shapes and sizes, some very expensive and others much more affordable and easier to install.
A pergola is an elegant way to add shade to a backyard while still allowing enough sunlight to come in, perfect for a seating area in your garden.
Pergolas are typically made with wood, vinyl, or metal. My personal preference is wood because I find that it looks the best, but wooden pergolas also require a bit more maintenance.
10. Tree Stump Planter
If you have an old tree or left-over tree stump in your backyard, don’t get rid of it. There are many things you can do with a tree stump, and using it as a planter is one option.
Before you can create that planter, make sure the tree stump is hollow. Once you’ve established that, it’s simply a matter of filling it up with potting soil and plants or flowers.
Admittedly, this might not be the simplest backyard landscaping idea, but it’s a great way to reuse trees and stumps naturally and fittingly.
11. Plant a Tree
Planting a tree is a fantastic way to give your backyard a more natural look, plus it’s a good way to add some much-needed shade if you don’t have enough of that in your backyard.
You can choose a bare-root tree or a container tree, with pros and cons for both.
When choosing a spot to plant your new tree, make sure that the spot has enough sunlight and adequate moisture levels, and also that there is enough space for the tree to grow.
Check out this guide to planting trees for helpful tips.
12. Backyard Dining Space
Creating an outdoor dining space can be as simple as buying a table with chairs, with so many different furniture options available to match the overall look of your backyard.
You can also take it a step further and create an elevated deck, or add some kind of gazebo or pergola to enhance the styling of that outdoor dining space.
Once you have created that outdoor dining space, you’re going to be motivated to use it, which in turn will make you and your family members appreciate having a backyard even more.
13. Tree Bench
Have you ever seen those circular benches around trees in parks? Why not create one yourself as a simple landscaping idea for your backyard.
You do need to be a bit smart with your hands though to do this, but tree benches are very cost-effective and they can also prove to be quite useful.
Of course, a bench doesn’t need to be a tree bench. Benches are a very easy way to increase the visual appeal of your backyard, and you can place one wherever you see fit.
14. Stepping Stone Path
Installing a pathway in your backyard made with stepping stones is an easy landscaping idea that is both useful and aesthetically pleasing.
You don’t necessarily need to use stones though. For example, logs of wood can work for this purpose well too. Make sure the pieces of wood are of different sizes to enhance the aesthetic look of the pathway you’re creating.
Once you have that stepping stone path in place, consider adding lights along the path to create that warm evening atmosphere.
15. Wooden Fencing
Incorporating wooden fencing in your backyard is a great way to add character to your backyard as a whole or specific areas within the backyard.
Fencing can be around the backyard, but even better, you can also install stylish fencing within the backyard to create dedicated sections.
For example, you can install fencing to create a separate playground section for the kids, fencing around a seating area, or fencing around a garden bed.
Vertical or horizontal? Check out my list of horizontal fence ideas for a healthy dose of inspiration for your next project.
Creative and cute backyard decor ideas.
In the photo for #6 Garden Lights, there are some concrete pieces that have spaces or holes where the grass can grow, but you still have a nice solid foundation. I don’t know what those are called, can you tell me? Where can we find some to buy?
Thank you for your ideas!
They are called grass block pavers (or grow-through pavers, turf block pavers) and they come in various shapes and sizes. They look nice and they’re great for driveways too. You can buy them online at Amazon or otherwise at your local DIY or hardware store.
Hope this helps!