128 Backyard Garden Ideas: Great Ways to Transform Your Yard - Backyard Boss
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128 Backyard Garden Ideas: Great Ways to Transform Your Yard

No matter what size backyard you have, you can apply an amazing array of landscaping designs and various garden features to your space to bring your vision to life. 

This long list of backyard ideas can help transform your yard and provide insight into the plans you may have. 

It also provides excellent examples to help you envision how to use certain features, such as gazebos, raised garden beds, water features, and certain types of vegetation.

Table of Contents

Backyard Landscaping Ideas

You want to enjoy the space you have for relaxation, play, and entertainment. Your landscaping choices often reflect your personal tastes and styles. The following list provides a plethora of ideas to help you get started.

Classic Forms

Beige garden furniture on terrace
Image credits: KatarzynaBialasiewicz via Canva

Many people avoid classical statuary, but the addition of a few pieces are easily placed in larger spaces, add interest, and are an awesome conversation piece. These classic goddesses look as if they are having a conversation in the garden.

Shady Palms

Luxurious Backyard
Image credits: Image Supply Co via Canva

If you live where your climate can support them, consider adding tall palms to the corners and edges of your property. They do not only provide excellent dappled shady coverage, but they are also incredibly interesting in the growth habits and contrast they provide.

Cottage Garden

Romantic cottage garden
Image credits: BethAmber via Canva

It used to be that everyone had their fenced cottage garden for fruits and vegetables to feed their own families. Although this practice is not as commonly found, you can create your traditional look, complete with fragrant roses and woven bean towers.

Arid Landscaping

Image credits: Edward Hart via Unsplash

Although it may be hard to add the greenery you crave in more arid climates, you can create your shady spots to help keep things cool. Use landscaping techniques that do not require a lot of watering or maintenance, and choose plants that do not need a lot of water.

Colorful Palettes

Colorful Garden
Image credits: Naked King via Canva

Never underestimate the variances in foliage color and texture and how they can be used to make bold landscaping statements. Evergreen options also can be shaped and trained into globes, upright additions, or low-growing ground covers for further depth. This yard highlights how this can look, and the addition of seasonal flowers makes it pop even more.

Colorful Plantings

Colorful Garden
Image credits: 06photo via Canva

Well-placed evergreens, perennial shrubs, and annual flowers were used to create this vibrant planting that ebbs and flows with color. Don’t be afraid to move away from a set color palette, as blooms often flow well together no matter what.

Hobbit Hole

Hobbit Holes
Image credits: aaron90311 via Canva

With the rise and continuation of popular fantasy storylines, there are many opportunities to take advantage of their detailed settings and landscape descriptions. This Hobbit Hole-inspired shed can be used as a playhouse, for storage, or even as a backyard office getaway!

Bring on the Butterflies

Garden Butterflies
Image credits: onepony via Canva

Are you looking to inspire some pollinators to hang around your yard? Planting flowers popular with butterflies is a great start, and if you have space, adding a safe space for them to hang around will ensure they complete their life cycle before migration.

Create an Oasis

relaxing in garden
Image credits: sanddebeautheil via Canva

A place to sit and relax, entertain, and hang out is all you need to enjoy whatever space you have. Surrounding yourself with greenery and then sit back and take in your own private, outdoor retreat.

Moss Garden

Moss Garden
Image credits: nicktwinney via Canva

No hassle garden, ideas are not too hard to come by. A few perennials and some good pace rock and moss provide a great way to add greenery without the maintenance and work to keep it look great.

Puppy Power

Fire Hydrant & Flowers
Image credits: Steve Wellington via Canva

If you have a pet and a small yard, you probably have wondered why to bother due to the waste of your animal. But did you know that you can influence them to only go in one spot? Your personal fire hydrant is made specifically for this purpose.

Lighting Choices

Garden Ambient Lighting
Image credits: welcomia via Canva

Your lighting choices can make or break a small space. Overlight your yard, and it can highlight how small it is, but if you allow natural shadows to fall and pay particular attention to lighting up rather than down, you can create depth and deception.

Carpeted Lawns

Summer Lawn
Image credits: David-Carter via Canva

A large, carpeted lawn is the perfect place to allow your children to run and your guests to wander. Proper watering, fertilization, and a maintenance schedule can keep your grass growing and looking its best for lush, green perfection.

Pick and Choose

Farmer's garden, herb garden
Image credits: emer1940 via Canva

Some of the best gardens are not planned and grow according to the gardener’s needs and eclectic likes. Variances in garden sheds and borders, plants, and flowers, are all a part of a fun layout to enjoy.

Soft Lighting

Image credits: waeske via Canva

Soft lighting options allow you to take advantage of your shadowing corners long into the night and provide a new perspective on your gardening designs. Candles, solar lights, spotlights, and small bulb lights are perfect for year-round enjoyment.

Forest Reclamation

Forest garden
Image credits: Jofelle Tesorio via Canva

If you are lucky enough to have a large property or one that includes part of an encroaching forest, don’t’ be afraid to make it your own. Begin with simple pathways that meander by natural features and flowering shrubs, and begin to add in your touches over time!

Ground Lighting

Solar Garden Light
Image credits: bruev via Canva

Light your garden border beds, water features, and trees from ground lighting options that illuminate your spaces in a gentle, soft manner for nighttime enjoyment, relaxation, and entertainment purposes.

Raised Box Beds

Fresh vegetables growing in a raised bed garden
Image credits: Jennifer Blount via Canva

Placing a few raised garden beds around your property allows you to utilize your space and keep your plants from rambling around. It also provides a uniform landscape while fulfilling your garden veggie and flower needs.

Urban Area

Small garden
Image credits: HannamariaH via Canva

Even inner-city yards can be transformed into a quiet backyard retreat. Providing a deck area allows you to take advantage of even more space, as does a small lawn.

Double Duty

double duty
Image credits: solmstea via Instructables

Why not double up the utilization of your furniture to include a planting area? Small yards cannot afford wasted space, and unique ideas are more than welcome. Planting benches can double as a place to grow your favorite vegetation and allow a place to rest.

Well Trimmed Trees

Trimmed trees
Image credits: TT via Canva

Large trees in small spaces tend to dwarf the areas, but that doesn’t mean you can’t include your favorite towering plants in your landscape- you just need to keep them well-trimmed and dwarfed so they don’t become overwhelming.

Getting Creative

Old metal containers reuse as flower beds
Image credits: Edalin Photography via Canva

Are you looking to build your own garden areas from what you have on hand? Create raised beds from just about anything that can hold the proper amount of dirt for your plants to survive. This cute idea doubles as a fun sculpture of a boat.

Usable Focal Point

A fountain becomes a flower garden focal point
Image credits: Diane079F via Canva

Make use of those yard sale buys, and don’t make excuses as to why you can’t take it home. A small yard benefits from some focal points for both interest and a way to showcase your garden blooms.

A Place to Sit

Irish Garden Sitting Area
Image credits: Missing35mm via Canva

No matter the size of your yard, don’t leave out a place for you to enjoy it all. Small sitting areas spread out in the space allow you to take in all your hard work and relax and rejuvenate after a long day.

Brick by Brick

Brick Wall Garden
Image credits: shockdigphoto via Canva

Never underestimate what existing landscaping might be able to do for your backyard vision. Even if you feel old patios or rock gardens ruin your dreams, take a step back and see how you might be able to reclaim them and make them all your own.

Border Additions

bamboo border and wood chips with green plants
Image credits: Justin Smith via Canva

Adding a fence to an existing border, such as this, not only protects your plants but also allows an unexpected pop of color. Don’t limit yourself to just one type of border or another- instead, have fun with the space you have.


Plants on Broken Washing Machine
Image credits: Imagens de Nara via Canva

One man’s trash truly is another man’s treasure. If you love to go junking, go with an eye towards what might look awesome in your yard as a focal point. Even older, broken planters can be made to look like new.

Urban Reclaiming

Garden bench
Image credits: slasha via Canva

Even the concrete jungle can get an upgrade with a little effort. If you are surrounded by the scenes of the city, attempt to reclaim a small section to beautify and green up. Your neighborhood will thank you.

As Your Children Grow

As Your Children Grow
Image credits: izzyinsf via Instructables

Our kids outgrow their toys quickly, and you can donate them or recycle them if they aren’t up to par. You also can pick up whimsical toys at garage sales and second-hand shops for cheap- and most are durable and make the most unique planters.

Stackable Solutions

garden ceramic pots
Image credits: THEPALMER via Canva

Ladders, a-frame shelving, or anything similar is the perfect solution for a stackable potted garden. The angle allows your plants to get sun and water in abundance and the room to grow tall and bloom.

Bottom’s Up!

Bed in a garden
Image credits: Grigorii_Pisotckii via Canva

Recycle your old bottles into garden bed borders that verge on the ridiculous. But in all seriousness, what an amazing idea for a flower garden; I can see this being a focal point for a winery- or for a person who really likes wine!

Whatever Your Heart Desires

Heart Garden
Image credits: KarenMassier via Canva

With the right materials, you can create whatever garden bed shapes your heart desires. Get creative in your plans to best use the space you have and provide exactly what you need.

Garden Lighting

garden lights with solar battery
Image credits: AIFEATI via Canva

Solar lighting is awesome and allows you to put lights almost anywhere you desire. If you have a spot in your yard that is out of the way but perfect for garden lighting, you will have much to choose from to make it exactly how you want it.

Natural Privacy

Backyard Patio
Image credits: Elena Photo via Canva

Careful choices of variances in vegetation height can provide a dramatic backdrop that looks like your yard is buried deep in forested woods. Many people use this effect for urban settings to allow for a natural privacy screen and muffle sounds from nearby neighbors.

Peaceful Palms

Hotel Lounges Palm Landscape
Image credits: Kichigin via Canva

If you live where growing large, upright deciduous trees can be a challenge due to climate issues, consider the addition of palm trees. With proper care, these trees allow for the shade you may desire and the addition of an ever-changing texture.


Garden Plants
Image credits: welcomia via Canva

The variances of vegetation highlighted in the garden showcase how you can mix and match heights, textures, and garden features to provide changing interests through the changing seasons.

Mix and Match

Small stream in the garden
Image credits: BasieB via Canva

A patch of lawn here, a raised bed, there – and don’t forget a place to sit and enjoy! Just because you have a smaller space doesn’t mean you can’t have it all. Just be smart about how you utilize your area and keep organized.

Integrating the Unexpected

Hanging basket summer flowers
Image credits: Antony-Kemp via Canva

Hanging baskets can be placed just about anywhere they have a sturdy surface to hang upon. Unfortunately, most people do not take advantage of the areas they can be hung to provide the unexpected pop of color, shape, and texture they provide.


Garden Wall
Image credits: Mshake via Canva

Garden walls and fences should be taken advantage of. Many people forget that even a cinder block surface can be utilized to build off or tapped into as a place to extend a garden. It is especially helpful when you feel you are limited in planting surfaces.

Garden Carpeting

Hyacinth carpet in the spring garden
Image credits: IlonaBudzbon via Canva

Many people avoid using carpet-like plant growth because they feel they do not have the space required. Don’t leave these low-growing plants as they can integrate themselves well into large and small spaces. It also works quite nicely as a stand-alone.

Room to Grow

Rows of Vegetables
Image credits: Astrid Hinderks via Canva

Create rows of vegetables and flowers you plan on harvesting to provide room for them to grow, and room for you to weed, water, and care for until it is time to harvest. Rows also help you keep track of what is where without mixing up your veggies- which can be frustrating with young plants.

Simple Storage

Storage Shed with garage door
Image credits: thoth11 via Canva

Everyone needs a place to store their landscaping tools. Simple storage sheds provide room for accessible storage so your tools are easily on hand, and can double as a place to keep clutter under control rather than taking up space in a garage.

Dry Climates

Xeriscaped Front Yard with Dry Creek Bed
Image credits: remedypic via Canva

Dry, arid climates often narrow your vegetative choices, but when care is taken with your choice of plants and also how you plant them- you can bring your garden visions to life. This garden highlights this miniaturized xeriscape that includes desert plantings and potted options.

Meandering Borders

Garden border
Image credits: ChrisAt via Canva

Many people forget that they are in charge of their landscape design, and garden borders do not need to be all straight lines and angles. Create your meandering borders with well-placed rocks, perennial plantings, and even fencing options.

Well Executed

Vegetable garden beds
Image credits: cunfek via Canva

These raised garden beds are well measured and placed to provide spacing and ease of use when working between them for planting, weedings, and harvesting. If you are looking to plant for production, this is an excellent way to do so for not only visual appeal but easy organization.

Reclaiming Ground

Garden Tools Sticking Out from the Ground
Image credits: Изображения пользователя Олег Доро via Canva

Even if you have a cluttered backyard and are not sure where to begin, you can reclaim ground for the garden even if you know your vision is not complete. Don’t give up on ideas because you cannot landscape everything all at once. Sometimes all you need is to start with the patch of open ground you have!