Great residential landscaping isn’t just about keeping up appearances. It’s also about making your property as functional and practical as possible!
There are no one-size-fits-all design solutions for a backyard or front curbside. It’s even rare for any two landscapes in a single neighborhood to look the same.
Climate, lot size, architectural style, and the level of maintenance you’re willing to invest all play a role in landscaping. Keep reading for the best landscaping ideas to help you get started!
Many homeowners assume landscaping is the antithesis of a large, versatile backyard. But landscaping can significantly improve the aesthetic appeal of your backyard without taking up more than a few square feet!
Whether your backyard is bordered by a fence, retaining wall, or nothing at all, thin garden beds can help soften the edges with a bit of greenery. Low-maintenance shrubs are the perfect addition to a simple backyard. But you can also plant your favorite annuals.
For a backyard design that is more like an expanded patio, invest in an outdoor space that can accommodate tons of comfortable seating. Platforms and walkways can divide up your backyard space while preserving an open lawn.
DIY landscaping lets you customize the space to fit your lifestyle. Details like mow-over landscape borders can make day-to-day life a thousand times easier. And only you know which of these updates your lawn needs most.
A lot goes into any landscaping overhaul. Fortunately, most projects can be completed with a few tools and an able body. Spreading mulch or laying down a custom walkway can transform your yard in as little as a weekend.
There’s nothing wrong with hiring a professional for part of the project. Knowing when to ask for help is the sign of a skilled DIYer!
Everyone can cultivate a lush, green lawn. But landscaping is the only way to make your home look straight out of a luxury real estate ad!
Boosting your home’s curb appeal can be a daunting project, especially if you’re starting with a blank slate. Start by adding shape with garden beds, pavers, and other hardscaping elements.
Once you’ve broken the space into smaller parts, the design as a whole will come together. Add dimension to your landscaping with trees, shrubs, and flowering plants of varying shapes and heights.
4. Front Yard
A beautiful backyard offers tons of personal enjoyment. But a landscaped front yard is something everyone — residents, neighbors, and passersby — can enjoy!
No matter what type of space you start with, the most important aspect of designing a front yard is to ensure your home’s facade is the focal point. Everything you include in your design, from plant species to hardscaping, should complement your home’s exterior.
Foundational beds are a straightforward solution for most front yard landscaping projects. These garden beds surround the perimeter of your home, porch, and walkway, adding shape and color without sacrificing an open grass lawn.
Where does landscaping end and gardening begin? In reality, gardening is just one small aspect of landscaping. So feel free to use your green thumb when creating your home’s new landscaping design.
Reserving a few garden beds for blooming shrubs or annuals makes it easy to customize your fresh landscape with your favorite colorful flowers. Raised containers are ideal for planting herbs and vegetables for the kitchen (and can easily double as retaining walls or even patio seating!).
If you’re interested in creating a landscape that is both beautiful and functional, cottage garden design might be perfect for you! Cottage gardens feature flowering plants alongside herbs and vegetables. They are extremely space-efficient and are a great example of low-maintenance landscaping.
6. Large Yard
It’s easy to fall in love with high-concept landscaping ideas that boost curb appeal at the expense of a vast open lawn. But how do you create an attractive outdoor space that still provides enough room for children and pets to run free?
Border beds are by far the best way to preserve usable acreage in your front or backyard landscaping. Use mulch and landscape edging to clearly define these areas
Don’t be afraid to alter the shape of your lawn! Yes, this might mean sacrificing a few square feet. But a manicured landscape will be significantly more stylish than a boring square. Patio slabs, walkways, and raised beds are all wonderful ways to subtly modify your grass yard.
7. Low Maintenance
There’s no denying that installing or updating your home’s landscaping is hard work. Sadly, ongoing maintenance deters many from creating the landscape of their dreams.
Doing things right the first time is one of the best investments you can make in a low-maintenance landscape or garden design. But certain climates may still call for specialized materials — i.e., artificial grass or pea gravel in desert climates.
Most of the maintenance involved in residential landscaping revolves around plant care. Evergreen shrubs and native plants will reduce the amount of time and labor your yard requires! Swapping turf grass for other ground cover species can cut down on your lawn’s mowing needs.
Aesthetic landscaping is largely about emphasizing your home’s exterior to maximize curb appeal. So it’s only natural that certain types of architecture suit different types of landscaping.
Hardscaping is central to many modern-inspired landscaping ideas. Use sleek walkways, retaining walls, and landscape borders to contrast against the organic elements of your yard.
Some plant varieties are better suited to modern landscapes than others. Structured ornamental grasses or evergreen shrubs are perfect additions to a modern garden. Tropical plants are also incredibly popular in modern landscape design.
9. Small Yard
Landscaping a small yard can be incredibly daunting. One of the best strategies you can employ is to divide up the space visually rather than physically. For example, opt for pea gravel over constructing a retaining wall around your patio slab.
Multi-purpose design is as essential to your porch or patio as it is any indoor living space. Add versatility with a planter featuring a built-in bench or folding porch furniture.
Potted plants can be easily rearranged to fit the space’s changing needs. Planters are great alternatives to in-ground beds. Hanging baskets or wall-mounted containers are also wonderful options.
Creating a tropical landscape is, of course, largely about plant selection. Popular tropical landscape plants include palm trees, taro, bamboo, and bromeliads.
Rest assured, there are ways to give your landscaping a tropical appearance even in less temperate climates. Hardy varieties of ferns can mimic the look of more delicate palms. Potted succulents and tropical flower species can be moved indoors during cold weather.
For a wild-grown look, densely plant your garden beds. Soften the borders with mulch or annual flowers. Pair tropical plants with hardscape details like a rock garden or water feature.