Thoughtful landscape design is the key to creating your dream space, whether you have a small courtyard or a sprawling estate. Here are our landscaping ideas to help you transform your own patios, yards, gardens, and more.
Improve the appearance of your landscape with mulch
Mulch is used to retain moisture in the soil, prevent weeds, maintain the soil at an optimal temperature, and improve soil conditions. Beyond the ecological benefits, mulch has an aesthetic value and can be used to make flower beds and other landscaping features more attractive. Colored mulch can complement the exterior colors of your home to enhance the visual appeal.
Red pine bark is long-lasting, and when it does break down it enriches the soil with organic material. Red mulch mimics fallen pine needles. It is colored with vegetable dye and best complements perennials, shrubs, and trees.
Cocoa mulch is made from the shells of cocoa beans. The deep brown color richly contrasts plants and it smells like chocolate.
Shredded hardwood mulch spreads easily and is long-lasting. When hardwood mulches break down they make soil more alkaline, which should be taken into account around acid-loving plants.
Cypress mulch is made of cypress trees, found in Florida and Louisiana. It is generally less expensive than other mulches and is effective at preventing weed growth.
Western cedar mulch has an attractive color and pleasant fragrance. Cedar mulches are readily available in most parts of the United States.
Add texture and contrast with rocks
Rock is an easy way to add a natural, textural element to your landscape. It can also be used to hide or disguise problem areas such as hills or grades, utility equipment, or unattractive foundation walls. From river rock to boulders to flagstone pavers, your options are limitless. Use river rocks or pebbles to add warmth, white rocks to brighten spaces up, flat stones for a tropical landscape, or black lava rocks for a more modern look.
Rocks are durable and low-maintenance, so they won’t require any repeated expense. Because they last indefinitely, it’s important to choose a look you’ll be happy with for years to come.
The crushed rock material and winding route of this garden path creates warmth, ease, and informality.
This stone retaining wall both effectively holds soil and rain runoff back and creates a cozy, sunken courtyard.
Edging the garden area with rock creates a physical and visual barrier that separates plants from the lawn.
This rock garden provides a striking contrast to the foliage and home exterior. Rock may initially be more expensive than mulch, but it’s a one-time purchase because it doesn’t decay or decompose.
These flagstone pavers create contrast between stone and greenery. Leaving space between stones will allow greenery to grow and contribute to the natural beauty of a garden walkway.
Create depth with a garden pond
A garden pond helps to create a relaxing atmosphere in your outdoor space and can give an illusion of depth to an otherwise flat area. It also allows you to incorporate a diverse ecosystem of plants and draw beneficial pollinators and birds to your yard.
Garden ponds are alluring because they provide a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere. There’s nothing better than the sight and sound of water in your own backyard.
This large fountain exudes elegance and tradition. It will also help to keep the pond water clear by preventing algae growth.
This small barrel pond is the perfect addition to a patio or outdoor seating area.
This simple, raised pond is easy to build and is the perfect home for small fish or plants.
This multilevel water feature will serenade guests with falling water as the water from the upper level runs off into the lower level.
Provide a relaxing oasis with a backyard pool
A pool can serve as an inviting centerpiece in your backyard. Spending time in a pool is a great way to unwind and destress after a long day at work.
This rectangular pool and modern home make use of concrete and clean, sharp lines for a minimalistic effect.
Clipped boxwood hedges add privacy and traditional elegance to this pool area.
This sleek infinity pool provides a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.
Large potted plants dot the perimeter of this circular shaped pool, making the area feel natural and warm despite the lack of lawn or trees.
This luxurious pool’s unique shape and wall fountain make it feel like a resort.
Bask in the warm weather on a patio
Whether you have a small courtyard or large property, a patio is the perfect outdoor space to enjoy both day and night.
Spruce it up with your patio furniture of choice. If you plan on dining outside, add a table and chairs. If you plan on spending your time lounging or reading a book, make sure you have comfortable furniture to do so.
The charming brick wall and lanterns overhead make for a cozy atmosphere, perfect for spending time with friends.
A custom outdoor cooking area, perfect for both day and night.
An airy, cheerful space, perfect for relaxing in the sun.
This tropical oasis allows for both time in the sun and the shade.
Add character with a gazebo
The quaint charm of a gazebo adds character to an outdoor space, especially if you have a large yard or garden. Unlike a patio, gazebos provide shade from the sun, and if they’re enclosed, shelter from the wind. You can purchase easy-to-assemble designs, build your own, or commission the work if you have an idea in mind.
To create a welcoming space, add furniture, and provide comfort with cushions and pillows.
If you live in an area with cold, snowy winters, a chimney and fireplace will assure you can enjoy the gazebo for more than just a few months a year. It can also be used as a shelter for a hot tub or spa.
This waterfront gazebo makes use of canvas drapes that can be adjusted to block out wind and sun when necessary.
Surrounding the gazebo with plants helps it blend in with the landscape and look more natural.
Incorporate vegetation like ferns, ivy, or moss to transform the gazebo into a hidden garden getaway.
For festive outdoor decor, string holiday lights, cedar or pine roping, or bows from the gazebo.
Gazebos can also serve as the focal point of a landscape.