Just moved into a new home and looking for ways to revamp the backyard space? Or maybe you’ve been living in your home for years and just need some new ideas for now to transform your outdoor area? Whether you have a large budget or a tiny one, there are plenty of things you can do to make your backyard more beautiful. Keep scrolling to discover my list of 59 backyard lawn ideas for a landscape you’ll absolutely love!
Of course, the ideas that will work for you will depend on your region and its climate, as well as your needs and preferences. Your backyard size is another important consideration.
Luckily, there are dozens of great backyard lawn ideas out there. I’m going to reveal 59 of the best ones out there today, and if you want to accurately map out your yard’s square footage when you’re ready to start your project, use my free lawn mapping tool.
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The Best Backyard Lawn Ideas
No matter where you live in the United States and what your style preferences, there are plenty of great backyard lawn ideas out there to create a space you, your family, and friends will love.
I’ve put together this list of the best 59 backyard lawn ideas, to help you discover the best options for your outdoor space.
Before you decide on what to plant and create in your backyard, make sure you know what region and climate you live in. These factors will have a significant impact on what you can and should do.
1. Add More Perennial Flowers
Flower gardens are beautiful for any backyard. Not only do they add color and texture to a space, they invite you into it, and give you a path to walk or a destination to move toward.
I recommend planting perennial beds and borders, as they’ll come back year after year without having to re-plant.
Brighten up your outdoor space with colorful varieties of hardy flowers. Some examples of popular perennial flowers include peonies, hydrangeas, primroses, and black-eyed Susans.
Make sure you find out about how to care for the perennials you choose. The right care is essential to making sure that they come back over the years, and pay attention to when each variety blooms – include plants that bloom in spring, summer, and fall so you have color and interest all year long.
Add plants like Hostas, Heuchera, Ferns, and Iris that offer interesting texture and foliage even when they are not in bloom for year-long interest.
2. Put in Some Stepping Stones
Installing some stepping-stone paths is a wonderful way to make your backyard seem more inviting and comfortable. You can use flat stones or pavers. Just make sure that they’re put in properly, so no one will trip!
As well as creating a charming look, stepping stones will help to preserve your lawn health. That’s because there will be less foot traffic on your grass. It’s a win-win!
3. Arbors and Trellises Add Extra Charm
Would you like to define the entrance to a specific area of your backyard, such as a space with flower gardens? If you have a large backyard, I recommend installing an arbor. They really do create a magical feeling in any outdoor space.
A trellis is a type of lattice that you can add to wooden structures. You can create trellis walls and ceilings for an outdoor seating space.
4. Get a Few Outdoor Shelves
This is a great idea, especially for smaller spaces. After all, you’re probably always looking for places to put things outdoors, and shelves come in handy.
They can also be stylish. You can find wooden shelving options that will create a rustic look and make your space more inviting. If you’re a DIY carpenter, you can even make them yourself.
And there are a million ways you can use your shelves. You can put small potted plants and herbs on them, for a practical and decorative solution.
5. Rock Garden Creativity
Rock gardens are a place where you can show all your creativity in backyard design. There are an almost unlimited number of ways you can create and arrange rock gardens, so take your time thinking of the right approach.
I’ve found that rock gardens add to the tranquil atmosphere in any outdoor space. They encourage mindfulness and are a great design addition overall. So, think about giving one a try.
6. Add Some Playful Features
By playful, I mean adding space for lawn games! These don’t have to be just for kids. You can add in areas for playing horseshoes, with a special pole for the purpose.
You can also play badminton and other games that just require you set up a simple net.
Lawn bowling is another popular game. If you want to do lawn bowling, you’ll need to set up a lawn bowling area, with lanes.
For ideas and inspiration, check out my list of the best lawn games that will work for pretty much everyone.
7. Trees Enrich Your Space
This is one of my favorite backyard lawn ideas. If you have a larger backyard, think about planting some new trees.
They’re wonderful for offering more shade and making your outdoor space more beautiful and inviting. And of course, trees are beneficial for the environment.
Make sure you learn about the expected mature size of any tree you plant before you plant it. There are many lovely species to choose from. You should choose a tree that grows well in your region.
8. Seating for Relaxing Afternoons
No matter what your sense of style or practical considerations, you can find great options for seating in your backyard. No matter what kind of seating you choose, make sure that it is outdoor furniture.
Outdoor furniture is designed and constructed with materials that can stand up to being outdoors. If you want to put your backyard seating directly on the plush grass, I highly recommend getting high-end plastic furniture.
9. Install Some Accent Lighting
Do you like spending time in your backyard in the evenings? Perhaps you throw small parties out there and need some great ambiance? There are several options available for installing accent lighting.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a big budget. There are more affordable options that you can put in to cast some enchanting light on the subject.
10. Get a Beautiful Bird Bath
Do you love birds and want to bring more of them into your backyard? You can’t go wrong with a beautiful bird bath. It’ll be a nice treat for the local feathery friends, too.
There are many different kinds of bird baths available, so get one that best fits your lifestyle and outdoor decor. One of the most common is the pedestal bird bath. This kind of bird bath has a basin on top of a pedestal.
11. A Plunge Pool if You Can’t Have a Swimming Pool
Maybe you thought you couldn’t have a full-size swimming pool because your backyard is too small (or you just don’t want to lose that much of your yard.
If so, there is one possibility maybe you haven’t thought about: a plunge pool.
A plunge pool is just big enough for you to plunge into (hence the name!) and sit in, to relax and cool off in the warm weather. If you have hot summers and like spending a lot of time in your outdoor space, think about installing a plunge pool.
12. Be Creative with Ground Cover
In the United States, we tend to think that turfgrass is the only ground over. But the fact of the matter is that there are a wide variety of beautiful and versatile plant ground covers to choose from.
A big advantage of some non-grass ground covers and lawn replacement ideas is that they often don’t require much maintenance. So, if you’re short on time but want a beautiful backyard, think about getting one of these easy-care options.
Two examples of popular alternative ground covers are creeping thyme and moss.
13. Put in a Hot Tub
This idea is a no-brainer if you like to relax after a long day. Most people will install their hot tub on a deck.
You need a concrete base or foundation for your hot tub, so keep this in mind if you want to put it elsewhere.
Do you like having barbecues or other gatherings outdoors? You’ll love having a hot tub out there, too. There’s a good reason this is one of the most popular backyard lawn ideas.
14. Set Up Space to Entertain
In the late spring and summer, you can’t beat a hospitable backyard space for entertaining. So, keep being hospitable in mind when deciding on the features of your outdoor space.
Make sure that you provide seating, as well as beautiful features for your guests to admire. Having some mesmerizing water features and ponds is a great way to make your backyard one to remember.
15. Install a Floating Deck
A floating deck is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a deck that looks like it’s floating on your grass, and it’s not connected to your home like a traditional deck.
If you can’t build a deck on your house for whatever reason, a floating deck is a great alternative. Not only is it a place where you can enjoy time with family and friends, it’s an attractive point of interest.
16. Create Extra Tranquility with a Pond
Many homeowners like adding a fish pond to their backyards, and I highly recommend this. It greatly adds to the beauty of your property, and it’s beneficial to the environment, as well.
Decide on which fish species you’d like to have. Koi is a popular option, although they do take quite a bit of maintenance. Many property owners like to have goldfish in their ponds.
17. Set Up a Hammock
Do you have a couple of trees in your backyard, and are they about 12 feet apart? If so, you can set up a hammock. A hammock is perfect for lazy days when you just want to chill outside.
Make sure to follow the instructions that come with your hammock and attach it securely. You don’t want to end up falling! But overall, a colorful hammock is a great addition to any backyard.
18. Grow Your Own Vegetables
A vegetable garden isn’t just practical, it can be attractive too. There are different layout options to choose from, and you can customize the size of your vegetable patch (or patches) to fit your needs and preferences.
It’s up to you which specific vegetables you want to include in your vegetable garden. Think about which ones will grow well in your climate and what you and your family like to eat. Also, use a great vegetable garden soil.
19. Cover Your Fences With Vines
Growing vines on your fences adds a unique touch to your backyard style. Covering your fences in this way is a great way to create more privacy. If you like the English garden look, it’s also a great choice.
Do you have a wooden fence? Clematis might just be the perfect vine for you to grow. It grows lovely flowers in pretty colors, such as yellow, white, purple to lavender, and wine red.
20. Build New Pathways
There are a wide variety of materials you can use to create pathways in your backyard. A step up from the stepping stones pathway I talked about earlier, a wide pathway is more appropriate for larger properties.
Flagstone paths are quite popular in backyards. Another great option is slate. If you want something a bit more affordable, you can even create a mulch walkway, using wood chips.
21. Bonsai Trees Add Charm
If you’re up for a bit more of a challenge, you could plant some Bonsai trees in your backyard. I recommend buying a pre-made Bonsai.
There’s a special procedure for planting Bonsai trees, so make sure you learn about it before you plant any on your property. You’ll have added an iconic aspect of Japanese garden decor.
22. Add More Water Features
I’ve found that water features are among the best ways to create a tranquil atmosphere in your backyard.
They’re also lovely to have during the hot weather, as flowing cool water makes you feel refreshed (just looking at it)!
The specific kinds of water features you can install will vary by the size of your property and your budget.
23. A Gazebo Retreat
Do you have a larger property? A gazebo might be exactly what you have in mind. There are several different gazebo styles to choose from, so get one that suits you.
Do you have an incline or slight hill in your backyard? A tiny gazebo would look impressive on top of it. If you want a place where you can get some privacy to relax, then maybe get a larger gazebo somewhere else.
More than anything, adding a destination like a Gazebo to your yard can invite your family and friends out into the space by defining a destination for them to walk toward.
24. Putting Green for Golfing Fans
Are you a golfer? Go ahead and set up a putting green in your backyard! Even small backyards can accommodate a tiny putting green for you to enjoy. Of course, make sure you choose a putting green that is the right size for you.
It’s a bit of work installing a putting green, but it’ll be worth it in the end when you can practice your strokes at home.
25. Southwestern Design Elements
Whether or not you live in the Southwest, you can add Southwestern design touches to your backyard. A big part of this is terracotta pottery, as well as terracotta tiles.
Planting some flowers and greenery in terracotta pots is a great idea. If you have potted plants anyway, just go ahead and transfer them to Southwestern pots. You can also consider putting down some terracotta tiles to your deck or any other place where you want a hard floor.
26. Living Space Outdoors
There’s a great range of living space furniture made specifically for the outdoors available today.
No matter what kind of style you choose, make sure that your outdoor furniture is made specifically for the outdoors. That’s important because regular indoor furniture will get moldy and damaged if you leave them outdoors.
27. Install Your Own Fire Pit
If you love getting together with friends in your yard in the evenings, consider installing a fire pit. It’s great for gathering and spending time talking or even playing the guitar.
Choose a fire pit design that fits your style, preferences, and yard size. Of course, when you’re dealing with fire, safety comes first.
28. Add Some Raised Garden Beds
Raised garden beds add extra color and interest to your backyard. You get to decide which flowers and other plants you grow and display in them, and they’re convenient to use.
When you have raised garden beds, you don’t have to worry about getting right down on the ground like you would otherwise. Raised garden beds are also attractive and more impressive.
29. Grow Delicious Herbs
Why not make your backyard an extension of the kitchen with a herb garden? Herbs will create a wonderful scent on your property, and you can pick them to add to your cooking.
There’s a plethora of different herbs that you can grow. Some of the most popular include peppermint, oregano, thyme, chamomile, and basil.
30. Include Some Sculptures
Give your backyard some artistic flair by adding some garden sculptures. No matter what kinds of shapes or depictions you like, you will find that there is a great selection on the marketplace.
And sculptures don’t have to be expensive either. Are you an animal-lover? Add some animal sculptures on your property.
31. Create More Shade
In most parts of the country, especially in the South, the sun can get almost unbearable in the summer. Luckily, there are many things you can do to create more shade.
Trees are the most obvious option, but you can also get some patio umbrellas and awnings. Canopies and gazebos are just a couple of other ideas.
32. Grow Hedges and Shrubs
They take some maintenance, but hedges and shrubs can transform your backyard. Some homeowners will plant tall hedges instead of having a fence.
When it comes to hedges to have within your garden, I especially like hydrangea shrubs. They grow brightly colored, beautiful flowers.
33. Shrubs Around Flower Beds
Some homeowners like planting small shrubs and hedges around flower beds. It’s a neat way of organizing their yard and garden.
A popular option is to plant a flowering shrub, like the hydrangea shrub I talked about earlier.
34. Ivy Walls Create Atmosphere
If you have garden walls on your lawn, you should go ahead and plant some ivy to creep over it.
The ivy will make your home seem like a distinguished and historic property. Ivy also helps to create an English garden type of feel.
35. Build a Lovely Fountain
I talked generally about water features earlier, but let’s focus in on fountains here. Installing a fountain is an instant way of making your lawn and gardens seem much more upscale.
The sound of your fountain water flowing will make your time outside more tranquil.
36. Make Artificial Turf Part of Your Backyard
In the past, artificial turf had an unmistakably tacky look, but no more! Today, you can get high quality artificial turf that truly looks like real grass.
Artificial turf is great for busy homeowners who don’t have much time for lawn care. You also don’t have to worry about the costs of irrigation, fertilizing, and mowing.
37. Attract Butterflies and Hummingbirds
Who doesn’t want butterflies and hummingbirds flitting around their gardens?
If you’d like the addition of these beautiful creatures on your property, there are certain kinds of flowers that you can plant to attract them. For example, Dahlia is known to attract both butterflies and hummingbirds.
38. Grow Lavender
Lavender is another flower that will attract butterflies. Be aware, though, that it will attract some bees as well, so you’ll probably only want to grow a little bit of it.
But even just small patches of lavender in your backyard will make your property fragrant and more beautiful.
39. Plant Some Wildflowers
Make your property seem like an enchanting cottage or even a meadow with some colorful wildflowers. One of the great things about wildflowers is that they tend to be low-maintenance.
However, one thing that wildflowers do need is an exceptional amount of is sunshine. If you have a yard with full sunshine, however, a wildflower garden is a good choice for you.
40. Get a Trampoline
Do you have kids? If so, they’ll love having a trampoline in the backyard. As the best kind of surface for installing a trampoline is grass, your backyard is a great place to have one.
The next time you throw a birthday party for one of your children, the trampoline will be a big hit.
41. Make Mulch Part of Your Design
As well as being beneficial to your lawn health, mulch can also be a landscaping design feature. For example, you can create a pathway out of wood chips.
You can also put some wood chips beneath any trees in your garden, as well as on your flower beds.
42. Plant Some Ornamental Grasses
You can add some ornamental grasses to parts of your lawn and gardens. One popular option is fountain grass. It features feathery ends and grows as tall as 5 feet.
If you live in USDA zones 5 through 9, this ornamental grass will probably work on your property. You’ll need well-drained soil and an area that gets full sun.
43. Arrange a Japanese Rock Garden
If you have some Bonsai trees and water features, too, think about creating a Japanese rock garden. It’ll add to the sense of Zen in your backyard.
In fact, rock gardens are often referred to specifically as Zen gardens. Arranging a Japanese rock garden takes quite a bit of work, especially when it comes to gathering the right rocks, but the results are worth it.
44. Make Moss a Design Element
Are there any areas of your backyard that have a lot of shade? Moss would probably do well there.
While some people see moss in lawns as a problem, others embrace its unique texture and the beautiful, soft, carpet it can create.
Check to see if there is already any moss on your property, and if so, where it is. Moss grows on the surface of objects and the ground, so it doesn’t have roots.
45. Split Things Up With Hedges
If you want to organize your yard into different areas, planting hedges is a great way to do this. When you use tall and wide hedges as boundaries, we call them hedge walls.
They’re definitely an idea to consider if you have an enormous property.
46. Plant Exotic or Tropical Flowers
Do you live in the hot and humid South? If your climate is warm and tropical enough, you can plant some gorgeous exotic flowers.
Make your backyard feel like a tropical paradise. This is great if you entertain outdoors, and especially if you have a pool or water features.
47. Create a Cottage Theme
Remember the wildflowers idea I talked about earlier? Well, you can use some of those together with an English garden layout to create a cottage theme in your backyard.
A major technique is to replace your conventional turfgrass with meadow-like groundcovers.
Tall blooming ground covers combined with a weathered white-picket fence is one of the most iconic cottage garden looks.
48. Build With Bricks
Do you have any old bricks around? Even if you don’t, it might be worth investing in buying some new ones to create some great design features in your backyard.
You can use bricks to create a plethora of useful and decorative items, such as a garden walkway and raised garden beds.
49. Get Shade from Palm Trees
Do you live in a region where you can grow palm trees? If so, planting palm trees is a great way of creating more shade on your property.
They blow beautifully in the breeze and you’ll be glad you have these trees in hot and humid summers.
50. English Garden Elements
English gardens are known for their delicate flowers and meadow-like ornamental grasses. Paths are another big element of this garden style, so make sure you add one (or a few) to add extra charm to your backyard.
Some of the flowers especially associated with the English garden aesthetic include roses, hydrangeas, peonies, and dahlias. If you have roses, I recommend feeding them with this product from Espoma which is what I use on pretty much all of my flowering plants.
51. Add More Borders and Edging
Adding in different kinds of borders and edging is another way that you can give your backyard a new look. Of course, you can add borders to separate grass from your flower beds, such as brick and stone borders.
Tree rings are also nice. A tree border is often made of wood, and it houses not only the tree but also a round flower bed surrounding it.
52. Install Some Stone Steps
Does your backyard have different levels with steps? If so, you could go ahead and install some higher end stone steps.
Stone steps add a quaint yet upscale look, and they’re a great way to create an extra point of interest in your outdoor space.
53. Plant Some Evergreens
Evergreen shrubs are a popular backyard element. You can plant evergreen trees, too. Of course, one of the best things about evergreen plants is that they stay green and vibrant all year long.
If you have a hedge, you’ll want it to be evergreen. After all, that means that it always will be at its best. Keep your evergreen trees and shrubs looking fantastic with this Espoma food formulated for trees.
54. Create a Beachy Look
Do you live near the ocean? Maybe you’ll want to bring some of the look of the beach to your backyard.
For example, you could add some beach pebbles or pea gravel. You can add these around your flowerbeds in border sections, or you can even put them on a walkway.
The color and informal feel of this kind of design element will not only define your space, but it will invite everyone in.
55. Put in a Bench
A bench is a lovely addition to any backyard space. It’ll be perfect for when you want to sit down and read a good book.
A wooden bench, especially one painted in white, adds to the decor and atmosphere of your outdoor space, as well.
56. Create Enchantment with Lanterns
Lanterns are wonderful if you entertain in the evening outside. You can even create a Victorian or retro look with the style of your lanterns.
I recommend finding solar-powered lanterns for your lawn. That way, you won’t have to worry about cords or expensive installation.
57. Topiary in Interesting Shapes
Topiary means hedges and shrubs trimmed into specific shapes. For example, you can trim your hedges into pyramids or spheres.
Shaping your hedges in this way can be quite a challenge, so you might want to bring in the professionals.
58. Install Some Window Boxes
Are there any windows overlooking your backyard? Make them more beautiful with some window boxes full of colorful flowers.
The whole purpose of putting in window boxes is to add a point of interest, so choose flowers that stand out. Some popular window box flowers are petunias and begonias.
I like these Bloem Plastic Window Boxes from Ace Hardware. They’re available in a terracotta color.
59. Plant Fruit Trees
You can plant fruit trees in most areas of the United States, but the specific kinds of fruit trees you can grow will vary by region.
If you live anywhere from USDA zones 3 through 9, you can grow an apple tree. Make sure to choose a variety that works well in your specific region.
Use These Backyard Lawn Ideas to Transform Your Backyard Landscape
As you can see here, there are dozens of fantastic backyard lawn ideas for sprucing up, or even transforming, your outdoor space. Maybe you’ve decided that one of them is the perfect choice for your yard, or perhaps you want to combine two or three or even more, to give your space a real makeover.
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