Here is a gallery of 23 Backyard Garden Ideas (with photos) that will inspire you this year. From small to large garden spaces you’ll be sure to find your next project.
Whether you’ve got a sprawling lawn and extensive garden, or a relatively compact space to work with, you’ll surely find something here that captures your imagination. The more natural, subtle ideas are often our favorites because they often sneak into our view with a fresh sense of surprise.
One of the biggest compliments that can be paid to an elaborate backyard garden setup is that it looks to have been all designed together in one cohesive sprint. Each element perfectly complements the others in a fluent language.
With subtly gorgeous projects like the ones we’ve shared below, that goal is easily attainable. Without further ado, let’s get on with these fantastic backyard garden ideas!
1. Garden Statues
While this option can range in price from relatively cheap to wildly expensive, depending on your taste in garden statues, it’s one of the most classic and elegant garden decorating solutions out there. People have been planting statues in the landscape almost as far back as written history goes, so there’s a lot of tradition behind this idea. Whether you’re dropping something small and subtle, as pictured above, or something much more substantial in your garden, you’ll be enjoying a fundamentally timeless decoration.
2. Rock Border
The great thing about this project is that it requires a relatively low amount of work for such fantastic looking results. With a great selection of stones, either purchased or gathered by hand, you can simply dig a shallow trench and fill them however you prefer. The look depends on the type of stones chosen, and can be tailored to your tastes.
3. Stone Path
Stone paths are a classic touchstone (pun intended) of gardens everywhere. They come in all shapes and sizes, and can be anything from purely decorative to highly functional. This particular set is sunk just slightly into the lawn for a discreet look that’s easy to run a mower over without trouble.
4. Pink Garden Boxes
So, remember how we talked about these projects being seamlessly integrated into their environments? We didn’t necessarily mean that they’d blend in. This idea is a testament to the power of stark contrast and, well, bright pink. It’s an unexpected, bright burst of color in a neutral, natural environment and frames the garden in a really exciting way.
5. Raised Garden Boxes
We love garden boxes because they’re not only functional, they add a fresh layer of beauty to any garden. First of all, they’ll raise your plants and frame them in a handsome fashion while keeping them protected from trampling feet and even water damage during heavy rain.
6. Circular Stone Path
We showed you an example of stone walking paths already, but this idea is all about flaunting the stones rather than sinking them discreetly into the lawn. The project above set the broad circular stones into a pebble garden, where they appear to float over the surface, but you could set yours onto the soil or other types of ground as well.
7. Garden Pond
We absolutely love garden ponds, so of course we had to include one in this list of favorite backyard garden ideas! A garden pond takes a lot of hands-on work, so you’ll either need time and materials or the money to pay someone to do it. But one glance at the image above shows just how completely the results justify the effort. There are a thousand ways to craft a pond in your backyard, but only you know how to best shape one.
8. Red Garden Bench
Sometimes bright colors and contrast are just what’s needed. The best part of this particular project is that they matched the shade of the gorgeous flowers with the benches, making for a truly cohesive accent to the garden. The leggy geraniums are a beautiful addition.
9. Patterned Color Flower Bed
A full garden is a happy garden, no? It sounds about right to us. Everyone loves seeing a garden that’s absolutely flush with flowers from end to end, but taking it a step further ensures some spectacular results. Try patterning your colors, setting different plants against each other, and generally creating attractive layouts for your garden, so it looks like a single planned work of art!
10. Colorful Adirondack Chairs
Adirondack chairs make the perfect seating complement to any garden. They’re a favorite of deck dwellers and patio patrons everywhere for their comfort and unique look. Most are plain natural wood toned, so try painting one a favorite shade, matching the flowers in your garden, and see what kind of beauty erupts!
11. Flower Draped Pergola
Pergolas are another longtime favorite yard element of ours. These structures add a dose of complexity and rigid lines to the outdoor environment, and mesh perfectly with the plants around them. Try running vines or roses up your own pergola to effectively transform it into a vertical garden.
12. Raised Herb Garden
We already covered raised gardens, but we wanted to include the idea of doing so for your herb garden. This makes for a handy way to make them stand out, defining the herb space as distinct from the rest of your garden. It also frames them in an attractive, timeless fashion.
13. Rooftop Container Garden
Maybe you don’t have a lot of backyard space, or any at all. If you live in an apartment building, however, you might have plenty of balcony or rooftop space with which to plant a garden anyway. There are thousands of container gardens to choose from, so the style is entirely up to you. Whatever you can fit comfortably up there, have at it! There’s really no wrong way to plant your own rooftop garden.
14. Birdbath Garden
While birds love baths and we love watching them, sometimes you can get a lot more enjoyment out of a birdbath by turning it into a bespoke container garden. There are virtually no limits on what can be planted in one, as long as you take the time and effort to plan it out. With the variety and scale of birdbaths available, you’re sure to find one that fits your tastes and your yard.
15. Brick Path Lined With Flowers
This idea basically combines a brick or stone walking path with an expertly curated flower bed that runs alongside. The flowers add a whole host of attraction to the place, while helping to frame the walking path. This is a project that takes a lot of time but not much money to achieve.
16. Compact Backyard Garden
Here’s a great example of what can be accomplished within a limited backyard space. When you don’t have all the room in the world to move about, you want to make sure that you’re doing the most with what you have. The detail is absolutely packed in here, with container gardens, standard flower beds, a trellis fence with ivy, and a nice little furniture set to enjoy it all from.
17. Intricate Flower Garden
Earlier in our list, we highlighted the possibilities when you have a very filled out garden that’s arranged in patterns. This idea takes that notion a step further, with an intricate array of alternating plant colors, expertly placed flowers, and an overall design that was planned from the get-go. It’s ambitious, but the results speak for themselves.
18. Topiary Archway
This is a project that requires considerable skill, so unless you’re already an expert, you’ll want to hire one. One look at the image above is all you need to know about how fantastic it looks. A completely natural, grown archway (or really any other large scale piece) is a stunning addition to any backyard.
19. Deeply Carved Landscape
We love in-depth landscaping projects that reshape the ground itself, forming to the project rather than working with what’s already there. With a hilly backyard, this project carved out a sloped place for stone tiers, well-placed trees, and an exotic variety of flowers. It completely redefines the backyard.
20. Ornate Garden Bench
Here in the same backyard as our previous example, we see the other side of the lawn, as well as a closer view of that deep landscaping. Across from the garden we’ve got a pebble path where a singular wrought iron bench sits. It’s a perfect visual accompaniment as well as a great place to enjoy the garden from. Speaking of the landscaping, check out the cascading water feature at the center!
21. Stone Wall Garden Tiers
When you’re doing a heavy landscaping project that involves reshaping the earth, you’re already “going big” so why not consider the possibilities of using well-shaped stone walls to create tiered gardens? This is a major project but one with timeless value and appeal. The stones can be chosen for their shape, color, or ease of use, and the distinct garden tiers can be used to place wildly different plant life.
22. Garden Entry Pergola
We love the idea of using smaller, discreet pergolas as an entryway arch for the backyard or garden. With trellised walls, you can even weave in some ivy or roses. When choosing your material, make sure it’s something that complements your home, fencing, or even your outdoor furniture.
23. Garden Gazebo
This one’s a classic. It’s something my mom built years ago and where she loved spending her time in the garden. It’s a nice sheltered space to enjoy dinner or quiet drinks with loved ones, and it’s an attractive element to sink into any yard, provided you have the space.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our selections for fantastic backyard garden ideas! We’ve always got more, so keep an eye out for future projects that might be just the idea for your own yard.