Backyard Ideas That Will Keep You Outside All Summer

Gazing at the expansive space at the back of your house should get your mind thinking about backyard ideas. The back is an extension of your home, and it should be taken care of and considered just like any part of the house. Your design will set the tone for all of your future outdoor spaces, so it's important to plan accordingly. Before you break ground on your dream outdoor oasis, know what that dream is. Will you go for modern or classic? A luxury spa that evokes country living? Create entertainment space or room to relax and be alone? "Look at the big picture: the entire backyard, the entire front yard or the entire property and envision your goals," says Tyler Banken, interior/exterior plant specialist and landscape designer for plant resource company Neverland.

Here, a list of 46 backyard landscaping ideas to help inspire your perfect space.

How do I design my backyard?
Designing a backyard can feel like a daunting task, especially if you're using a large surface area. Fortunately, it's much more manageable if you have a solid plan in place. Banken explains that while it's common to design a backyard in stages (this is especially true for DIYers), it's important to always understand how each part will ultimately fit into the whole. "When you have an overall plan for your space, it gives you something to work toward and makes sure you're not wasting time," he says.

How can I make my backyard look good?
While planning will play an important role in the overall success of your design, Banken says there are three important general categories to address when installing a landscape.

Site preparation: Banken recommends planning for "positive drainage" when designing your space. You don't want your yard to slope and water to collect or flow into a structure like a shed or seating area. "Water can wreak havoc on a building," he says, not to mention that puddles don't look good.

Hardscaping: Carefully plan all hardscaping, such as patios or retaining walls, and especially anything that needs to be carefully installed. These considerations greatly affect the beauty and longevity of the space.

Planting: Complete your design by incorporating how flowers and greenery will impact your backyard ideas. "Plan planting in layers," he says. For example, you can place evergreens on the foundation, medium-height lanterns in the front and lower-growing plants in the borders.

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