Simple Backyard Landscaping Ideas

Whether your backyard is a serene escape or a lively gathering spot, simple landscaping ideas can help make it feel like home. Start by considering how you want to use the space and what design styles best suit your taste.

Keep costs low by using materials you already have, like stones or patio pavers, and repurposed items such as a wood trellis and chairs from garage sales.

Stepping Stones

Stepping stones are a versatile and affordable way to upgrade your yard’s landscaping. They are easy to install and can be arranged in many different patterns to create unique walkways through gardens and lawn areas. These pavers help keep foot traffic from tearing up the grass, while still providing an inviting pathway for walkers.

When choosing a stone type for your path, consider how it will complement the rest of your garden decor. A paver in a natural shape will go well with traditional home styles like bungalows and Colonials, while more colorful pavers can make your backyard feel more playful and creative. Irregularly shaped stones, such as those found in Japanese gardens, add a rustic and whimsical touch to any landscape design.

Another advantage to stepping stones is that they are not as permanent as a paved surface, so they can be moved and adjusted as your tastes change. For this reason, it’s important to plan the layout of your stepping stone path in advance. This will help ensure that the spacing works well with your natural stride and won’t cause you to trip or stumble. If you’re unsure how far apart to space your stones, it can be helpful to have a friend or family member walk through the pathway while you watch.

Lastly, stepping stones can be used to create a memorial or tribute garden. You can use them to remember a beloved pet, commemorate an anniversary or special occasion, or even create a unique message for Mother’s Day. These garden decorations are an ideal way to show a loved one that you’re thinking of them and to give you an opportunity to express your creativity.

You can also create a simple seating area with a stepping stone pathway leading to it. This can be a great spot to relax and read a book or to enjoy the beauty of your garden during a quiet moment. It’s also a great place to have a conversation or share a meal with friends and family. If you’re interested in adding a seating area to your yard, contact a local landscaper. They can create the perfect design for your backyard and help you turn it into a peaceful retreat.

Water Feature

Backyard water features bring the soothing sound and mesmerizing sight of flowing water to a backyard. They can also attract wildlife to the garden and offer a place for homeowners to unwind and relax. Water feature ideas range from fountains to ponds and waterfalls. The sound of water is known to reduce stress and anxiety. This is why water feature ideas are often used as a centerpiece to help create a relaxing oasis in the home’s yard.

Not everyone has the space for a pool, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to add a water feature to a backyard. Whether it is a small bird bath or a pond, the right backyard landscaping idea can make any water feature feel like it was naturally part of your landscape.

A backyard pond is an opportunity to grow beautiful aquatic flowers and foliage or keep it simple by creating a focal point with a carved stone basin. A fish figurine in the pond adds a unique decoration that can elevate an otherwise simple outdoor water feature. Unique decorations on the spigot of the fountain can also be eye-catching and speak to your personal style. If you don’t want to dig a pond in your yard, consider a water curtain or a container water feature. These are great for smaller spaces or even patios and can be made from a variety of materials including concrete, stone and wood.

If you have a natural slope in your backyard, a stream or river water feature is an easy way to tie your garden into the natural environment of your property. These types of water features are usually lined with gravel or pebbles for a more organic look and can be enhanced with rocks and other natural elements.

If a river isn’t something you are interested in, then try a waterfall. This is one of the most popular backyard water feature ideas and can be made from a variety of different materials including rock, stone or concrete. For a more naturalistic waterfall, use large stones to create the shape of the fall and then fill it in with a mix of shade-loving plants.

Fire Pit

The warmth of a fire is more than just comfort—it’s an ambiance that’s perfect for backyard gatherings. This backyard landscaping idea is simple and versatile, allowing you to create a show-stopping patio in whatever style you like. You can even choose a material as inexpensive and versatile as gravel to achieve a beautiful look without spending much money at all.

The simplest way to make your backyard more appealing is by creating a simple walkway that leads straight to your fire pit. A path of paver stones, bricks or pea gravel is a simple and effective way to enhance your backyard’s aesthetic. If you want to add a bit more flair to your walkway, consider lining it with plants that frame the space and direct people towards the fire pit area. For example, a lush garden of boxwood, roses or hydrangeas will add structure and elegance.

If you’re looking to take your backyard to the next level, consider a sunken fire pit with a layered rock design. By recessing the fire area and surrounding it with staggered layers of rocks, you create a natural insulation that helps retain heat and makes for a more comfortable experience. This is also a great alternative for people who are concerned about the safety of a roaring fire.

Another creative and functional backyard landscaping idea is to incorporate a fire pit with a plunge pool. This is the ultimate backyard oasis—combining the elemental heat of a fire with the cool serenity of water. It’s a unique blend of artistry and functionality that will surely turn heads.

If you’re worried about the safety of your family and friends, consider adding landscape lighting around your backyard fire pit. This is a simple and affordable way to improve your backyard’s safety while also creating a cozy ambiance. You can easily DIY a simple solution with string lights or stake tiki torches, or you can install permanent outdoor landscape lighting for greater visibility and added safety. This is an ideal option for families with children and pets who use the yard after dark.


A backyard trellis adds height and visual interest to your garden. It can also help you make use of the space more effectively. For example, if you’re growing vegetables and fruits, they’ll grow upwards instead of outwards if they have somewhere to climb. Trellises can also be used to support flowers, and they come in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles.

This simple trellis is perfect for beginners, and it’s an inexpensive way to add some vertical garden structure. It’s made from repurposed wagon wheels, which you can find at thrift shops and flea markets, along with an old metal planter and twine. Utah sisters Jess, Meg and Nik used it to grow sunflowers and other perennial plants in their kid-friendly backyard garden.

Traditionally, fences are the go-to for backyard privacy, but they can look fairly uninspiring. Give your backyard a bit of flair with a trellis that encourages flowering vines to climb over it. The DIY trellis on this back porch, built with pressure-treated wood and drywall strips, is an updated take on a traditional lattice. It’s a nice accent for the rustic outdoor furniture and checkerboard patio, which were all handmade by this homeowner.

A trellis doesn’t have to be a separate free-standing structure in your yard; it can also be a part of the fencing itself, like this brick wall that’s been planted with leafy vines. It adds a little more interest to the yard, and it looks much better than a bare brick wall.

More complex trellises are a great addition to the garden, and they can be bought or professionally custom-made. This trellis is part of an arbor, which makes it easy for you to get to your plants and provides a place for a picnic table. It’s also made from recycled lumber, so it’s eco-friendly.

A large trellis can serve as a boundary marker for different areas in your backyard. It divides the vegetable garden from the seating area and the pool, and it provides a natural border that gives this small urban backyard some serious curb appeal.