Backyard Landscaping Ideas

Transform your outdoor space into your new favourite place

Landscaping is the art of modifying features of land areas for practical or aesthetic purposes. With the fresh air and natural light already in abundance - it is now all about choosing the main landscaping style, hardscape (structures) and softscape (plants). There are endless ideas for backyard landscaping, but the vision is to create a space that will add value not just to your property, but more importantly, to your lifestyle.

Whether you have a small backyard or lots of room to work with, consider some of these focal points to plan around in and tie your landscape design elements together.

Ground-Level Deck

A deck is one of the most popular landscaping styles for obvious reasons. It comes with a multitude of uses - cozy outdoor lounge, added entertainment area and exercise space, bbq area and al fresco dining. On top of all that, it requires low maintenance and increases property value.

A ground level deck, specifically, is easier and more cost efficient to build. No posts are needed and you have the option to have it free standing or unattached to any structure. Railings are also optional because it is already low, but you can add them on depending on your budget and design.

The choices are limitless in choosing the perfect furnishings and accents on and surrounding the deck - it’s up to you to figure out what arrangements you and your household are most likely to make the most use of.

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Image by House Beautiful


An excellent add on to any deck and a trend in backyard landscaping is a pergola. It provides natural, partial shade to your outdoor space while giving off a stylish, contemporary aesthetic. This versatile structure also doesn’t have to be attached to anything - it can stand alone and is easily customizable based on your space. Put it up away from the main house and you get an instant quiet space for reading, meditating or simply enjoying your “me” time.

A pergola is flexible enough to be erected over grass or paved surface. Its overhead grid is also perfect for hanging plants and vines to grow, providing additional shade and adding a touch of greenery.

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Image by Bobvila

Plunge pool

Summer is around the corner and nothing is more inviting than a dip or simply lounging in the pool. There’s simply no better place to relax and cool down on a hot day with family and friends.

It may seem daunting, but building a pool is actually doable. It is still a major backyard undertaking, but other than adhering to safety codes, there really is no hard and fast rule as to what size, shape and length your pool has to be. There are a wide range of options available for customization - it doesn’t even need to be a lap pool. A plunge pool is another option that could very well do the trick and has the added bonus of being heated for colder nights.

If a pool is not your thing, or you prefer something to enjoy beyond the warm weather, you can look into having a hot tub instead! This is just as fun and come in a variety of styles as well to suit your space.

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Image by The Spruce

Backyard Garden

A more traditional option for your backyard is to have a lush, carpeted lawn surrounded by a variety of plants and flowers. It is a fun layout to enjoy and a flexible space that allows for multi-purpose use - on its own, it is a good space for children to play, families to have a picnic under the sun, or a movie night while relaxing with the greenery. Add some outdoor furniture such as sitting areas and it can now be an ideal space for entertaining.

Keep in mind that this particular landscaping design requires a lot of maintenance. Proper watering, fertilization and a strict mowing schedule are needed to keep your grass growing and looking its best. It is also important to choose plants that will thrive in your locale’s climate.

Zen Garden

For people who still like the idea of a garden but without the rigid maintenance, a Zen garden is a good alternative. It is a minimalist dry landscape that exudes a tranquil and peaceful environment. It is mainly composed of natural elements of rock, gravel, sand and wood. Low maintenance plants and small water features can also be added to complete the look.

Image by NBCNews

Image by NBC News

Fire Pit

For places with a cool climate most of the year (Canada, eh?), why not embrace the cold and build a dedicated backyard fire pit? This feature will ensure that you extend the life and fun of your outdoor space.

When night falls, bring the camping vibes right in your backyard. Bundle up and keep cozy around the fire while roasting some marshmallows. Have a quiet night or invite people over for a raging party - a backyard fire pit is sure to see plenty of use. Choose from various styles ranging from rustic to elegant, wood fuel or propane. Compact and portable designs are also now readily available in the market.

Feel free to take it up a notch and go for an outdoor fireplace, if you must!

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Image by Decoist

Mix and Match

When designing your backyard, the possibilities are endless, and there is no rule that says you can’t have it all! Take a little bit of everything from the landscaping ideas we mentioned above - patch of lawn here, a Zen garden there, have a Pergola and firepit by the pool – mix it up however you want! It’s your space and you can design it into anything that reflects your style and fits your needs.

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Image by MyDomaine

Creating your ideal backyard landscape starts with your vision of a relaxing and rejuvenating space - a place where you will want to spend your time. If undertaking a big project, consider taking on the help of skilled professionals such as a landscape designer or an architect. They can bring your ideas to life, identify your style and provide recommendations in maximizing the potential of your space. They can also give invaluable advice on zoning laws and safety codes, especially for styles that require building large structures. Otherwise, DIY can work well too if simply changing up or sprucing parts of your backyard.


This blog post offers a great overview of different elements to consider in backyard landscaping! I particularly like the emphasis on creating a space that reflects your personal style.

The post mentions incorporating trees for shade and privacy. Selecting the right trees is crucial for long-term success. Do you have any recommendations for choosing trees that are low-maintenance and suitable for different backyard sizes?

Tulsa Tree Services April 26, 2024

I appreciate your suggestion when you told us to consider adding a ground-level deck to our backyard since this will give us a cozy outdoor lounge that we can use for multiple purposes, such as an added entertainment area, exercise space, BBQ area, and alfresco dining. My new home in Williamsburg has a wide backyard, and I was thinking of putting it to good use by adding an outdoor living area. I’ll keep this in mind while I look for a landscaping contractor in Williamsburg to hire for the hardscape design I need for my backyard soon.

Clare Martin December 20, 2023

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