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How To Landscape Backyard

This article’s purpose is to offer tips and advice to people who want to landscape their backyard or garden themselves, but do not know where to start. There are a few reasons why you might want to take on this project yourself, perhaps to save money as hiring professional landscapers can be quite pricey. Or as a keen gardener you want to have a practical hand in how your backyard looks. Whatever the reason you will be happy to know it is something you can do yourself but you do need to do some proper planning first. It involves more than just getting a few plants and tools, you need to think about where things are going to go in order to thrive. This means thinking about sunlight, the pH of your soil, drainage, climate, how much you have in your budget and how many hours you can devote to this project.

Backyard Landscaping Tips for Beginners

Getting started

backyard-design A good way to start your planning is to sketch what you are starting with and then to mark on it what areas get a lot of sunlight, what areas get a lot of shade, write down the pH of your soil. Does your land slope at all and how steep of a slope is it? Do you have soft spots where the water drains after it rains and is that a good place for the drainage? You need to know all of this because some plants will not do well in shaded areas, others will not do well in overly sunny areas, the soil will affect the growth and so on. You do not want to waste money on plants and put them in places that they are going to die or not thrive. Certain types of grass will be more suited to your land and your climate than others. You also at this point need to decide what you are keeping and what you are getting rid of in terms of existing plants and trees. Think about whether you want something more natural looking, something that encourages privacy, or something more open.

With this information you can think about types of grass and plants to get. If you are already a keen gardener you are probably already aware of what works well in some places in your garden. If you are new to all of this a good way to work this out is to visit your local garden center and talk about your findings with someone who works there. They can show you plants they have that would work well in your shady spots, and ones that would work well in your sunny spots. They can advice you about grass seeds. Or alternatively you can do some research of your own at home online. You can also look through landscaping magazines for advice and ideas and walk around your neighbourhood and look at what others have done. Ask your neighbours if there is anything that they would change or hasn’t worked well in their gardens. Put everything you have sketched and noted in a ring binder so everything is together when you need to refer to it.

beautiful-garden Turn your backyard into a beautiful garden

Make a firmer plan

Now you can start to plan the areas of your backyard with more detail and ideally do it to scale. Are you going to put up a conservatory and where it will go? Is there a theme you have decided on and need to work towards? Will you want fencing or hedges or trees around your land? Will you be grading the lawns, where will the flower beds be? Are you putting in a vegetable plot and where that goes? Will there be any paving and where, water feature, any other decorative items? Or put up a wooden gazebo? Your plan should be about you and how you intend to use the land, not about having to have certain things just because the neighbours have it. You can use the traditional paper and pencil method on some graph paper or there is some interesting software out there that you can buy that helps you create a 3D plan.

If you plan to build a wooden gazebo, check out these design ideas:


serene-garden Beautiful backyard – good for relaxing time and family get together

Tips to think about while planning

  1. 1. Start with your lawn area, is it going to have children running over it a lot? Do you want to section off a play area for them?
  2. 2. Areas that are rocky, wet, or low are not best suited for grass.
  3. 3. Land that is in shaded areas is best suited for a porch or seating area, or a swing perhaps.
  4. 4. Mark on your plan where slopes are and other areas that are not flat.
  5. 5. Decide whether you are going to level the land, fill in depressions and so on. This means thinking about how much soil you will be either removing or needing to fill so that you can hire a company to do this for you if you do not have a truck.
  6. 6. When you have an idea of specific plants and other items you need go back to the gardening center or nursery and ask for a quote. Then visit another and get several quotes before making any purchases.
  7. 7. If you are having a water feature you need to install piping. If you have a patio or lighted area for seating you need power for lighting.
  8. 8. If you are having a vegetable patch you need to have garden netting for things like peas and beans. Keep it away from any play area so it doesn’t get accidentally trampled over. It will need to be watered regularly.
  9. 9. If you are interested in the local wildlife there are something you can do to encourage them to visit. Have a birdhouse and feeder.
  10. 10. If you choose to have a wide variety of plants this may create more color and interest but will be harder work looking after them all.
  11. 11. Height of plants is important as well, you do not want to plant tall plants at the front of a bed and have shorter ones at the back that are impossible to see.
  12. 12. You will not get the garden of your dreams in one weekend of work. Landscaping your own land will take time so be prepared for that. Set up a schedule if you need to get it finished by a certain deadline.

modern-landscaping Modern landscaping design

Now you are ready to get to the physical part of landscaping your backyard. Make sure you have all the tools you need, the last thing you want is to discover you need something when you are in the middle of working. With some planning and research and creativity you can transform your existing backyard into something truly impressive. A place you can relax in or garden in, a place family and friends can come share with you, a place that is both vibrant and peaceful.