The backyard is where most outdoor activities take place at home, whether it’s playtime for kids, a family barbecue, or quiet time with a good book. Unlike traditional landscapes of the past, the backyard has become an outdoor space that is an extension of the home.
It’s safe to say that most backyards could use an upgrade as part of a home improvement project, whether it’s minor DIY changes or a full makeover with the help of a landscape designer. You don’t need a large yard to make major improvements. Even a small urban garden can be transformed into a welcoming space where you can enjoy your time outdoors to the maximum. Here are some basic backyard design principles as well as design ideas to get you started.
PLANNING YOUR GARDEN LIVING SPACE
how much space do you have Measure your garden to get a better idea.
Is your garden flat, sloping or irregularly shaped?
What are your existing basic trees and shrubs, and will you incorporate them into a new design or remove them?
How does light fall at different times of the day and through the seasons? This will help with the choice of plants and how to use the space.
Consider the function. How would you like to use your garden space? Would you like a children’s play area, a place to prep food, a dining patio, a quiet seating area for reading and meditation, a dog run, a swimming pool, a water feature, a fire pit, or a vegetable garden? Prioritize the activities you are most likely to participate in and leave room for ornamental plantings.
Consider privacy. Small urban lots tend to have more privacy issues than larger suburban lots.
Does your neighbor’s second floor window look out into your garden?
Is there an unsightly view that needs to be checked?
Is your yard fenced in by a fence or hedge?
Check out more privacy ideas.
Divide the backyard into garden spaces. Creating separate areas for different functions makes a backyard feel larger. Connect spaces with pathways or transitional areas and use hedges, containers, plant groupings, fences or trellises to screen off garden spaces. The separation can be closed or semi-open to allow light and glimpses into the adjacent space. Read more about how to design a garden room.
Get inspired. Read the internet and visit local gardens for ideas. Make a list of attributes you like, e.g. B. Terrace, fence, hardscape materials, plants, outdoor kitchen or furniture.
Look at the scale. Larger suburban lots have different considerations than small backyards. Choose a bistro set or love seat for a smaller space rather than a full dining set or sectional. Stepping stones may be better suited to a path than a full-size sidewalk. If you have a small yard, you might not have room for a pond, but you can still add a water feature like a bird bath or tabletop fountain. Allow enough space for plants to reach their adult size and use dwarf varieties for smaller areas.
Choose a style. Choose hardscape, furniture and plants that complement the facade of your home. A contemporary fireplace or lounge suite complements a modern home, while a fire pit and Adirondack-style furniture are more appropriate for a bungalow or rustic cabin.
Draw a design. Make a rough sketch and formulate a basic plan. For more elaborate projects, consult a landscape expert to create a garden design.
Budget. The cost of a major backyard upgrade can be significant and should be determined up front. Get more than one opinion and consider more cost-effective hardscaping and setup options without sacrificing quality. Renovations can be done in stages to spread costs over time.