For this gallery, we searched around to find the most eye-popping ideas that are achievable in the average backyard. Some of these are simple DIY projects, while others involve purchasing specific decorative and functional products.
The unifying theme is that they are all subtly gorgeous additions to any backyard.
Whether you’ve got a sprawling lawn and extensive garden, or a relatively compact space to work with, you’ll surely find something here that captures your imagination. The more natural, subtle ideas are often our favorites because they often sneak into our view with a fresh sense of surprise.
Another common element with these ideas is that they all appear seamlessly woven into their respective environments. There’s nothing out of place or stylistically incoherent about these gorgeous gardens and backyards.
One of the biggest compliments that can be paid to an elaborate backyard garden setup is that it looks to have been all designed together in one cohesive sprint. Each element perfectly complements the others in a fluent language.
With subtly gorgeous projects like the ones we’ve shared below, that goal is easily attainable. Without further ado, let’s get on with these fantastic backyard garden ideas!
1. Garden Statues
While this option can range in price from relatively cheap to wildly expensive, depending on your taste in garden statues, it’s one of the most classic and elegant garden decorating solutions out there. People have been planting statues in the landscape almost as far back as written history goes, so there’s a lot of tradition behind this idea. Whether you’re dropping something small and subtle, as pictured above, or something much more substantial in your garden, you’ll be enjoying a fundamentally timeless decoration.
2. Rock Border
The great thing about this project is that it requires a relatively low amount of work for such fantastic looking results. With a great selection of stones, either purchased or gathered by hand, you can simply dig a shallow trench and fill them however you prefer. The look depends on the type of stones chosen, and can be tailored to your tastes.
3. Stone Path
Stone paths are a classic touchstone (pun intended) of gardens everywhere. They come in all shapes and sizes, and can be anything from purely decorative to highly functional. This particular set is sunk just slightly into the lawn for a discreet look that’s easy to run a mower over without trouble.
4. Pink Garden Boxes
So, remember how we talked about these projects being seamlessly integrated into their environments? We didn’t necessarily mean that they’d blend in. This idea is a testament to the power of stark contrast and, well, bright pink. It’s an unexpected, bright burst of color in a neutral, natural environment and frames the garden in a really exciting way.
5. Raised Garden Boxes
We love garden boxes because they’re not only functional, they add a fresh layer of beauty to any garden. First of all, they’ll raise your plants and frame them in a handsome fashion while keeping them protected from trampling feet and even water damage during heavy rain.
6. Circular Stone Path
We showed you an example of stone walking paths already, but this idea is all about flaunting the stones rather than sinking them discreetly into the lawn. The project above set the broad circular stones into a pebble garden, where they appear to float over the surface, but you could set yours onto the soil or other types of ground as well.
7. Garden Pond
We absolutely love garden ponds, so of course we had to include one in this list of favorite backyard garden ideas! A garden pond takes a lot of hands-on work, so you’ll either need time and materials or the money to pay someone to do it. But one glance at the image above shows just how completely the results justify the effort. There are a thousand ways to craft a pond in your backyard, but only you know how to best shape one.
8. Red Garden Bench
Sometimes bright colors and contrast are just what’s needed. The best part of this particular project is that they matched the shade of the gorgeous flowers with the benches, making for a truly cohesive accent to the garden. The leggy geraniums are a beautiful addition.
9. Patterned Color Flower Bed
A full garden is a happy garden, no? It sounds about right to us. Everyone loves seeing a garden that’s absolutely flush with flowers from end to end, but taking it a step further ensures some spectacular results. Try patterning your colors, setting different plants against each other, and generally creating attractive layouts for your garden, so it looks like a single planned work of art!
10. Colorful Adirondack Chairs
Adirondack chairs make the perfect seating complement to any garden. They’re a favorite of deck dwellers and patio patrons everywhere for their comfort and unique look. Most are plain natural wood toned, so try painting one a favorite shade, matching the flowers in your garden, and see what kind of beauty erupts!
11. Flower Draped Pergola
Pergolas are another longtime favorite yard element of ours. These structures add a dose of complexity and rigid lines to the outdoor environment, and mesh perfectly with the plants around them. Try running vines or roses up your own pergola to effectively transform it into a vertical garden.
12. Raised Herb Garden
We already covered raised gardens, but we wanted to include the idea of doing so for your herb garden. This makes for a handy way to make them stand out, defining the herb space as distinct from the rest of your garden. It also frames them in an attractive, timeless fashion.
13. Rooftop Container Garden
Maybe you don’t have a lot of backyard space, or any at all. If you live in an apartment building, however, you might have plenty of balcony or rooftop space with which to plant a garden anyway. There are thousands of container gardens to choose from, so the style is entirely up to you. Whatever you can fit comfortably up there, have at it! There’s really no wrong way to plant your own rooftop garden.
14. Birdbath Garden
While birds love baths and we love watching them, sometimes you can get a lot more enjoyment out of a birdbath by turning it into a bespoke container garden. There are virtually no limits on what can be planted in one, as long as you take the time and effort to plan it out. With the variety and scale of birdbaths available, you’re sure to find one that fits your tastes and your yard.
15. Brick Path Lined With Flowers
This idea basically combines a brick or stone walking path with an expertly curated flower bed that runs alongside. The flowers add a whole host of attraction to the place, while helping to frame the walking path. This is a project that takes a lot of time but not much money to achieve.
16. Compact Backyard Garden
Here’s a great example of what can be accomplished within a limited backyard space. When you don’t have all the room in the world to move about, you want to make sure that you’re doing the most with what you have. The detail is absolutely packed in here, with container gardens, standard flower beds, a trellis fence with ivy, and a nice little furniture set to enjoy it all from.
17. Intricate Flower Garden
Earlier in our list, we highlighted the possibilities when you have a very filled out garden that’s arranged in patterns. This idea takes that notion a step further, with an intricate array of alternating plant colors, expertly placed flowers, and an overall design that was planned from the get-go. It’s ambitious, but the results speak for themselves.
18. Topiary Archway
This is a project that requires considerable skill, so unless you’re already an expert, you’ll want to hire one. One look at the image above is all you need to know about how fantastic it looks. A completely natural, grown archway (or really any other large scale piece) is a stunning addition to any backyard.
19. Deeply Carved Landscape
We love in-depth landscaping projects that reshape the ground itself, forming to the project rather than working with what’s already there. With a hilly backyard, this project carved out a sloped place for stone tiers, well-placed trees, and an exotic variety of flowers. It completely redefines the backyard.
20. Ornate Garden Bench
Here in the same backyard as our previous example, we see the other side of the lawn, as well as a closer view of that deep landscaping. Across from the garden we’ve got a pebble path where a singular wrought iron bench sits. It’s a perfect visual accompaniment as well as a great place to enjoy the garden from. Speaking of the landscaping, check out the cascading water feature at the center!
21. Stone Wall Garden Tiers
When you’re doing a heavy landscaping project that involves reshaping the earth, you’re already “going big” so why not consider the possibilities of using well-shaped stone walls to create tiered gardens? This is a major project but one with timeless value and appeal. The stones can be chosen for their shape, color, or ease of use, and the distinct garden tiers can be used to place wildly different plant life.
22. Garden Entry Pergola
We love the idea of using smaller, discreet pergolas as an entryway arch for the backyard or garden. With trellised walls, you can even weave in some ivy or roses. When choosing your material, make sure it’s something that complements your home, fencing, or even your outdoor furniture.
23. Garden Gazebo
This one’s a classic. It’s something my mom built years ago and where she loved spending her time in the garden. It’s a nice sheltered space to enjoy dinner or quiet drinks with loved ones, and it’s an attractive element to sink into any yard, provided you have the space.
24. Fence Planters That’ll Have You Loving Your Privacy Fence Again
Fence planters are a great idea to dress up a plain boring fence. In this gallery, we show you some great ideas to get you planning your next fence planter project.
25. Wheelbarrow Planter Ideas for Your Garden
Have an old wheelbarrow lying around your home or garden? In this gallery, we show you 25 awesome wheelbarrow planter ideas that will have you inspired to create your own. Check them out here.
26. Spilled Flower Planters all Over Your Garden
One of our favorite garden ideas here at Garden Lovers Club! In this gallery, we show you ideas on how to create this really beautiful effect in your garden. See 10 Spilled Planter Ideas Here!
27. Upcycle Your very Own Garden Bird Bath
In this gallery, we show you 20 DIY Garden Bird Bath ideas that you’ll want to create today. These are really fun and interesting, see them here!
28. Lush Garden with Wooden Pergola
This beautiful garden consists of a large brick patio area partially covered by a wooden pergola, and entirely surrounded by lush flowering bushes and other flora.
29. Natural, Sprawling Garden with Stream Water Feature
This garden is balanced between trees, a plush lawn, and a series of water-friendly flowers and bushes. A stream water feature winds throughout the spacious garden, emptying out into a pond.
30. Lush Landscape Front Garden
This garden is situated in the front of the home, allowing the gardeners to display the fruits of their labors prominently to the neighborhood and to passerby. Tall day lilies and squat Japanese maples are just two of the varied plant life in this design.
31. Pathway Rose Garden Leading to a Gardening Shed
Along this cobblestone pathway are a large number of salmon, light pink and nearly white roses, along with wildflowers. The plants sweep over portions of the cobblestone, creating a natural, country atmosphere.
32. Small Garden with Pond
Even the smallest gardens can be rife with beauty, as this one is. Bold daffodils and other plants sidle up to the edge of the small but deep pond. A small ceramic gnome is also nestled into the design.
33. Ultra Modern Garden Shelter Over Water Feature Pond
Tucked deep into this lush garden left to grow naturally is a large rectangular pool with a modern shelter and walkway. This is a perfect retreat on a hot summer day.
34. Container Garden with Rock Sculptures
This simple garden is full of tall and short containers with creative sculptures scattered throughout. The variation in plant sizes, bloom size, and container gives this garden an interesting texture.
35. Wildflower Garden with Rustic Fence
The narrow packed dirt path that winds through this backyard garden is filled with a thick abundance of wildflowers in mostly white, but with a smattering of other colors.
36. Incredible Landscaped Backyard
The entirety of this backyard is rimmed in stone brick edging, creating massive planting beds filled with ornamental trees, bushes, and flower ground cover.
37. Evergreen and Ground Cover Garden
While some gardens are bold and colorful, green gardens can be just as beautiful. Varied textures and species help make a mostly green garden more diverse.
38. Thick, Colorful Garden
A simple, delicate lawn chair sits near a thick bed of colorful flowers that line the perimeter of this yard, providing both beauty and a privacy screen.
39. Integrated Container Garden With Pathway
Taller, well established plants are surrounded by smaller plants in containers. The stepping stones of the pathway have small holes where greenery is planted, and petunias are placed in small baskets along the path.
40. Thick Beds of Tulips
Try planting thick rows of tulips in your garden, and be sure to vary the colors. Other springtime flowers, like daffodils work well with tulips.
41. Traditional Garden Mixed with Container Garden
Even in smaller backyards a beautiful garden can be achieved with stonework and containers filled with your favorite flowers and ornamental plants. As a bonus, these gardens are simple to rearrange!
42. Lush Overgrown Garden
This backyard garden has a charming overgrown look to it with thick bushes of all heights. Smaller planting beds are rimmed in stone edging.
43. Flagstone platform with Diverse Flora
A set of three wooden trellises surround a raised planting bed formed out of layered flagstones. A flagstone path leads up to the small garden vignette. A pot of tulips adds color to the display.
44. Brick Plaza with Fountain Surrounded by Bushes and Flowers
A small, peaceful plaza has a three-tier fountain and two stone benches on either side. Tall bushes provide privacy for those seated around the fountain, but don’t obstruct the meadow view beyond.
45. Mossy Stream Feature
For a more natural look, a small stream water feature running along a mossy planting bed filled with ferns and small wildflowers can be just perfect.
46. Winding Lawn Path Through Large Planting Beds
Huge swaths of planting beds run throughout this enormous yard, with a curving narrow grass path between each display. The displays have similar features, but are still varied in color and species.
47. Container Garden with Aged and Mossy Stone Structures
For a more whimsical garden retreat, you can add aged stone benches and displays to a more natural wooded area of your yard. Moss covered edging stones add to the aged look.
48. Wildflower Garden
For a bright, colorful garden, grow colorful varieties of daisies and wildflowers. Stacked stone walls and perfectly shaped bushes add a bit of sophistication.
49. Rock Pond Surrounded by Ornamental Trees
A small garden pond surrounded by stones, a small two-tier waterfall, and water-loving plants. Topiary bushes line the side near the fence, and the scene is framed by two maple trees.
50. Shaped Low Hedge Garden Plots
Even if you don’t have a large garden like the one shown, you can arrange small garden vignettes along a pathway. These are contained by short hedges and filled with brightly colored flowers of varying heights.
51. Mossy Garden Path
Moss can be a great way to add greenery to your garden with less maintenance. This garden pathway has moss growing on either side, filling in the spaces between the flagstones.
52. Green Garden with Trellis and Center Fountain
For a grander feature, install a circular fountain with low stone benches surrounding the plaza. The rest of the yard can be packed tightly with flora, creating an oasis in the center of the yard. Flat fountains like this one are great summertime fun for kids too!
53. Wild-Growing Garden with Stone Path
Allowing the grass to grow slightly over the stone path creates a worn, aged look to your garden. Keep in mind that a garden doesn’t have to be perfectly manicured or filled with fragrant flowers to be beautiful or provide a sense of peace.
54. Peaceful Sand, Lawn, and Stone Garden
This Zen-style garden transitions from a packed sand path to a circular grass lawn surrounded by boulders, hardy bushes, and trees.
55. Simply Landscaped Garden
In the fall, a single well-placed tree can erupt into bold color, transforming the look of an entire garden.
56. Low Maintenance Garden with Footbridge and Stream
Ground cover and stones are a great way to create a low-maintenance garden with flair. In this case, a small footbridge over a man-made stone stream adds texture and visual interest.
57. Large Flower Beds Edged in Hedges
This expansive garden is filled with enormous flower beds with flowers segregated by species and color, creating a rolling landscape of flowers leading up to a water feature.
58. Small Backyard Garden with Waterfall Feature
If you don’t necessarily have the time or space for a large garden, you can install a small water feature, like a waterfall, and design a small, low-maintenance garden around it.
59. Backyard Gazebo Surrounded by Lush Green Garden
If you create a water garden, be certain to allow plants plenty of ways to drain. This garden contains a stone planting bed with thick reeds. The stones help drain off water in wetter climates.
60. Backyard Vegetable Garden
Even vegetable gardens can be beautiful when arranged well. This garden’s planting beds are edged in stone. The rest is packed sand, with a shaped sand pathway.
61. Backyard Garden with Rows of Red Tulips
Even a new garden can be beautiful, so if yours isn’t well established yet, keep at it. Bare spots are opportunities for more color or variety!