Landscaping allows you to shape and define the space behind your home into what you want it to be. There are as many ways to landscape your backyard as there are ideas in your head. It's amazing what the addition of a few plants and flowers can do to add color. The addition of paths divide the space and give it shape; a water feature is cool and relaxing; create shade with an arbor or trellis; and a patio adds a welcome feel to your backyard area.
Arbors and Trellises
Arbors and trellises provide a sturdy frame for climbing plants; when they grow in, the foliage will provide shade for the surrounding area and color, too. Arbors and trellises may also be used to define the space, as a partial enclosure for an outdoor "room," with leafy roof and walls. The vertical dimension that arbors or trellises add to your backyard space acts as an accent, directs foot traffic, or serves as a windbreak or privacy screen.
Garden paths direct foot traffic where you want it to go. Use a path to conceal or reveal yard attractions such as sculptures, special plantings, or breathtaking views. Create major access paths from brick, concrete, unglazed tile, stone slabs, or pavers for easy traffic flow and an even, nonskid surface. Rustic paths that blend naturally into the surrounding area are created from gravel or bark chips. Build straight, well-defined paths from lumber on top of a pressure-treated base, pressure-treated timbers, or railroad ties laid side by side.
A patio provides a welcoming area for entertaining guests. There are many options for patio design: a simple rectangle off the back door; a series of interrelated patios connected by steps; or a detached, protected patio in the corner of your lot. Build a patio from masonry, poured concrete, brick, trimmed stone, cobblestones set in mortar, or loose materials, such as gravel or wood chips.
Even a small water feature adds a soothing effect to the space that it occupies. Make a water feature for a small yard from a half whiskey barrel or by adding a small spray fountain to a birdbath; a larger yard may accommodate a full-fledged pond, complete with waterfall. No matter the size, the presence of water will cool the surrounding area on hot summer days, and the sound of water from the addition of a fountain has a calming effect on all those who hear it. There are three main types of fountains: spray fountains, that shoot water in massive columns or lacy mists, and are suitable for formal ponds; spill fountains, which flow from an outlet into a pool or a series of tiered pans or shelves; and waterfalls, that send a cascade of water from a simple outlet pipe down into a pond.
Plants and Flowers
Use plants and flowers to accent and add color to all of your landscaping features. No water feature is complete without a few water-loving plants to contrast the smooth water surface. Accent patios or border paths with colorful flowers and interesting foliage; arbors and trellises are just wooden frames without climbing flowers and greenery that make them enclosures.