Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

Rustic Landscaping Ideas for a Backyard With a Creek

...
Forest and creek image by Maxim Petrichuk from Fotolia.com

A rustic landscape can be anything from a natural countryside to an old-fashioned garden or can even have a Wild West theme. Successful landscapers usually choose one idea and design around it while keeping all the necessary elements in mind. Grasses, trees, shrubs and flowers are complemented by fences, benches and arbors. A backyard creek adds an appealing dimension to backyard landscaping.

The Creek

...
fluffy pussywillows image by weim from Fotolia.com

A bridge over the creek built from local trees with the bark left on or an Adirondack-style bridge built of intertwining twigs and branches adds rusticity. Rough stepping stones add a pastoral look without the complication of building and maintaining a bridge. Another attractive addition is a path to the bridge made of the same stepping stones. A low dam constructed from rocks and pebbles creates a natural water feature. The varieties of plants you can use along the banks of the creek depend on your climate. Tall pussy willows, cattails or daylilies planted in clumps add natural contours to the banks. Mosses and ferns grown in shady spots soften the landscape and create a woodsy atmosphere. Heirloom or open pollinated flowers, like black-eyed Susan, trumpet vine and cornflowers, draw hummingbirds and butterflies.

  • A rustic landscape can be anything from a natural countryside to an old-fashioned garden or can even have a Wild West theme.
  • A bridge over the creek built from local trees with the bark left on or an Adirondack-style bridge built of intertwining twigs and branches adds rusticity.

Trees, Shrubs and Grasses

...
wild primrose image by Sean Wallace-Jones from Fotolia.com

Native trees and shrubs should only be pruned to clear out dead or diseased branches or if they encroach on other plants. Hardy, adaptable sedges come in enough variety that there is probably one that will thrive in your backyard. Most don’t need to be mowed or fertilized. Some grow to 3 or 4 feet tall, while others only reach 1 or 2 inches. The slightly wild look will give the feel of a meadow, and the yard won’t require a lot of maintenance. You can bring focus to one part of the yard by creating a rock garden, using large stones piled to different heights and planting bluebells, ice plants and primrose.

Furnishings and Decorations

...
house for nuts image by leafy from Fotolia.com

The right furnishings and decorations emphasize the rustic backyard with a creek. A few well-chosen and well-placed accents work better than a clutter of objects. For example, you can hang wooden, dried gourd or colorfully painted birdfeeders from trees or set them on top of fence posts. Flowers planted in either wooden or galvanized horse troughs add a colorful accent. Wooden or stone benches create natural seating areas and work well in tandem with a wooden swing looped over a nearby tree branch. Rough-hewn wooden fences can replace your old fence to blend seamlessly into the backyard creek environment. An arbor or trellis built from vines that have been trained can replace the backyard gate. Oak barrels make wonderful planters for strawberries or tomatoes.

  • Native trees and shrubs should only be pruned to clear out dead or diseased branches or if they encroach on other plants.
  • You can bring focus to one part of the yard by creating a rock garden, using large stones piled to different heights and planting bluebells, ice plants and primrose.

Related Articles

Rural Landscaping Ideas
Rural Landscaping Ideas
How to Landscape a Front Yard on a Busy Street
How to Landscape a Front Yard on a Busy Street
Wooded Landscaping Ideas
Wooded Landscaping Ideas
Acreage Landscaping Ideas
Acreage Landscaping Ideas
Outdoor Nautical Landscaping Ideas
Outdoor Nautical Landscaping Ideas
How to Grow Cypress Trees from Cypress Balls
How to Grow Cypress Trees from Cypress Balls
Landscaping Log Ideas
Landscaping Log Ideas
How to Decorate an Atrium
How to Decorate an Atrium
Ideas for Planting Along a Driveway
Ideas for Planting Along a Driveway
How to Use Pavers As Stair Landing
How to Use Pavers As Stair Landing
Ideas for Hiding Your Pool Pump
Ideas for Hiding Your Pool Pump
The Best Privacy Plants for Central Florida
The Best Privacy Plants for Central Florida
Types of Trellises
Types of Trellises
How to Design a Backyard Serenity Garden
How to Design a Backyard Serenity Garden
How to Decorate With Osage Orange
How to Decorate With Osage Orange
How do I Prevent Squirrels from Crossing Power Lines?
How do I Prevent Squirrels from Crossing Power Lines?
Do Deer Like to Eat River Birch Trees?
Do Deer Like to Eat River Birch Trees?
Ideas for Landscaping With Gravel, Sand & Rock
Ideas for Landscaping With Gravel, Sand & Rock
Garden Guides
×