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Backyard Landscaping Ideas For A Gorgeous Retreat

Updated on June 11, 2016
Rustic Arbor with Clematis
Rustic Arbor with Clematis

You Can Make Your Backyard Look Like This

Ideas for a beautiful backyard that you can do yourself for minimal cost. Create pathways, ponds, patios and decks. Plant with beautiful flowers and shrubs to create any mood that fits your personality and suits your mood..

All photos in this lens are from my own garden. Enjoy!

Backyard Landscaping Ideas
Backyard Landscaping Ideas

Ponds Add Serenity To A Backyard Landscape

One of my favorite hobbies is to build fish ponds. Anyone can build one. My property is not on water so I chose to bring water to me.

First I decided where I wanted my pond to be, then got my shovel and started digging.

Pond supply stores carry all the necessary parts, liners and pipes.

Many books are available to assist a beginner. And be sure to check out YouTube.

Be aware, however, it can become an obsession. One pond leads to fish, then bigger fish require yet another pond.

There is still plenty of room on my property for more ponds, but they do require more maintenance than I choose to spend on more than two bodies of water.

Koi Pond
Koi Pond

My Koi Pond

Caution: Building Ponds Can Be Addictive

Once the fish in my pond began attracting the local heron I had to make a decision. If I were to keep Koi I would need a pond that couldn't be accessed by herons. The result was this 5 foot deep pond with straight sides. This prevented the heron from gaining any foothold, therefore keeping the Koi safe.

I now have two ponds, two creeks and 3 waterfalls in my backyard sanctuary. Stay tuned for more. (smile)

How to Build a Water Feature
How to Build a Water Feature

Newest Water Feature

I replaced my vegetable garden with a new "outdoor room." It includes a fire pit for evening enjoyment but is the last place the sun is shining on my backyard. To complete the serenity the sound of running water was required so I built this small water feature.

It is simply a plastic container buried in a small hole in the ground to circulate the water. After placing a wire over the top of the container, I placed river rock over the area so the water appears to just disappear into the ground. Simple and soothing, day or night.

Backyard Ponds

Whether you decide to build a garden pond yourself or hire a professional, the following video is packed with ideas and inspiration. Notice various aspects such as what kind of rocks were used, how the area is planted with foliage. Whether your pond is small or large many ideas in this video can be incorporated in your project. It is a beautiful video. Enjoy!

Check out my other hub on building ponds and waterfalls.

http://kittycheer.hubpages.com/hub/building-ponds-and-waterfalls

Also you can see more at my website: http://pondsandpetals.com

Backyard Ponds

How to Build a Twig Bench
How to Build a Twig Bench

Ideas For Your Backyard Landscape Using Natural Materials

My backyard has been created truly on a budget. I live on several acres of trees and have an abundance of natural materials available to me. Ideas come to me as I work on my landscape. Working on my backyard landscaping ideas is my most favorite thing in the whole wide world. It has become a living palette of color and form.

All photos in my lenses are actual pictures of my own backyard creations.

Twigs and branches make lovely arbors and fences.

Twisted branches can be screwed together for a unique bench.

Rocks can be gathered to form original rock gardens.

Garden Spaces
Garden Spaces

Space For Reflection

Revamping An Unused Area

Although I have two ponds, there was no place comfortable to sit beside one of them. Digging back a flower bed and constructing a cement patio made with a template purchased at Home Depot solved this problem. Now it has become a favorite place to contemplate nature and life. A spectacular garden space can easily be created with very little money and some imagination. With plant life, nature does most of the work.

Outdoor Sitting Space
Outdoor Sitting Space | Source

Meditative Garden Spaces

Every garden needs a variety of places where one can sit and enjoy the surrounding fragrance, form and sound.

When the environment is in harmony it is much easier to meditate and reflect upon nature and life.

Carving out spaces in my backyard garden provides seating for quiet thought. Each little room is surrounded by different form and sights.

As my waterfalls and streams ripple, the sweet notes of birds enter into the symphony of sounds and I become one with nature.

Very Inspirational Book

This book serves as a source of inspiration for me. There's nothing more that feeds my soul than connecting with nature in an outside setting where I can sit and reflect or simply just BE.

Garden Creatures

Many creatures compose my backyard ecology. This is a very useful "garden vacuum cleaner." They are prevalent in my backyard hideaway as well as a variety of slugs that also work to keep the floor of my garden clean.

Slugs and snails also clean up after my dog and prevents the accidental "step in pooh." I am very grateful to these little creatures for the part they play in my garden.

Garden Creatures

Garden Snail
Garden Snail | Source
Liatris
Liatris

Flowers, Flowers And More Flowers

No backyard landscape is complete without color that flowers offer.

Plant an individual spectacular species or groups of magical color.

Each year, I change color schemes and plant accordingly.

Shop online for specials.

I find many choice plants on the sale table at local nurseries. I call them my rescue plants.

Beauty of Pollination

How to Build Creative Garden Pathways
How to Build Creative Garden Pathways

Inexpensive Pathways For Your Backyard

At a local home improvement store, I found very inexpensive slate pieces that made a lovely pathway.

One method I used is free form stepping stones made from Quikrete. Simply mix a bag of concrete with water in a wheelbarrow or large bucket. When slightly softer than cookie dough, shovel a pile onto your pathway and using a trowel, form the shape you desire. It''s easy.

A bag of concrete mix will make 2 free form stepping stones. These can be left natural or colored with concrete tint.

How to Add Interest to your Landscape
How to Add Interest to your Landscape

Try Something New For Your Backyard Retreat

On my property we find wild bamboo. It is quite invasive but I found a creative use for it.

Cut several stalks, screwed them to upright 1 X 2s, stained them dark brown. Voila, a fence to add interest.

Planted a flowering shrub beside it and it became an outstanding addition to my garden.

Rock Balancing

How to do Rock Balancing
How to do Rock Balancing

ROCK BALANCING

This was my first attempt at conquering Rock Balancing or Rock Stacking.

It is said anyone can do this and I believe this is true. It was also very obvious during the creation that it was a TOTAL exercise in patience. Once the rock is rotated and moved over and over again, it find its spot and balances easily in place. Once that is accomplished, gravity takes over and it remains through wind and rain.

I built this one in my pond to protect it from my dog who is not fond of water.

Check out Youtube videos on rock balancing and give it a try.

You can do it!!

Garden Waterwheel
Garden Waterwheel

Adding Focal Points to Backyard Landscaping

This darling waterwheel house was made by my brother. It adds quaint charm to my garden and the falling of the water falling from the wheel adds new sound. I dug a stream which I lined with pond liner and rocks. It empties into one of my ponds and recirculates.

If you have no pond, simply dig a small hole, line with rubber liner and circulate the water with a small pump. Instead of an open pond, fill the "pond" with rocks. The water still exists, but no open water or mosquitoes.

The contrast of the wood to the greenery surrounding it adds eye appeal.

Backyard Landscaping Ideas
Backyard Landscaping Ideas

Animals In The Garden

Even my animals appreciate the garden. As new flowers bloom, they take interest.

The blue star creeper wanders comfortably among the hosta and dianthus.

Breedle walks carefully on the rocks so as not to harm the flowers.

Greenhouse in Winter
Greenhouse in Winter

Snowy Blanket of Winter

Time For Reflection

As the forests begin to receive a blanket of snow and darkness, the critters are skittling over the landscape. The night creatures are beginning to stir. Their day is just beginning and the hunt is on for survival food. The bats grasp what insects they can and the possums are scurrying across fields in search of prey.

Where does one begin to describe the beauty of the forest whether in daylight or darkness and covered by snow. Each creature has his place in the scheme of planet earth and the amazing feats of fun and survival go unnoticed by most. It is a patchwork of industry and cunning.

Now we begin to acclimate ourselves to the classic gray sky that predominates the north western winters. It is a time of pondering and reflection and preparation for the growth and activity ushered in by spring. For now, there is nothing to do but hunker down for longer nights and enjoy fireside light and conversation.

Some of the evergreen flowers and shrubs peek through the snowy layer of winter and the perennials have died down to rest. The Koi also hibernate in the bottom of the pond throughout the cold winter days. This habit makes them an ideal "pet" for winter. (smile)

Although my backyard is still currently asleep for the winter, thoughts of spring are creeping into my consciousness. I look forward to the new chapter of my life that will arrive with spring.

Add Your Own Water Feature - Easy to install

For anyone wanting to add a water feature but have no experience, I found this inexpensive option.

This can be an excellent choice for a small garden or learning what is required if you decide to upgrade at a later date.

Koolscapes 270 Gallon Pond Kit with Lighting
Koolscapes 270 Gallon Pond Kit with Lighting

Excellent for the beginner or budget minded.

 

Build Your Own Koi Pond

This is a complete kit to build a beautiful pond in your backyard! These are professional components that make building and maintaining this pond a breeze. Get the best!!!!!

Books To Help You Build Your Backyard Sanctuary

There are many books available that show you how to landscape, build ponds, and grow flowers. Of course you can search the internet for advice and peruse Youtube.

Cultivating Sacred Space: Gardening for the Soul
Cultivating Sacred Space: Gardening for the Soul

Another great source of inspiration and ideas.

 
Making Rustic Furniture: The Tradition, Spirit, and Technique with Dozens of Project Ideas
Making Rustic Furniture: The Tradition, Spirit, and Technique with Dozens of Project Ideas

This book is the greatest. Daniel Mack offers some great ideas for me. I use alder that is plentiful on my property and bends like willow when green.

 

Something may spark an idea for your yard from this book.

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Amazing stuff!! You do such beautiful work.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Beautiful photos!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing! You've given me some ideas to improve my own yard! - if you can dig a stream so can I!

    • profile image

      BoosterBob 4 years ago

      Some great ideas to work with on landscaping my backyard.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Judy I love your garden. You are very creative. What is your climate?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Very creative ideas and well organized flow to your topics Thanks so much

    • profile image

      laurenrich 3 years ago

      An awesome lens. Beautifully done. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      wonderful thank you

    • CaztyBon profile image

      CaztyBon 3 years ago

      Great backyard! very creative

    • MBurgess profile image

      Maria Burgess 3 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      I am SO jealous you have that yard! Your images are wonderful and very pleasing. I would love to see them in the Big Picture mode, especially the pond image.

    • Kittycheer profile image
      Author

      Kittycheer 3 years ago

      @MBurgess: Thanks so much RiaB. Check out the following lens for larger picture of other ponds I built for friends.

      https://hubpages.com/living/building-ponds-and-wat...

    • paulahite profile image

      Paula Hite 3 years ago from Virginia

      Love your lens! It'll appear on our Facebook page on Monday, March 17. Come and check it out!

      "The Green Thumb: A Place For Gardeners To Gather"

    • Kittycheer profile image
      Author

      Kittycheer 3 years ago

      @Lee Hansen: Thanks so much for your comment. After a long sabbatical I am working on my lens to make it more extensive. I'm also attempting to monetize it. Any suggestions?

    • TerriCarr profile image

      TerriCarr 2 years ago

      Very impressive! I second the motion for big picture modules on THIS lens. Though I will look at your other one too. Don't give us your address or many Squids will be stopping by for afternoon tea in the garden.

    • TerriCarr profile image

      TerriCarr 2 years ago

      Hi Kittycheer, I thought I saw a note somewhere saying you are looking for more ways to monetize your lenses. You could add a number of gardening/cottage magazines in the Amazon module. They make such a relaxing pastime....these could appeal to people like me who don't want to invest the time and money to make such a yard but enjoy looking at them. Also, you mention doing landscaping for friends and family. Why not make a boutique small business offering your services. You probably don't need a storefront, just a website with great photos, a little advice/content and some testimonials from satisfied friends and family! You are obviously good at it so why not get paid for it?

    • Kittycheer profile image
      Author

      Kittycheer 2 years ago

      @TerriCarr: Thank you so much for your suggestions holisticwriter. I will definitely add more magazines and I am presently working on my own blog about designing your own hideaway.

    • ashleydpenn profile image

      ashleydpenn 2 years ago

      I really like your rustic wood bench!

    • Kittycheer profile image
      Author

      Kittycheer 2 years ago

      @ashleydpenn: Thank you so much. Each piece of wood is creative in itself.

    • profile image

      Garden Tigress 2 years ago

      I absolutely love this! You have an amazing, gorgeous garden and your advice has inspired me to add a pond to my own garden. Thank you so much for this! P.S. Your cat looks so adorable!

    • profile image

      Angelica Chacon 2 years ago

      Check out http://www.redwoodlandscaping.com/ to hire the best landscapers in Arizona

    • profile image

      Linnea 2 years ago

      Beautiful! What is the purple wine on the first pic?

    • Kittycheer profile image
      Author

      Kittycheer 2 years ago

      Sorry for the delay in response Linnea. The purple vine is a clematis. However, since the trees have grown up around me it gets less sun than it needs so I have replaced it this year with a climbing rose. Hopefully it does better; I'll post photos here.

    • Kelsey Farrell profile image

      Kelsey Elise Farrell 23 months ago from Orange County, CA

      Very creative ideas. Upvote for being beautiful as well!

    • Kittycheer profile image
      Author

      Kittycheer 22 months ago

      Thank you so much Kelsey. It is my most favorite pastime.

    • profile image

      Don 14 months ago

      100% lovely. I live in Ireland so sans the palm tree. How does that big unit survive snow, mine don't like cold greenhouse and Ireland Usually does not more than 5 below the odd day in winter

    • Kittycheer profile image
      Author

      Kittycheer 10 months ago

      Sorry for the long delay in responding. I find my banana tree does better just left in the ground through the winter and covering with leafs or mulch.

      This is my variety.

      Cold Hardy

      The hardy fiber banana tree (Musa basjoo) grows huge bright green leaves 6 feet long and 2 feet wide that split and fold over. Golden cream flowers appear in the summer followed by tiny inedible bananas full of seeds. The stem is 12 inches wide supporting a 15-foot-tall tree spreading 8 to 10 feet wide. In USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 11, this banana grows 2 feet a week until reaching its mature height. Basjoo is the most cold tolerant of all the ornamental banana tree species; even if the top dies back during the winter, the roots will survive to grow again in the spring.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 10 months ago from Germany

      What a beautiful garden! Thanks for sharing your garden ideas. This is very useful for me as I love gardening.

    • Margie Lynn profile image

      Margie Lynn 10 months ago from Beautiful Texas Hill Country

      What great ideas you have, our back yard is not too pretty, here in Texas get gets so hot and dry and they usually restrict watering your yard, I really love the ponds. Thanks for a lovely post!

    • Catherine Wambui profile image

      Catherine Wambui 10 months ago from Kansas City, Missouri

      Beautiful backyard. Very inspiring.

    • Kittycheer profile image
      Author

      Kittycheer 4 weeks ago

      Thank you so much!

    • profile image

      Ashley Munn 3 weeks ago

      Would you be interested in us featuring your work in our Central Texas Lifestyle magazine? If so, please email me at blisslifestylemagazine@gmail.com

    • Anita Hasch profile image

      Anita Hasch 4 days ago from Port Elizabeth

      Hi Kittycheer, It really is amazing what you have achieved in your garden. As for your ponds, I don't think I could do that. I would need help. Love your rock balancing feature. I saw a video a while back with someone adding rocks on such a feature. It really is wonderful how they stay together and don't fall off. Which country are you from? I love the images with the snow.

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