Do you find yourself sometimes wandering out in your background to get some fresh air, only to find the space is lacking something?
You go out to get your fill of nature, but there is little green to enjoy. You want to soak up the sun, but there is no place to sit out there. To make the matter worse, you might not even have a green lawn to walk on.
After being dismayed by the ramshackle backyard, you sullenly get inside, vowing to bring some life in that drab looking space. And to no one’s surprise, next time you go out in the backyard, it happens all over again.
If that’s exactly how you spent your time in the lockdown -looking for some reprieve but getting none – it’s time to redeem. Get your imagination rolling and get some backyard remodelling done before spring is upon us, so you can enjoy your backyard as soon as the warmer weather beings.
To spark some inspiration in you, here are eight imaginative backyard design ideas.
And don’t think you have to break the bank to get some remodelling done; these can be entirely budget-friendly. Let’s read about how you can get your own little outdoor sanctuary.
Terracing for the sloped backyard
If you think a sloped ground is completely hopeless when it comes to landscaping, you couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, it can open up stunning landscaping opportunities for you.
Terraced plantation or landscaping is the best way to get the most out of your sloped yard. Besides, terracing can protect the loose ground from soil erosion.
Before you get on with the project, learn how to measure contour and how to level a yard if your yard is on an irregular slope. Then get all your contour lines drawn on paper.
Keep at least three to four feet gap between the contour lines for plantation; the distance can vary depending on the slope angle.
Drainage channels should also be a key consideration; make sure all water channels are connected and mirror your space’s natural slope.
Terracing might turn out a little costly, but the end result will be worth it. Sometimes it’s actually more budget friendly to spend more and get a result you are happy with, rather than being too budget-friendly and ending up paying again to get the finish right at a later date.
Sunken outdoor lounge
If you have quite a large backyard, you can divide the space for different use. You don’t have to add a plant wall or other fixture for the space demarcation; a simple level difference can work as effectively as a visual divider.
For instance, if you want an outdoor seating arrangement at some part of your yard, you can level down that portion and use it as a sunken court. This will provide visual privacy while you are relaxing there, even if it is an outdoor space.
If you decide to dig out the ground more than two feet, make sure you level the ground and provide essential retaining support to hold the perimeter soil.
Instead of a stone retaining wall or even brick retaining wall, go for a wooden or bamboo crib wall for soil retention; this will be more visually appealing. For ease of access, remember to provide a stair, even if the level difference is not more than a foot.
How about a clash of texture?
Texture can be the theme for your backyard design; there is no shortage of landscaping material for diverse textures. The texture doesn’t only have to be tactile; the play of light and shadow on different surfaces can also create visual textures.
If you want a contradictory assortment of textures that jolts the viewers’ senses, you have plenty of options right in nature. Source plants and foliage with extraordinary texture; for instance, if you want blurry woolen texture, add some silvery lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantine) or some Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas).
If you are looking for a balanced sense of texture, blend three to four texture levels in your landscape material. Complement the rough texture of stone or concrete paving with fine-textured plants and foliage. Place a sculptured tree root for a visual focal point.
Vertical garden for smaller spaces
A vertical hanging garden can be a nice addition to a smaller backyard. When you have a smaller space, but you want to squeeze in as many plant varieties as possible, consider building a vertical garden.
Besides, vertical plants have less chance of being pest-infested as they are above ground, saving a lot of pest control and gardening hassle for you.
While a vertical garden may put some limitations on your plant selection, you still have a lot of different herbs, vegetables, and creepers to choose from. If you have fencing in your backyard, bring some life into it by planting some wall creeper and vegetation.
Japanese inspired garden
Japanese gardens are unique with their concept of space and mind. All the designs are focused on appealing to all your senses- sight, smell, and touch. From Japanese Toro stone lanterns to stone gnomes, they also have a way of weaving their folklore into landscape art.
For a Japanese-inspired garden, you have to keep in mind three elements- earth, water, and space. Space is vital in Japanese culture – it symbolizes both motion and statics. A void space complements a solid, just like Yin to a Yang.
Instead of filling up all your backyard with clashing elements, provide some void where the eyes can rest. If your backyard has some natural stones lying around, you can incorporate them to create a gentle water stream. If space allows, you can add a miniature wooden bridge, an entrance gate, or even a Japanese style gazebo.
Add some graffiti
If you are feeling a little bold with your landscaping, why not give it an urban street style vibe with graffiti?
Spraypaint some mandala art to have an accent surface in a small backyard. A large scale artwork will make space seem bigger. one of the major plus sides of having a graffiti wall in your backyard is that you can convert the look of the space anytime you want just by repainting it.
If you are not a fan of graffiti, you can create wall art by installing some wooden plaque or even create some patterns with creepers and plants.
Throw in some activity with the landscape
Your backyard shouldn’t just be a space for relaxation; it can also have some activity. If you already have a basketball hoop installed in your backyard, it’s time to take it a little further. You could add a miniature golf course with your landscaping! Remember to ensure proper drainage if you include small water channels for your golf course.
Although it might seem a little complicated, the project will not be hard to pull off if your design layout follows the natural slopes and curves of your backyard. With simple materials like bricks, plyboards, rocks, and tree roots or branches, you can create your own golf course. If the layout works well, with just a few days of work, you might be even inviting some friends over to show off your creation.
Get inspired by the Mughal Char Bagh
Want to get some oriental vibe in your backyard? Take inspiration from Mughal landscape architecture. For instance, you can adopt a char bagh layout for landscaping in your backyard. You might have already seen it in the Taj mahal landscape. This Persian originated quadrilateral layout symbolises the garden of heaven. This layout usually requires a substantial amount of space.
To achieve a landscape that resembles the Mughal legacy, you need to incorporate visual symmetry and a focal point. However, your layout doesn’t have to follow a parallelogram geometry; you can also go for circular geometry. The theme here is to render a sense of balance and a focus. Once you have figured out a layout, incorporate vibrant flower beds into your landscaping.
Things to keep in mind while designing your backyard
· Select the paving material carefully, using soft pavers will ensure that the ground can soak up the access water. Try to keep hard paving like concrete or stone at a minimum; they absorb heat and increase the ambient temperature of the space.
· While selecting plants, make sure there is something for each season; otherwise, your flower beds will be empty half the year.
· Make sure the backyard has a proper drainage system
· Provide proper lighting for night time use of the backyard
· The scale should mirror the size of your house; if you want a grand plaza theme for a residential backyard, it simply will mess up the scale.
The bottom line
Here we have sketched some ideas to get your imagination rolling. You can take inspiration from other sources or cultures. But be warned that bringing your dream backyard to fruition will be no cakewalk.
Consult a professional landscaper if you plan some heavy remodelling, especially for the drainage channel and soil retention.
Make sure the design or layout you choose resonates with your indoor spaces.
And let’s not forget about keeping it functional. Install necessary fixtures and ensure ease of access, and you are good to go. If you are willing to experiment a little, you are bound to have a blast with it!
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