DIY Landscaping Ideas to Turn Your Backyard Into an Elegant Retreat

Spring is in the air. With this season often comes the desire to freshen up or even completely redo your backyard to transform it into the perfect space for an elegant retreat for yourself — or to host friends and family.

When it comes to DIY landscaping, the options are endless, and some can require a ton of skill and effort. With these simple landscape ideas, however, you can improve your home, whether for yourself or to up its sale price.

No matter if it’s your yard, kitchen, bathroom or any other room, there are many benefits when your home looks brand new without having to spend a lot.

Add Lighting

“Transforming your backyard into a retreat-like setting doesn’t have to mean a huge overhaul with landscaping and renovation companies,” said Erika Bodine, decorator, interior/exterior planner, and sales manager at LuxeDecor.

You can opt for smaller updates that are more simple and don’t require the same level of manpower or money, according to Bodine: “Things as simple as adding soft lighting to your yard can really set the mood, especially in the evenings. Illuminate paths, add spotlights on trees and maybe add a few hanging lanterns or outdoor string lights to give your backyard that special ambiance.”

Consider Horizontal Fencing

A horizontal fence is functional as well as stylish, but it’s also the most involved project, as well as one of the priciest DIY backyard ideas.

“Goodbye vertical fencing and hello horizontal slats. These pieces give the space a wider appearance, and the slats can be arranged to your liking. Horizontal fences are quite versatile and can be made out of many materials, so the options are endless,” said Craig Jenkins-Sutton, president of Topiarius, an urban landscape design firm.

Plant Blooming Flowers

One of the simplest backyard landscaping ideas is to add vibrant color and life to your backyard by planting blooming flowers.

What you will plant will depend on your climate zone, but here’s a suggestion from Donna Atanasova of Fantastic Services Australia to help relax and de-stress: “Lavender is one of the best-known anxiety fighters. The plant’s scent is often used in lotions and room sprays — and for a good reason. Lavender slows down the heart rate, lowering blood pressure and stress levels.”

Atanasova also recommends planting jasmine: “Jasmine is an elegant, sweet-smelling shrub that can be a great way to enhance the look of your landscape. When you’re surrounded by jasmine, it is likely that you’ll feel less anxious and more at peace. It also promotes a better night’s sleep.”

Add a Fire Pit

“Add a fire pit table to fit in with your furniture for the bonus addition of a cozy fire,” said Bodine. Fire pit sets are also available and include a variety of patio seating options — chairs, loungers, sectionals — and a fire pit table for one inclusive price. Or you can choose to build your own fire pit with a DIY kit.

Install a Small Pond

Installing a small pond among the plants and flowers in your yard is a way to add beauty to your landscape without having to call in a professional landscaper.

Pond liners come in a variety of sizes, and you can fill the bottom of the pond with rocks or colorful gravel for interest. Other options include adding lights, waterfall features or fish.

Add a Wall Garden

“If you love cooking with fresh herbs but don’t have a ton of space for a garden, you can still plant an herb wall. Simply grow your favorite selections — basil, cilantro, dill, oregano, mint and others — in pots on a wall and you’ll save time and money by plucking leaves from your own vertical herb space. When the seasons change, you can transfer your plants indoors and keep them growing year-round,” said Jenkins-Sutton.

Add Modern Flooring

You might not think about flooring outside very much since you’re just using it to walk on, but it really can make all the difference.

“Transform your space from a boring backyard to a stylistic sanctuary with modern flooring. Wooden planks, stone, concrete pavers or patterned flooring nicely complements your design aesthetic while adding a sense of elegance to your outdoor living space,” said Jenkins-Sutton.

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