10 Ideas for Landscaping

Updated April 24, 2017
Aerial shot of a rocky garden with stairs, pond and flowers in summer.
Plants, hardscaping and water features all provide inspiration for landscaping ideas, but so can concepts such as sustainability and escape. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Finding ideas for landscaping should go beyond looking at attractive plants. Instead, focus on what's meaningful to you.

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A home’s grounds reveal as much about its owner as the home itself. That means for many people, generating ideas for landscaping feels like a highly personal process.

Landscape design, after all, requires balancing aspirational and practical considerations, such as using landscaping tips to improve home security. Does sustainability matter to you? How much time can you devote to maintenance? Are you designing around a dog-friendly yard?

Browse these 10 landscaping ideas to find inspiration and solutions for your home.

1. Walk through a painting.

Flower beds with snapdragons and path of concrete pavers.
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Make flower gardens and beds look like beautiful, cheerful works of art by choosing plants that burst with color. Popular ideas for landscaping flowers include tulips, daffodils, azaleas and other multicolored varieties. Their contrasts help each color pop.

2. Landscape with hardscape.

Landscaped yard with stones, shrubs, mulch and pavers.
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The versatility of hardscaping opens design possibilities functionally and aesthetically. The rocks here contribute several lawn ideas. They form a small retaining wall, function as landscape pavers and create a staircase linking the high and low portions of the yard.

3. Turn a pool into paradise.

Custom Bali-style outdoor pool with multiple waterfalls, in-pool lighting, spa, cave, Balinese pavilion and tropical landscaping.
Landscaping ideas can transform outdoor spaces, and also elevate what’s already there. A Bali-inspired landscape accentuates the pool with tropical plants, lighted waterfalls and grass-roofed hut. (Angie’s List Service Provider Photo Contest entry by Dan Ramos)

Smart landscaping creates an escape, such as turning a swimming pool into backyard resort. Notice the plants around the perimeter are all green, creating the effect of a secluded jungle. They also push focus to other colorful elements, such as the pool lights and the red cushions in the Balinese pavilion.

4. Return to an important place.

Zen-inspired landscaping with Japanese trees and rock garden.
(Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Eric Fier)

Recreate the impression of somewhere significant, no matter if it’s a state park or another country. A Zen-inspired landscape refresh mixes elements such as Japanese maple trees and river stone. Consider the impact of structural pieces, too, such as statues, gates and small shelters.

5. Look to native plants.

Drought-resistant landscaping with grasses and rock garden.
(Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jill B.)

Want sustainable ideas for landscaping? A xeriscape is a landscape designed to conserve water, often by using native plants or ones from similar climates. Plant selection played a major role in Suncrest Landscape of El Dorado Hills, California designing a drought-resistant landscape for this Sacramento home. So did the installation of a drip water system for efficient irrigation.

6. Fall in love with lines.

Formal landscape with edged path, winding hedgerows and trimmed trees.
(Getty Images/EyeEm)

Clean, well-defined lines elevate the formality of home landscaping ideas. The walkway, beds, hedgerows and even the trees weave a beautiful, subtly complex arrangement of curved lines.

7. Watch it bubble.

Bubbling boulder fountain in landscaped dry creek bed.
(Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Donna S.)

A bubbling boulder creates a conversation piece. It merges the elegance of a fountain with the rustic charm of natural material. Artistic Landscapes of Portland, Oregon added this is as the crowning touch to a decorative dry creek bed lined with river rock and 18 boulders.

8. Build a pond.

Koi pond with waterfall and boulder edging.
(Photo by Frank Espich)

A pond adds tranquility to your landscape. It also affords the opportunity for water features such as lily pads, waterfalls and fountains, as well as koi and other pond fish that flash brilliant color.

9. Put a park in the backyard.

Backyard landscaping with basalt stone path.
(Photo courtesy of Angie's List member David H.)

A path and a destination, such as bench tucked into a shady spot, makes your landscaping a joy to explore. Drake’s 7 Dees Landscaping in Portland, Oregon built a path of basalt stone stairs through a client’s backyard, lit by LED landscape lights for evening strolls.

10. Be friends with artificial grass.

Staffordshire terrier playing on artificial grass.
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Growing and maintaining grass is sometimes difficult due to kids, pets, too much shade or too little space. In those cases, artificial grass frees you to focus on landscaping elsewhere, such as the planting beds and boxes around your home.

Share the inspiration for your landscaping ideas with other readers in the comments section below.

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