Backyard patio

Seven Engaging Ways to Improve Your Landscape

Now more than ever, our backyards have become places to retreat and find solace. With a little planning, you can create the yard of your dreams! It can be a place of gathering and fun, a cozy and charming hideout, or productive and full of life (or all of the above!). We’ve listed seven out-of-the-box ideas to jazz up your landscape.

Add Some Adventure

Tree house

If you’re looking to add some excitement and activity to your backyard, there are several things you can build into your landscape. You could have your very own rock-climbing wall, zip-line, slack-line, tree house, or rope swing.

Each of these items can be purchased and professionally installed, or they can be DIY-ed. Whichever route you choose, adding adventurous activities to your yard will turn up the fun and make your yard a great place to party. With these unique attractions, your yard will be the place everyone wants to be!

Dining In

Date nights are a lot more fun when there’s stone-baked pizza involved! Bring pizza night home by adding a pizza oven to your outdoor dining area! Perfect for a romantic date night in, a dinner party with guests, or a cozy family pizza night every Friday.

A pizza oven can also be used for baking all sorts of things! Roasted vegetables, smoked or slow-cooked barbecue meats, focaccia, and hot desserts are all lesser known but totally doable things you can make in your outdoor pizza oven.

Backyard patio

sYou could also install a campfire pit, portable stove, or fire feature to roast perfect, golden-brown marshmallows. S’mores, hot dogs, card games, and stories swapped by the firelight make for unforgettable summers.

Having a grill and/or smoker outside opens the door for fun barbecues and delicious meals! There are a couple practical bonuses of having an outdoor cooking and dining area, too. Cooking and eating outside eliminates the need to keep everything clean and tidy in your home. Outdoor stoves also keep the heat outside, which can keep you from needing to run the AC as much during the warm summer months.

Movie Night

What’s better than a drive-in movie? A movie in the comfort of your very own backyard! Bring blankets and popcorn and watch a movie on the side of your house! Having a projector set up in your backyard can really amp up your movie nights.

If you’ve got a solid wall to project a movie on, you’re all set! Otherwise, hanging a sheet on a wall or using a blow-up projector screen will do the trick. For little kids, movie parties can be taken to the next level by crafting little cardboard box cars with paper plate wheels to complete their drive-in theater experience!

Outdoor movie

Water Features

Installing a water feature is one of the biggest game-changers for a backyard. It can be as simple as a small, bubbling standalone feature, or as large as a backyard waterfall-pond combo. You can have a big pool to swim in, or a relaxing stream. Depending on the feel you’re going for, water can add an element of backyard relaxation or fun like nothing else can.


People are sometimes concerned that having a water feature in their yard will attract mosquitos. If the water is running, this shouldn’t be an issue. If you install a pool or pond with standing water, there are both natural and synthetic treatments you can apply to the water to keep mosquitos away.

No matter what atmosphere you’re intending to create in your yard, there’s a water feature out there that will be the perfect cherry on top!

Landscape Lighting

Outdoor lighting

Lighting can completely change up the vibe of your yard. You can use lights to highlight beautiful plants, cast intriguing shadows, or showcase a water feature. Little solar-powered lights can mark a path and twinkly lights above a patio or along a fence line add a cozy, charming vibe.

With the right landscape lighting, you can emphasize different plant textures and bring a fancy, classy look to your backyard. Trees that are beautiful during the day can have an entirely new and dramatic look after sunset, lit up by the perfectly placed light.

More than just beautification, lighting extends the hours that you can spend in your backyard. It also adds a level of safety and security, lighting walkways and eliminating dark areas around your home.

Hammock Chill Zone

Every retreat needs a place to relax! Adding a chill zone to your yard will make it the perfect place to kick your feet up and take a load off. Adding some hammocks in a secluded part of your yard will really add to the relaxing vibe. In addition to a quiet little water feature and cozy lighting mentioned before, you could also add aromatic plants like lavender that are known for reducing stress.

Just picture it—you’ve had a long day at work and the road home was full of traffic and crazy drivers. You grab a bite to eat and walk just a few steps out your door to sink into your trusty hammock. To your right, a cheerful little stream bubbles on its way to a quaint little pond. Leafy trees whisper in the breeze above, and the fragrance of lavender drifts over to perfect your evening of relaxation.


Vertical Garden

Whether you’re limited in garden space or just wanting to add a layer of interest to your yard, a vertical garden can increase your yard’s productivity without taking up too much real estate. Gardens can be grown vertically on a fence or in upright, stacked planters. These don’t take up a lot of space but can be really productive.

Growing your own food is gratifying! It also lowers your grocery bill and increases your health, so there are benefits all around. In fact, studies have shown that spending time in a garden—working with the soil—releases serotonin, which is a natural antidepressant.

Vertical Garden

This list only starts to cover all of the many options you have as you work on designing your landscape. To learn more about how to create an effective design, check out the Simplyscapes online landscape design software! If you prioritize the features that make sense for your family and budget, then you will be able to create an incredible outdoor living space to enjoy for years to come.