10 easy DIY landscaping ideas to elevate your backyard

Check out our easy DIY landscaping ideas, there's something for every DIY level

Backyard deck chairs and plants
(Image credit: Divine Savages)

If you love crafting your own designs then our easy DIY landscaping ideas will help you to upgrade your backyard in no time. 

Our easy ideas range from painting a wall to putting up a pergola - there's definitely something for every skill level and some may take a few hours, others a weekend. But the result will be the same - a new look for your backyard that will give you and any guests a fabulous space to chill out this summer. 

We've sourced 10 landscaping ideas that won't break the bank – which will you choose? 

10 easy DIY landscaping ideas to transform  your backyard

It's amazing how a little update can change your backyard. These designs, including landscaping ideas for small backyards, will improve your space no end and can add color, style, and interest to your existing scheme. 

Prices were correct at the time this article was published.

1. Try your hand at decking

Black summerhouse with decking in front, two loungers, rug, umbrella, paved path, tropical plants

(Image credit: Divine Savages)

Decking privacy can create a wonderful sanctuary in your backyard – something that can be imperative if you're overlooked. 

"By adding decking off our studio, we created a versatile terrace in rustic oak railway sleepers that will age and weather over time. We needed ample decking space for flexibility in where to place our furniture, so right at the start we marked out the space using string, to get a feel for the size of it. This is a flexible area for entertaining that is low maintenance, hard-wearing, and perfect for doubling up as a dance floor," says Jamie Watkins, co-founder, Divine Savages.

Incredibly versatile, decking works in both small and large backyards and can really enhance the space. Jamie adds, "Our top tips for easy landscaping ideas are… Go big on decking so you have plenty of room for furniture, Use leftover decking wood to build planters and bench seating, and lastly, buy modular patio furniture that can be adapted to suit any occasion."

We love the loungers that Jamie picked, for similar try Wayfair's Jivera Outdoor Acacia Chaise Lounge – a stylish design that has an ocean liner look. 

Jamie Watkins
Jamie Watkins

Divine Savages specialises in creating exquisitely crafted wallpapers, fabrics, accessories and limited edition art prints for the brave and bold.  It was founded by husbands Jamie Watkins and Tom Kennedy in 2017. 

2. Paint a bold accent wall

Black summerhouse with decking in front, two loungers, rug, umbrella, paved path, tropical plants

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Perhaps one of the quickest and easiest landscaping updates is to paint some part of your backyard. It could be some furniture or an exterior wall.

An intense blue such as this Smalt by Little Greene will create a real focal point. Pop up some shelving and use them to display some of your favorite plants. For ideas check out Plants.com, we love their range of succulents, check out the Reclaimed Wood Succulent Garden, they'll be happy outside in a warm climate. 

3. DIY an outdoor kitchen

Outdoor kitchen in linear layout with mixed wooden chopping boards stacked on countertop.

(Image credit: Sadolin & Santex)

Becoming increasingly popular, the outdoor kitchen can be as simple as a BBQ and some tables for food prep, or, invest in design from an outdoor kitchen specialist complete with a sink, a choice of ovens – from pizza to high-end gas ovens, and units with proper countertops. 

For starters, you can opt for freestanding units and a BBQ. We chose our three essentials below. 

4. Invest in a fire pit

Apartment patio with wood and white furniture, plant

(Image credit: McCaffrey Design Group)

One of our favorite easy DIY landscaping ideas is to add a fire pit. It's simple but it will really enhance your backyard and you'll wonder why you never invested in one before. 'I think adding a fire pit is always a great idea. Fire pits are welcoming while also providing some gravitas to a space.' says Katie McCaffrey, principal designer, McCaffrey Design Group

You can make your own – check out our guide here on how to make a smokeless fire pit. Likewise, you can buy one, Terrain's Weathering Steel Round Bowl Fire Pit is a great value option and will be fabulous in the evenings with friends and family. 

image of interior designer Katie McCaffrey from McCaffrey Design Group
Katie McCaffrey

Under Katie’s strong leadership, McCaffrey Design Group has developed a reputation of client centric designs that delight with incredibly tailored and unique spaces. Working with a diverse clientele throughout the country, Katie and her team infuse client’s spaces with joy, wit, beauty, and functionality.

5. Zone a corner

Outdoor furniture, L shaped sofa, rug, candles, planters

(Image credit: OKA)

Corners are great places to create a cozy seating area, you can frame it by planting grasses or using pots to landscape the space. 

We like Lively Root's Mexican Feather Grass, it's a native grass that loves warm climates and poor soil. This particular type of grass can grow up to 2 feet tall so works well as a foliage-style border. 

6. Put up a pergola

Pergola at the end of a path, table and chairs, painted in a mocha shade, planting

(Image credit: Alder & Tweed)

Installing a pergola is beneficial in many ways, it can keep you dry from the risk of rain, it zones you space and it has multiple uses – it can be a living space, dining place, or used for a party. 

'Incorporating a pergola into your landscaping can blur the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces, creating a fun and inviting atmosphere that feels separate from the house. This immersive spot offers an intimate entertaining area nestled within nature. For this space, we chose geometric print pillows to add a pop of interest, and fortunately, the possibilities are endless with modern outdoor fabrics that often resemble indoor materials,' Heather Humphrey, principal of Alder and Tweed, says.

headshot of Heather Humphrey
Heather Humphrey

Having always been drawn to the arts, Heather’s inherent appreciation for beauty in all its forms, along with her fascination for bespoke craftsmanship has served as Alder & Tweed’s creative foundation. Now, her founding principles, collaborative design approach and a client-first philosophy, continue to drive and inspire the ever-growing team today. 

6. Pop up some wood paneling

Wood paneling on wall, director's chair in front

(Image credit: Naturewall)

Wood paneling has become a great interior design addition in recent years and it's easy to see why. Easy to install and great value, it can be used outside too. 

Naturewall has a great range and as it's waterproof it can be used outside too! You can choose from different finishes and the warming wood style gives a Scandi-style look. 

8. Craft some planters

Organic gardening vegetables in raised beds

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

More of us are starting to use our backyards for more than just entertaining – and growing flowers and veggies is one of them. 

To do this the best option is to make up some raised beds, they can be crafted using railway sleepers, and old planks, or buy them ready-made. They are the ultimate landscaping ideas that are easy to implement and have a big impact when everything is fully blooming. 

We particularly love Amazon's 9-in-1 Galvanised Steel Raised Garden Bed, it comes in six colors – ideal if you want a bright look. 

9. Make some pallet furniture

A backyard deck with blue garden room and cream painted pallet coffee table and outdoor sofa decor

(Image credit: Future)

A perennial favorite, pallet furniture shows no signs of abating. It's a great value option and together with the right accessories, can look fabulous. 

Pallets are relatively easy to get and all you need is some basic DIY equipment and instructions on how to make pallet furniture

You can paint your pallet furniture too, or give an existing piece a refresh. Below we've found some great 'get the look' buys to recreate this relaxing outdoor space. 

10. Train a climbing plant up a trellis

A brick wall with a black metal criss-cross trellis on it with white roses woven through it, and a purple wisteria bunch to the left

(Image credit: Ivyline)

Gardening is a key aspect of landscaping your garden and adding new plants to the mix adds color and interest to your backyard scheme. 

One of the best ways is to add a trellis and choose some fabulous climbing plants to train up it. Trellis's can also provide privacy and shade if your backyard is south-facing.

Terrain's Iron Arch Wall Trellis is a great place to start and can be mounted on an outdoor wall. 

Our easy DIY landscaping ideas will give your backdoor space a new lease of life. Even spending a few hours one weekend will transform your existing look, be it a couple of raised beds, a fire pit, or a touch of paneling. For an even more modern look, check out some landscaping trends like sustainable gardening.

Sophie Warren-Smith

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 22 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor of indie magazine, 91, Sophie trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for the modern bride.