butterfly garden in a backyard landscape

Beautify Your Backyard: Basics, Butterflies, and Beyond

Your backyard can be your private oasis.  It is the place that many people often enjoy coming home to.  What about making that backyard into something beautiful? Let’s talk about some design ideas that will really spruce up the yard but work with a variety of budgets as well.  

Making your backyard into a private oasis with fun gardens can help reduce stress and give you a relaxing space to unwind.  After all, our lives are always so busy with careers, homes, and families, you deserve a nice space to enjoy.

Begin with the basics.

First, you’ll want to decide whether you want your yard to just have some new plants or if you’re ready for a more thorough makeover. A redesign project can be quite a bit more extensive, so you’ll want to weigh this choice carefully. 

There can be lots of decisions involved in your landscape design, but if you approach it the same as if it’s a large room, it becomes easier to imagine and manage. And this is because the same principles apply in both kinds of design.

1. Start with a wish list.

Flagstone patio design at Lake of the Ozarks
Flagstone patios are immensely popular at Lake of the Ozarks.

Think about what your backyard needs, as well as your desires. Will you need a play area for children? What kinds of gardening would you like to include? Will you want a new patio or outdoor living room for relaxing and entertaining? Start out by making a rough sketch of your backyard and where you might possibly want any new features to be added. This doesn’t need to be a comprehensive plan, just an idea sketch.

2. Think through placement options.

Go out to your backyard and observe where the sun shines at different times throughout the day. Think about what direction the wind most often blows in your favorite seasons. The placement of a new patio can be influenced by the amount of sun at certain times of the day. Will the sun be beating down on you or shining in your eyes while you’re preparing dinner in your new outdoor kitchen? Will the wind tend to blow smoke from your fire pit onto the patio or toward the house? This simple exercise can help you avoid some common mistakes in planning your ideal backyard.

3. Determine your focal points.

Outdoor Fireplace in a backyard at Lake of the Ozarks
An outdoor fireplace makes a great focal point in backyard landscape designs.

Good landscaping and garden designers will build around focal points. This may be an outdoor fireplace, a fountain, a cluster of boulders, or even a magnificent plant in a garden. Find the best feature or features that you want to be highlighted by your design. And then you will simply design and build outward from there. You want your design to naturally guide your eyes around your landscape and rest on the focus areas you choose.

4. Pull it all together.

Learning this can take time and practice for beginners and so it may be good to get expert advice on this point. Experts call this “scale and pacing”. This is what ties everything together, yet alternatively introduces delightful variations.  You will want to plan for natural diversity in size, scale, color, and shape in your design. And the same is true in your hardscape as well as your softscape. You can include pathways to lead guests through your space, past your different features, and to desired locations or focal points. The key is to create a balance between some repetition along the way and the introduction of new elements or features. And in this way, you can create both cohesion and variety. A good rule of thumb is to introduce new garden elements occasionally as opposed to using all different elements everywhere.

What about Water Features?

Water features are an amazing way to enjoy one’s surroundings.  Water gives you that tranquility that the babbling brook has over our stressed minds.  However, not everyone has a river or stream in their backyard. But…you could always make one! Or, you could create a small pond with a cheerful little waterfall. Or even adding a bubbler can be a wonderful addition. And a water statue can offer an attractive choice as well. 

You can select from a variety of kinds and sizes that can suit just about everyone’s needs. When it comes to water features, you have plenty of options with a wide range of prices.
Outdoor Landscape & Yard Fountain
Bubbler fountains are easy water features to install.

Fire Pits or Fire Tables

Fire pits or fire tables are also a great feature that can bring lots of enjoyment.  Watching the crackle of a fire and enjoying the warmth on a cool evening is sometimes just what the doctor ordered.  Watching a fire dance can certainly sooth the stressors away and help you find balance again.


Planting a scented garden in and around your outdoor living space can provide another great way to soothe the soul.  Many people find certain scents to be calming and relaxing such as lavender. And, lavender is a plant that is fairly easy to grow and maintain.

Butterfly Garden

Is there anything really more tranquil and beautiful than enjoying watching a butterfly? For the entirety of their lives, butterflies are wonderful creatures whose very existence causes us to think us of rejuvenation and renewal. And they’re simply mesmerizing to watch. 

To attract butterflies to your garden or outdoor living space you’ll do well to use the best host plants for butterflies. So you’ll want to include Milkweed, Queen Anne’s Lace, as well as herbs and spices like Dill, Parsley, Fennel, Rue, Spicebush, and Sassafras. And the best butterfly garden flowers tend to be Phlox, Coneflower, Lantana, Marigolds, Black-eye Susan, etc. Plus, these flowers and herbs are not only good for butterfly gardens, but they are also helpful as good landscaping ideas for small backyards.

Butterflies can make your backyard feel more peaceful and fun!

Make it enjoyable!

Of course, you might combine any of these features to give you the dream backyard you want, such as adding a water feature to your Butterfly garden setting. Or add a splash of scented herbs around the one side with a butterfly garden on the other.  Combining these ideas with the hardscapes of the seating area and entertaining area helps soften up the space and make it more inviting and enjoyable.  

When looking to create your own backyard oasis keep in mind the things you love to do.  These are things such as reading, bird watching or watching your favorite TV programs. And try to combine these things into your design.

Call today and ask us about beautifying your backyard!

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