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Your back yard should be a place for quiet relaxation and outdoor activities with family and friends. It should provide a comfortable atmosphere where you can enjoy the outdoors and the amenities of home year-round.

With landscape and design ideas and help from a Bergen County landscape professional, you can create a stunning back yard where you will love spending time.

landscape and design1. Lush Landscaping

Whether you have a large, rambling backyard property or a small back yard with confined space, lush, green landscaping will create a comfortable, relaxing atmosphere.

Trees, shrubs, plants and flowers will add height and depth, interesting texture and areas of color to your back yard. Landscaping helps to soften hard edges on surrounding structures, define outdoor spaces and create relaxing ambiance. It also helps to buffer sounds from nearby homes, roadways and noisy neighbors.

Here are some landscaping tips to help you create a lush backyard landscape:

  • Plant a Variety of Plants – Choose a variety of plants with different textures and colors. Place plants with broad leaves next to those with spiky forms. Combine plants with shiny green leaves with plants that have dull foliage. The contrast will make your landscape feel fuller.
  • Create Scale – Arrange tall evergreens along the property line, then stair-step shorter shrubs, plants and flowers toward the yard. Layering plants will create a better sense of scale with proper height and depth.
  • Choose Sizable Plants – By purchasing backyard plants in gallon containers rather than small, 4-inch pots, your landscape will fill in faster. When choosing plants, consider growth patterns and how large plants will grow over time.

2. Specialty Gardens

With the help of a garden designer at Borst Landscape & Design, you can include a lovely specialty garden in your backyard landscape and design plans. You can create:

  • Butterfly Gardens to attract beautiful butterflies to your back yard
  • Wildlife Gardens to provide a natural habitat for area wildlife
  • Moon Gardens filled with plants that only bloom at night
  • Cutting Gardens filled with annuals and perennials for fresh flowers
  • Native Gardens to provide water conservation and easy maintenance
  • Edible Gardens  to provide edible flowers and fresh herbs for cooking

If you’re interested in a specialty garden for your NJ back yard, talk to a Borst garden designer who can help you with planning ideas and details.

There’s a variety of specialty gardens to choose from that will add beauty and interest to your back yard.

landscape and design3. Container Gardens

If you have a small back yard, or prefer less landscape maintenance, container gardens may be the perfect solution.

Whether you want to plant trees, shrubs, plants or flowers, you can plant them in various types of containers like in-ground or above-ground custom containers, colorful pots, hanging baskets and window boxes. When choosing containers, consider the growth patterns of the plants you choose, as well as irrigation and maintenance requirements.

With backyard container gardens, you can plant lush green foliage, exotic grasses or blooming annuals and perennials that will create a beautiful back yard with creative landscape and design appeal.

4. Garden Pathways

Paving stone pathways will create a lovely backyard accent for any New Jersey home.

They can be installed to create non-slip pathways from the house to the garden, the house to the garage, the patio to the pool or a quiet spot next to the outdoor pond. Natural stone pavers come in a variety of shapes and sizes that can be laid to form straight, long walkways or winding pathways with intricate patterns.

They also come in a variety of beautiful colors and textures that will enhance the color and features of your home. You can choose materials that blend subtly into your landscape or stand out with contrast to create visual impact.

Since stone pavers are usually installed over natural soil and gravel beds, you don’t have to worry about cracking from poured concrete materials that often crack when they settle. Individual stone pavers are resilient, so cracking and chipping over time with normal wear is minimal.

Professional landscape and design ideas are endless with natural stone pavers that will last a lifetime in your back yard.

landscape and design5. Organic Landscaping

Organic lawn care is a great way to provide a safe, chemical-free environment for your family and pets. It promotes green living principles that protect the environment from toxic fumes and harmful chemicals.

Organic landscape care promotes plant root growth, natural aeration for healthier soil and weed control.

Organic nutrient mixtures help to increase plant stability and prevent lawn diseases caused by harmful insects that can quickly destroy a your landscape.

6. Water Features

Nothing adds an inviting ambiance quicker than the soothing sounds of running water. Outdoor water features like waterfalls, fountains, streams and ponds can turn a boring back yard into a tropical oasis.

Depending on the size and layout of your back yard, these landscape and design ideas will create a spectacular focal point in your landscape:

  • Natural Rock Waterfalls – Create a natural rock waterfall in a quiet corner of the yard surrounded by lovely trees, shrubs, plants and landscape lighting. With professional landscape design services, you can create a two or three-tier waterfall with trickling water that falls into a stream below or recycles itself with a hidden pump.
  • Free-Standing Fountains – If you have a small yard, a fountain is a great way to provide water sounds while conserving space in the landscape. In the front yard, it can provide a welcoming entrance. In the back yard, it can provide a comfortable atmosphere for guests. You can make it a captivating focal point, or surround it with plants for a more natural setting.
  • Outdoor Ponds – If you want a great landscape feature that family and guests will love, consider an outdoor pond with underwater lighting, plants, flowers and colorful Koi fish. It will create a peaceful area in the yard where your can relax with your morning coffee or gather with friends for quiet conversations. To create running water, add a small ledge with a trickling waterfall.

landscape and design7. Outdoor Comfort

By adding an outdoor patio to your backyard landscape and design ideas, you will create a lot of new opportunities for family activities and outdoor entertainment.

A patio will expand your interior living space and give you a comfortable area to enjoy your Bergen County back yard year-round. You can build a patio adjacent to your house, or in a more remote location within the landscape.

If you have a large yard, consider terraced levels that can be used for larger gatherings. Different levels will provide separate spaces for dining, conversations and privacy.

Whether you locate your patio next to the house or further away, consider comfortable outdoor seating and furniture that’s easy to clean and maintain with adequate accommodations for guests.

To get more use from your patio all year, make sure to include protection from sun, wind and rain, a cozy ceiling fan and good patio lighting.

8. Outdoor Entertaining

An Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen is a great outdoor feature that allows you to cook and dine outdoors year-round. It will expand your indoor entertaining space, allow you to spend more time outdoors and provide more opportunities for entertaining family and friends.

Whether you prefer hot dogs on the grill with the kids or fancy dinners with friends, an outdoor kitchen will provide the perfect opportunity. With proper landscape and design planning, you can create a dream outdoor kitchen for your back yard.

An Outdoor Fireplace or Fire Pit

An outdoor fireplace or fire pit will create a warm, inviting gathering place for family and friends. Whether it’s a warm summer night or a chilly winter evening, a cozy fire provides a great spot for relaxing, conversing or roasting marshmallows.

A fireplace will be more expensive to build, but it may provide more flexibility for entertaining.

A fire pit, typically built in the yard, may offer more privacy away from the house.

Talk to a Bergen County landscape company, like Borst, that provides custom design/build services for a variety of great outdoor features.

landscape and design9. Landscape Lighting

Landscape lighting is a simple, inexpensive way to create a warm, inviting backyard ambiance.

It adds soft lighting to your landscape that creates mood and comfortable atmosphere. Landscape lighting allows you to highlight focal points in your landscape and interesting architectural features on your house.

It enhances home safety by preventing slip and fall accidents and protecting against unwanted intruders.

Landscape lighting comes in a wide variety of low-voltage, LED, halogen and solar fixtures in beautiful outdoor finishes. Uplights and downlights are great for accenting trees, plants, garden beds and architectural features on your home.

Pathway lights provide extra light and safety for walkways and garden pathways.

Motion detectors provide home safety alerts for unsuspected or unwanted visitors.

10. Privacy

Whether you live in the city or a more rural part of Bergen County, your back yard needs adequate privacy from neighbors and noise.

As part of your landscape and design plan, include a beautiful wooden fence or natural stone wall, along with trees, shrubs and plants to provide privacy and noise reduction.

Spending time in your back yard won’t be enjoyable without adequate privacy and noise reduction year-round.

Important Planning Considerations

When planning landscape and design ideas for your New Jersey back yard, consider some important factors than can impact your plans before you begin work:

  • Size of Your Yard – Whether you have a large, open back yard or a small back yard with limited space, consider landscape and design ideas that fit your property size and serve your outdoor needs.
  • Existing Property Conditions – Your existing property conditions including soil type, amount of sun and shade, existing terrain and irrigation and drainage can impact landscaping and special features in your back yard.
  • Style of Your Home – Your landscape and design ideas should enhance your home’s architectural style and features. Blending the style of your home with proper landscape features will create a sense of balance and continuity between indoors and outdoors.