Medium Size Backyard Landscaping Ideas

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Landscaping and lawn care are usually pretty broad topics, especially when you reach into the realm of landscape design. But while large and small yards are often the topic of article after article, where do the mid-size yards fit in? As it turns out, many of the topics covered in those large and small-yard articles can apply to medium size backyards as well, with at most a little tweaking.

A backyard of any size is often a space to play and DIY — the more colorful sibling of the more serious and business-like front yard. This means you have a lot more freedom in what your design elements can be. If you’re stuck on what exactly you’d like to do, then a landscape designer can be the perfect guide to help you through the process of figuring out the best way to use your available space. With a medium size yard, you can’t go too big with your idea, but you’ve got a lot of space to play with as well.

The most important thing to remember is to fit your design to the space you have, not the space you want. With a mid-size yard, you have the option of segmenting it into smaller sections or leaving the entire yard as one cohesive design. Whatever way you decide to go, it’s best to remember that the space should be both beautiful and functional in the end. Too many elements and it will feel cluttered — too few, and it may look unfinished. Try to find the sweet spot between designing your space and simply letting the space be what it is.

From paths to gardens, here are a few medium size backyard landscaping ideas for you to try out this summer.

Invest in Tree Trimming

Medium size backyard landscaping ideas come in all shapes and sizes. It may seem elementary, but even something as simple as trimming back unruly trees can totally transform the look and feel of your yard. Tree trimming can also help strengthen trees you want to keep for your design and help improve their growth when done correctly. Trimming trees should really be your first step when trying to envision a design for the space, whether you’re working with a professional or flying solo.

If you’re not up to tackling the job yourself or would feel safer handing it over to a professional, contact a local arborist (otherwise known as a tree surgeon) or general lawn maintenance company, so you can be sure the job is done right. That way, you can be sure you have a few strong, healthy trees to build your design around.

Regardless of your design aesthetics, good lawn care is always in-season. Make sure you look after your plant life, trees, and grass on a regular basis to help keep your lawn looking lush and beautiful.

Build a Small Garden

A garden is always a good addition to any backyard space. Flower gardens add a pop of color to the space and give the eye a focal point, while vegetable gardens may be less aesthetically appealing, but can provide you and your family with healthy, in-season food for at least most of the year, depending on your climate. It also creates a great space for decompression and reflecting on your life, as well as a place where the whole family can get together on a project that benefits everyone.

This one might seem a little familiar when it comes to medium size backyard landscaping ideas, but there’s a reason for that — it’s a great, beautiful, and functional space-filler that helps bring people together. Even if you don’t think gardening is ‘your thing’, it never hurts to try out something new, especially something with as many mental and physical health benefits as gardening.

Gardening is a low-impact activity, making it suitable for a wide range of people, and it can be just as useful to a solitary person as it can to a large group. Spending time in a garden alone can help you reflect on your day and put things into perspective while sharing that space with your family can often help energize you.

Rock Out

Decorative landscape rocks are a great choice for medium size backyards. Many medium size backyard landscaping ideas include them as a matter of course because they’re so useful for visually breaking up a space and filling out a design. Not only are the larger rocks an interesting feature on their own, but they can be used to assist drainage and/or to help hide essential equipment as well.

But large rocks aren’t the only option either — making a statement with smaller, colorful landscaping rocks is a perfectly valid way of designing a space as well. You can place colored mid-size rocks around your garden as plant markers, use them to line paths, even use them to fill flower beds. The options here are really only limited by your imagination.

Rocks are also a great addition to designs that don’t focus on grass as much. Creating a rock garden can be a calming experience and the overall effect is very nice as well. More sculpted rocks can help give a space a cleaner, more modern vibe, while raw stone leans more rustic and gritty. You can really change your whole design with just a few simple stones.

Good Fences

Good fencing is a great investment for any yard. Not only does it add to the aesthetic appeal of the space, but it also adds privacy and safety when installed correctly. Many medium size backyard landscaping ideas really benefit from including the fencing as part of the overall design rather than just thinking of it as the box they have to work within.

That said, constraining things does have its advantages. Fencing out the space beforehand can help you see what you actually have to work will and help keep you from over-designing the space. Under-designing is easy to fix, but it’s not as easy to pull designs back once they start to get away from you. Knowing your space well before you start can save you a lot of hassle and headaches down the line.

Decorative fencing can also be used inside your yard to help divide spaces without taking away from the overall design. Use it to cordon off a specific area for a garden or a patio and see what that does for the space. This is one design element that you can pretty easily play around with as you go and see where it fits the best. All it will cost you is the initial price and the labor to move the pieces.

Functional Spaces

Since we’re not as constrained as we would be in a smaller yard, you should feel free to add some functional areas to your overall landscape. A lot of medium size backyard landscaping ideas take care to break up spaces for use, but carefully so that you leave the whole picture intact while making the areas visually distinct from one another. This may take some planning, but the overall effect will be well worth it in the end.

Many designs commonly have some kind of play area if you have small children, a space to sit and read, a garden area, as well as a place for outdoor cooking (so this is a great way to add that new BBQ grill into your design). Other common additions are meditation spaces and water features.

Designs that create a patchwork of spaces like this often require more upfront planning as opposed to just ‘going with the flow’ of the space, but in the end, this sort of approach can really help you maximize the useable outdoor space you have. This is especially useful for large families, families with small children who like to explore, and people with a lot of outdoor hobbies that don’t take up much real estate.


Netting is a cool and simple way to help divide space without taking up hardly any of it, as well as serving as mosquito control during those hot summer evenings. The nets help create a somewhat rustic, camping vibe, which would be great to pull through the entire space if that matches your aesthetic well. The nets also help create a cozy feeling at night, especially if you have specialized lighting such as fairy lights to help illuminate them.

Netting is also a good way to help children who are afraid of insects experience the outdoors. While the net blocks bugs, it lets in sunlight and cool breezes, making for a nice, ‘safe’ experience.

Medium size backyard landscaping ideas don’t need to be overly complicated. While big flashy designs are fun to play with and some are nice in theory, sometimes the best solution to a problem is as simple as a mosquito net and some fairy lights.

Perimeter Work

Framing out the fence line and the area just off of your home while leaving the middle section of the lawn untouched is also a great option, especially if you have pets or younger children who love to play in the grass. Working just along the fence line also forces you to imagine the space differently, which may help get you unstuck from a specific design layout you had in your head before. This will help free you up to think differently about other choices that arise during the design process and is likely to leave you something you love but were entirely not expecting when you started out.

If you find yourself leaning toward this option, then investing in lawn spraying is probably a good next step. Placing design elements like seating and flowerbeds only around the outskirts of the lawn creates a kind of stage effect, making the grass the focal point, so good lawn care is very important with this option.

Create a Path (or Two)

Paths are a brilliant and useful addition to any number of medium size backyard landscaping ideas. Not only are they a great way to divide the space into sections you can work with individually, but they’re also a great way to add pops of color and other design elements that you can’t work in anywhere else. Stone pavers are generally used to help mark out paths in lawns, but you can also use more colorful and visually interesting options, like outdoor tile or gravel. It all comes down to the effect you want to create.

This is also a good time to mention that investing in driveway cleaning and related cleaning services is a great way to help keep your yards looking as great as the day they were done, especially if you have pathways that can fade or become overly dirty over time.

So, did any of those suggestions spark a flurry of imagination? Medium size backyard landscaping ideas are everywhere if you know how to look for them. The trick with medium-sized spaces is really to design for the space you’re in, not the space you think you’re in. An oversized design won’t serve the space any more than an undersized one.

Backyards are usually a little more free in terms of what we’re socially allowed to do with them, so by all means, design! Play with textures, colors, and patterns if you want to. The only real limits here are your square footage, your budget, and your imagination. If you’re finding yourself stuck, then hiring a professional landscape designer may be your best option. They have thousands of hours of experience in doing exactly what you want to do, so having them in your corner can be a great help.

Medium size backyard landscaping ideas don’t need to be bland just because they’re mid-size. So get out there and explore your options!

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