Comprehensive Guide to Backyard Landscape Design: Enhancing Small Yards, Patios, and Pools

by | Landscaping Folsom

Landscaping Sacramento: Sacramento Landscape Design wtih retaining wall steps creating a beautiful outdoor living space.

Whether you have a small yard or a large outdoor area, thoughtful landscape design can make your space look amazing while also making it more functional. This guide covers various aspects of backyard landscape design, including sealing patio pavers, designing around pools, and utilizing landscape design classes in order to achieve your dream yard.

Landscape Backyard Design

Designing a backyard landscape requires you to consider several important elements such as plant selection, layout, and patio pavers. Here we explain these elements more in depth so that you have all the information you need to plan your backyard landscape design.

landscape backyard design

Plant Selection

It is important to choose the right plants when designing your outdoor space, and when doing so you must take into account the climate, soil type, and sunlight in your area. Try to opt for a mix of perennials, annuals, shrubs, and trees to give your yard many different types of plants that will thrive throughout the year.

Perennials: Plants like hostas, daylilies, and lavender return year after year and do not require as much maintenance.
Annuals: Flowers such as marigolds and petunias provide color to your landscape but they do need to be replanted each year.
Shrubs: Evergreen shrubs like boxwood and holly give your space a green look year-round.
Trees: Consider planting shade trees like maple or ornamental trees like dogwood to provide shade.

Layout and Design

Creating a functional layout is essential for making the most of your backyard space so its necessary to first think about how you want to use the area and then to plan accordingly.

Seating Areas: Design spaces for outdoor seating, dining, and relaxation. Use furniture that is both durable and weather-resistant.
Paths and Walkways: Install pathways to make it easy to move around the yard and to connect different areas of your space. Materials like gravel, stone, and brick can be great materials to use for this.
Water Features: Adding a fountain, pond, or waterfall can create a soothing ambience and also attract wildlife to your yard.

Sealing Patio Pavers

Patio pavers are a popular choice for creating outdoor living spaces due to their durability and appearance. However, it is necessary to seal them in order to maintain that level of longevity and their distinct look.

Benefits of Sealing
Sealing patio pavers offers several advantages:

Protection: Sealing helps protect pavers from stains, weather damage, and fading caused by UV rays.
Maintenance: Sealed pavers are easier to clean and maintain, as the sealant prevents dirt and debris from penetrating the surface.
Enhanced Color: Sealing can enhance the color and natural beauty of the pavers, giving them a polished look.

How to Seal Patio Pavers

Sealing patio pavers is a straightforward process that can be done as a DIY project or by a professional. Here are the steps:

1. Clean the Surface: Remove any dirt, debris, or stains from the pavers using a pressure washer or a stiff brush and cleaning solution.
2. Allow to Dry: Ensure the pavers are completely dry before applying the sealant. This may take 24-48 hours, depending on the weather.
3. Apply the Sealant: Use a roller or sprayer to apply the sealant evenly across the pavers. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.
4. Drying Time: Allow the sealant to dry completely before using the patio. This typically takes 24-48 hours.

Small Yard Landscape Design

small yard landscape design

Designing a small yard requires loads of creativity and strategic planning in order to make the most of the limited space. Here are some tips for small yard landscape design:

Maximizing Space

To maximize the use of a small yard, consider the following strategies:

Vertical Gardening: Utilize vertical space by installing trellises, wall planters, and vertical gardens. This allows you to grow more plants without taking up as much space on the ground.
Multi-Functional Furniture: Choose furniture that serves multiple purposes, such as benches with storage or foldable tables and chairs.
Zoning: Divide the yard into different zones for various activities, such as dining, lounging, and gardening.

Plant Choices

Select plants that are well-suited for small spaces and look good year-round:

Dwarf Varieties: Choose dwarf or compact plant varieties that won’t outgrow the space.
Containers: Use containers and raised beds to add plants without taking up much ground space.
Layering: Create layers of plants with different heights to add depth to the yard.

Pool and Landscape Design

pool and landscape design

Incorporating a pool into your backyard landscape design can make your space fun for the whole family. Here are some considerations for pool and landscape design:

Pool Placement

Carefully consider the placement of the pool to ensure it fits in seamlessly with the rest of the yard. Factors to think about include:

Sunlight: Place the pool in an area that receives ample sunlight to keep the water warm and reduce heating costs.
Privacy: Ensure the pool area is private by using fencing, hedges, or pergolas.
Safety: Follow local regulations for pool fencing and safety measures to prevent accidents.

Surrounding Landscape

Design the landscape around the pool to enhance its appearance and functionality:

Hardscaping: Use materials like stone, concrete, or pavers for the pool deck and surrounding areas. Ensure the surface is slip-resistant and durable.
Planting: Choose plants that can withstand the pool environment, including exposure to chlorine and splashing water. Consider using palms, grasses, and flowering shrubs to create a tropical feel.
Lighting: Install lighting around the pool area to ensure safety and to make the pool usable at night. Use underwater lights, pathway lights, and spotlights to highlight key features of the pool.

Landscape Design Classes

Taking landscape design classes can provide valuable knowledge and skills that can help you create the perfect backyard. These classes are available at various levels, from beginner to advanced, and cover a wide range of topics.

Benefits of Landscape Design Classes

Enrolling in landscape design classes offers several benefits:

Knowledge: Gain a comprehensive understanding of landscape design principles, plant selection, and garden maintenance.
Skills: Learn practical skills such as drafting design plans, using design software, and implementing landscaping projects.
Inspiration: Get inspired by the different design styles, trends, and case studies you will see in your classes.

Where to Find Classes

Landscape design classes are offered by many institutions, including:

Community Colleges: Many community colleges offer landscape design courses as part of their continuing education programs.
Online Platforms: Websites like Coursera, Udemy, and Skillshare offer online courses in landscape design that you can take at your own pace.
Professional Organizations: Organizations like the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) provide workshops, webinars, and certification programs.


Landscape design can transform your backyard into a beautiful and practical outdoor space. Whether you’re working with a small yard, incorporating a pool, or sealing patio pavers, there are countless ways that you can enhance your backyard’s appeal. By taking landscape design classes, you can gain the knowledge and skills needed to create your dream backyard. Start planning your landscape backyard design today and enjoy the benefits of a well-designed outdoor space for years to come.

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