5 Plants You Absolutely Have to Include When Designing Captivating Backyard Ideas

5 Plants You Absolutely Have to Include When Designing Captivating Backyard Ideas

Time to revamp your backyard? One thing’s for sure, there are more than a handful of backyard ideas to put to good use the next season. 

If you’re looking for good ideas for the backyard, you’ve landed on the right page. Today we’ll help you narrow down the list of idea overload to a manageable few but aimworthy ideas.

Buckle up! We’ll fill you in with all the useful data. From how to choose plants to grow in your backyard to how to arrange them for some backyard awesomeness. 

How to Landscape Your Backyard? 

There’s no end to possibilities when designing your backyard. All you need to do is let your imagination run wild. 

Okay, that and some hard facts so you can reach an educated decision of what will grow well in your garden. 

Other than that, you’re free to daydream your back garden into reality with the help of our tips that are to come. Our backyard ideas will give you all the material you need to start working on your back yard project.

You need to know where daydreaming stops and reality takes over. So, to help you refine your backyards ideas, ask yourself the following questions: 

Backyard plants for landscape
Screenshot source pinterest

Below we bring you our backyard ideas with plant descriptions and tabular data and more. You’ll also get some landscaping advice on how to design your outdoor space using the featured plants. 

Best Plants for Your Backyard 

Polygala ‘Petite Butterfly’

Polygala ‘Petite Butterfly’
Image source creativecommons

Polygala fruticosa is native to South Africa. It’s also known as Sweet Pea Bush and is grown globally in 9-10 hardiness zones. If you like compact mound shrubs and want to add a splash of color to your monochrome garden, this is your plant. 

The plant blooms almost year-round in temperate regions. Kudos to the lucky bunch that can enjoy lush foliage with purple flowers for the extended season. In harsher climates though, the plant will bloom midsummer through fall.  

These rich, dense bushes are ideal to grow in pots as patio container plants. They’re a great idea for backyard that’s more on a smaller side. Polygala will give you a charming small backyard look and a great outdoor experience.

Polygala ‘Petite Butterfly’ Facts
Plant type Evergreen annual
Flower Color Purple
Foliage color: Gray-green
Size when mature 18’’-24″
Sunlight exposure Full sun or partial shade.
Soil pH 7.0 to 7.5
Soil type From clay to rocky sandstone soil.
Blooms Midsummer to autumn

‘Emerald Gaiety’ Wintercreeper

Emerald Gaiety
Image source wikipedia

‘Emerald Gaiety’ Wintercreeper is a perennial that makes for an excellent ground cover. The plant is also known as Fortune Spindle.

They’re pretty handy when you’re running out of ideas for your backyard design. Even more so if you’re clueless about what plant to pair with your taller woody plants. 

‘Emerald Gaiety’ wintercreeper comes with green-and-white leaves that turn pink in the winter. The white and pink margined leaves will create contrast and a wow effect in your backyard garden. 

As small 3-foot-tall plants, they can help you spruce up your outdoor space in a variety of ways. They fit very nicely at the garden border. As a shrub that lasts through the winter, they’re a great choice to bring life back to your living space all year round.

The plant grows well in 5 to 9 Hardiness Zones. It grows small non-showy flowers and red berries which are toxic when eaten in large amounts.

‘Emerald Gaiety’ Wintercreeper Facts
Plant type Evergreen perennial
Flower Color Inflorescent Greenish white
Foliage color: Blue-green-and-white. Gets a pinkish tinge at the edges in the winter.
Size when mature 3-6 ft.
Sunlight exposure Full sun or partial shade
Soil pH 6.0 to 8.0
Soil type Clay, loam, sand.
Blooms Spring


Image source piqsels

When it comes to brainstorming garden ideas, backyard is the most tricky, because it’s your own private little outdoor space. It’s about leaving your stamp and displaying authenticity.  

Of all our backyard ideas so far, Sedum or a Stonecrop plant is the only one that grows in clusters of flowers. The plants grow attractive blooms of rich purple color.

So, sedum is a great choice when landscaping your garden to add some luxury to outdoor living. The plant contrasts well with luscious grass patches. 

Sedum offers you plenty of material to play with design ideas since it comes in two varieties:

  • tall varieties
  • creeping varieties

The tall varieties make for a Pinterest-worthy garden because of their fleshy succulent leaves and rich symmetrical blooms. With new cultivars that are bred to be shorter, you can fit them easily in a small backyard. 

When weighing out your ideas for backyard, creeping sedums offer plenty of variety. You can use them to cover your backyard with mats of colorful foliage and to soften the rock edges.

Sedums are also a good choice if you’re into eco-friendly gardening. Low-growing sedum allows you to have a lovely green garden while saving water.

Sedum Facts
Plant type Deciduous and evergreen
Flower Color Pink, rose, burgundy, purple
Foliage color: Green, copper, dark purple
Size when mature 1 to 3 ft.
Sunlight exposure Tall sedums: full sun
Creeping sedums: part shade
Soil pH 6.0 to 8.0
Soil type Well-drained soil
Blooms Summer and fall

Nuccio’s Gem Camellia

Nuccio's Gem camellia
Image source flickr

There are always backyard design options that allow for minimal care. Regardless of whether you’re short of ideas, backyard can still be kept pretty with minimal resources. We introduce this one real gem of a plant. And we mean this literally.

Nuccio’s Gem Camellia is grown in milder regions of the U.S. and is easily grown in outdoor pots. To promote growth, plant it in well-drained acidic potting soil. Also, make sure the plant gets enough moisture.

You can use Camellias to design your front porch space. They fit beautifully next to trimmed small hedge plants. Elegant, well-defined white flowers contrast well against dark green evergreen leaves.

The large shrub pairs well with small companion plants. Some of those are juniper topiaries and gardenias.

Nuccio’s Gem Camellia Facts
Plant type Evergreen
Flower Color White
Foliage color: Dark green
Size when mature 6 to 8 ft.
Sunlight exposure Filtered sun
Soil pH Acidic, neutral
Soil type Sand, clay, loam
Blooms Winter

Chocolate Vine

Chocolate Vine
Image source flickr

Chocolate vine or five-leaf akebia is a semi-evergreen climbing plant. It has airy purple-chocolate color petals and spreads quickly on a trellis or a fence. As such, it’s great for defining a lush outdoor space.

If you’re looking to create some outdoor privacy in your back garden, this screen plant will serve you well. In a lack of larger space, the chocolate vine will provide quick cover for a small backyard or a small patio area.

It’s a rampant grower and should be pruned regularly to avoid it to smother other plants. It grows well in areas of different sun exposure so you can use it freely to design your backyard space. 

Gardeners in 5-9 hardiness zones can use the vine to create a relaxing outdoor experience.

Chocolate Vine Facts
Plant type Deciduous to evergreen
Flower Color Lilac, chocolate
Foliage color: Bright green
Size when mature 20 to 40 ft.
Sunlight exposure Full sun or partial shade
Soil pH Acid, alkaline, neutral
Soil type Chalk, clay, loam, sand
Blooms Spring

How to Design Your Backyard Using the Backyard Plants From Our List? 

Now you know what plants are good for the backyard. Yet, it’s also handy to pick up a few outdoor garden design ideas so you can plan for a garden you’ll love.

This section will help you optimize your backyard outdoor area for pure delight.

In backyard design much of it boils down to layering, playing with textures, and getting the plant combinations right. It’s also important how you combine the plants with pots, rocks, benches, or other outdoor furniture.

Similarly, emerald gaiety creates a nice composition with underplanted flowering bulbs. Those small, low-growing plants will brighten up the foliage and create a nice transition.

If you’re landscaping a small backyard, it’s smart to make use of the vertical space by growing climber plants. Here, it’s essential that you don’t overstuff your garden.

Below are some more backyard ideas to help you make an educated choice for your back garden makeover.

  • Spruce up your back garden with hanging baskets. This is a great design idea for a small backyard. Hanging baskets can fit into a garden of any size and make the garden space look more open. Some polygala varieties make for great training plants to accent your house walls. They are also lovely in pots. 
  • Grow your plants on a trellis or pergola. Much of the above-listed plants are espalier plants starting with Nuccio’s Gem Camellia. The shrubs can be trained to cover walls so you save space in a small backyard. Chocolate vine is an excellent climber you can use to cover an arch or pergola and create shelter from the sun.

    Emerald Gaiety can be grown on wooden pergolas halfway through. As they get only 3 feet high, they’re ideal for small backyards as they won’t block the sunlight.

  • Revamp your backyard by planting along the stone paths. Stone paths are a staple in landscaping outdoor areas. Decorating them with ornamental plants can add an edge to a lack-luster garden. Planting chocolate vine along your rocky walkways is a great idea. The plant thrives in shady areas and can be grown in a small backyard with narrow borders.
  • Grow a living fence. Living fences are a great way to create privacy and muffle any neighboring sounds. Field Maple and Western Red Cedar are most commonly used as garden hedges. If you want to add a splash of color, you can try matching polygala with dwarf garden trees to create some contrast.

    You can also trim them short and grow them along the white picket fence. Nuccio’s Gem Camellia can be grown as a shorter living fence to allow for a more open space in a small backyard. 

Explore the Gardening Channel for More Captivating Backyard Ideas  

The backyard ideas above are a great starting point for designing your outdoor living space for the next season. 

  • The plants above are some of the best plants to grow in the backyard as they allow for much improvisation.
  • You can grow them as ground covers, on upright structures, or as trimmed bushes. And this adds even more variety to your outdoor garden experience.
  • You can use them for landscaping a good-sized outdoor garden and a small backyard alike. To go luxurious and to landscape on a budget as you can use them to grow your own wire hedge fences.

For more backyard ideas and more professional landscaping tips check out our informative blog pages. The Gardening Channel is serving the gardening enthusiasts community that counts over one million followers on Facebook. 

Whatever your gardening aspirations, Gardening Channel has got you covered. We’ll help you create an unparalleled outdoor living experience. And we mean both in terms of your gardening skills and the satisfaction we all know it brings forth.

Photo from Pixabay by ngocdai86


“5 Plants You Absolutely Have to Include When Designing Captivating Backyard Ideas” was first posted here

Leave a Reply

Get Your Garden Right The First TimeLearn exactly how to build and care for your garden. Sign up and never miss awesome gardening tips and ideas.