Asked on Oct 10, 2017

How do I make my backyard inviting?

Liz RidgwaySkooterKatAych


Hello, my backyard is in need of a makeover. But I haven't a clue as to where to begin. There's no privacy, overgrown trees, stray cats and sometimes uninvited visitors taking up residence in the bushes. Help please!
The yard is 240 ft by 40 ft. Needs help.
12 answers
  • Janet Pizaro
    on Oct 10, 2017

    what is you location
  • Rachel
    on Oct 10, 2017

    keep your trees for shade and work on trimming all other bushes back then plan walk way, seating area or pond, small garden or flowers
  • Ken
    on Oct 10, 2017

    Looks like you might be in the Sunshine State. A landscape architect would be the best place to start. He/she can evaluate your entire setting along with your desires and develop a plan. That is far and away the best choice. People here can only guess about major features that could change a plan drastically. Money well spent with the architect.

    Lacking the number one choice, a distant second would be to start with security. Start with a fencing contractor who can evaluate your entire estate and recommend solutions. I would think that the overgrown trees would be a good thing in helping with your privacy issue and if you remove them the multi-story building in the back will have a clear view of your yard until you can grow some more overgrown trees. When they can see from above, privacy becomes an elusive commodity.

    Best of luck.
  • Laura Pettit
    on Oct 10, 2017

    Trim up the bushes. You can paint your side of the fence and add containers with flowers and decorative bushes. Grass is a lot of work.. Or you can add decorative rocks or gravel. Or maybe one of those do-it-yourself patios for a seating area
  • Emily
    on Oct 10, 2017

    If at all possible fence it in. Fences define spaces, like walls do. Prevents intruders and guides all other yard features. Just read dimensions. That is a very big yard. O.k. instead of fencing whole thing in what about a fence across the 40ft width? Leaving about 60 ft of active yard? You could put a gate in the fence to allow access to what is the rest of your property. What are your talents that could be expressed in a yard? Are you a good gardener, a good carpenter, a good artist? Do you like to cook out? Entertain outdoors a lot? What do YOU really want from your yard?
  • Hire a landscape designer. First Google for ideas, look on Pinterest to give the designer an idea of what you like and how you plan on using the space too.
  • Jewellmartin
    on Oct 10, 2017

    You have a shady fence line at least part of the day. I would start there with a couple of chairs and a small table. If you want a little more privacy behind you, add a trellis or two or one 6' length of tall fencing, right in front of the fence, or even nail or staple a few colorful beach towels on the fence itself. The trees at the back of your yard do need trimming, but at least they give a good bit of shade and privacy. Other people will give more advice, I'm sure. 😇💞

  • Janet Pizaro
    on Oct 10, 2017

    Start with these ideas just for now. Once you see something that may work,feel free to post another question for shrubs etc.
  • Janet Pizaro
    on Oct 12, 2017

    Ok for starting ,if you can re-place the existing shrubs first. once you have accomplished that ,prune up the rest and decide on grass ,a walkway,patio,rock garden etc.See if this is on the right track for you.
  • KatAych
    on Oct 12, 2017

    I would suggest you look around on Pinterest for backyard makeovers -- even the specific issues you have like privacy, uninvited guests, strays, etc. save some pics of yards you like, and see if you can mimic those elements for your own needs. it really depends on what you like and have the capability of doing. Good luck!
  • Skooter
    on Oct 13, 2017

    First thing is to figure out a budget. Is this a project you want finished right away or can it be spread out over a couple of years? Many garden centers will help with ideas. Look at magazines and garden books. Check with a local community college to see if they have a landscape design class. Many students would probably be happy to help for a nominal cost. Figure out how you will use the area. Once all that is done then start checking craigslist for free items or items that are in excellent used shape. If you have a Habitat for Humanity Restore, check there for useable items. I've bought plants, patio furniture and 12v outdoor lighting. Hope this helps and good luck.
  • Liz Ridgway
    on Oct 15, 2017

    Hi Janet,
    I'd start by being a bit nosey and take a peek at other people's gardens in the immediate area. What grows well? Of that, what do you like / dislike? This will give you an idea of the soil type (if you don't already know it - e.g. acid, alkaline etc...) and also will help you select plants that you know already can cope with your local conditions. I'd also have a think about how you want to use the space. For example, is it a place to escape after work? Is it an area you'd like to do a lot of entertaining in? Do you have children / pets that will want a piece of the garden too? Then you can start thinking about how you use it and therefore what you need to plant - e.g trees for shade and privacy / maybe a few raised beds to stop them getting trampled by little feet or paws etc... hope that helps, and good luck! Liz
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