5 Easy Deck Landscape Ideas to Beautify Your Space

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5 Deck Landscape Ideas to Enhance Outdoor Living

There’s nothing quite like chilling on your deck, with a drink in hand, surrounded by laughter, good food, and good company. There is absolutely no better way to spend a warm summer evening. These are the moments we live for! However, this scene can quickly go from fun, to, well, ho-hum, if all you have is a basic deck in your backyard. Even a little deck landscape can turn a boring backyard into an incredible outdoor retreat to be enjoyed by all.

The problem for many homeowners is cost. Things are just so darn expensive these days, so finding easy deck landscape solutions is where it’s at. Beautifying your backyard on a budget is possible. And the experts at Deck Guardians are going to show you how!

Get inspired by these incredible deck landscape designs that incorporate plants, vertical gardens, and even water features to give landscapes a boost, all while focusing on function and style, and keeping within your budget.

Idea #1 Maximize the Green With Plants That Spread

The minimalist look is popular for interior design, but having a minimalist yard tends to feel cold and impersonal. The first idea on our list is to go the maximalist route and still meet your minimalist budget. The key here is to find plants that spread. Some popular plants known to take up a lot of room in your New Jersey garden are the following:

  • Daylilies: These tall stalks thrive in New Jersey, adapting to various conditions. Their vibrant trumpet-shaped flowers add a welcome pop of color to your space.
  • Groundcover Roses: They spread quickly to cover areas with dense foliage and plentiful blooms in a range of stunning, bold colors. Their alluring scent adds a feel of luxury to your backyard space.
  • Echinops (Globe Thistle): These plants are hardy, and feature round, thistle-like, blue or violet flowers atop tall, rigid stems. They add a perfect layer of height to your landscape.
  • Asters: Native and hardy, asters produce daisy-like flowers in purple, blue, or white, offering late summer to fall interest.
  • Crocosmia: These plants form groups of sword-shaped, bright green foliage, with arching spikes of vibrant red, orange, or yellow funnel-shaped flowers.
  • Dahlias: This well-loved flower is known for its stunning blooms that vary in size, color, and form, creating a dramatic display as they multiply each year.
  • Virginia Creeper: A strong vine that grows well in NJ, quickly covering large areas with lush green leaves that turn a brilliant red in fall.
  • Persicarias: Vigorous spreaders with lance-shaped leaves and spikes of pink, white, or red flowers, adding long-lasting color to any garden.
  • Vinca Minor (Periwinkle): A quick-spreading evergreen ground cover that provides a carpet of glossy green leaves and star-shaped, purple flowers in spring.
  • Ajuga (Bugleweed): Forms a dense mat of foliage with leaves that can be green, bronze, or a mix of both, and produces spikes of blue, purple, or white flowers in spring.

The trick is to choose a variety of plants that flower at different times throughout the seasons and to vary in height and spread. This allows Mother Nature to put on an incredible show all year long. Purchasing your plants off-season (in the fall) will give you the best bang for your buck, so you can stay on budget. Planting spreaders is a really simple way to create a lush and beautiful backdrop for your next backyard deck party!

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Idea # 2- Plant Privacy Trees & Shrubs

No matter how lovely your neighbors may be, you don’t want them to have a front seat to all your private backyard events. Increasing the privacy in your outdoor living space is as easy as planting a tree…or 2, or 3, or 7. Depending on the size of your backyard, you may need a few trees, or a lot of trees to create a serene wall of lush green privacy.

Evergreen Trees

On a budget? Select trees that spread their branches and leaves, so you can space them out and save on costs while still having a protective wall of seclusion. Another factor to think about is whether year-round privacy is important to you. Will you be using your deck in the winter months? If so, choose evergreen trees like Eastern White Pine, Leyland Cyrus, or Norway Spruce, which all thrive year-round in the New Jersey climate.

Deciduous Trees (Trees with leaves) 

If you’d like to use your privacy trees as shade as well, you may want to opt for a deciduous tree like a Willow, or Hornbeam. However, both lose their leaves in the fall, but not before they put on a spectacular show of turning to bold colors of red, gold, yellow, and orange.

Evergreen Shrubs

Another great deck landscape idea is to surround your deck with evergreen privacy shrubs. These shrubs stay dense and green all year long, creating a quick and natural privacy wall for your deck. Choose from Skip Laurel, Euonymus, or Arborvitae, which are fast-growing, great options to withstand our New Jersey seasons.

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Idea # 3: Build a Vertical Garden

This is another awesome deck landscape design that is easy and affordable and creates the perfect ambiance for your next garden party. Plus, it can be a fun DIY project to do with your family!

How to build a vertical garden in 3 easy steps:

  1. First, you have to select a structure for your garden to grow on. Old pallets work, hanging pocket organizers, or trellises are ideal and affordable. You can also purchase a ready-made vertical garden panel from your local garden center.
  2. Next, you have to prepare the space. If attaching your garden to a wall, ensure it’s sturdy enough to support the weight. Don’t forget as your garden grows, it weight will increase.
  3. Choosing your plants is the third step. Fill your containers or pockets with high-quality potting soil. This is one thing to splurge on, quality soil will help guarantee your plants will have the best environment possible to thrive in.

Below is a list of some of the best plants for vertical gardens as they spread beautifully, and require minimal maintenance.

  • Succulents (Echeveria and Sedum)
  • Herbs (Basil, Thyme, Rosemary)
  • Ferns (Maidenhair, Boston fern)
  • Hostas
  • Strawberries
  • Lettuce and leafy greens
  • Ivy
  • Climbing roses

Adding a variety of plants to your vertical garden including edible plants, can not only make for a gorgeous centerpiece of your deck landscape but can also save you money on your grocery bill. Win-win for everyone! Vertical gardens are an easy and beautiful way to improve the look of your deck landscape.

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Idea # 4: Add Contrasting Deck Materials

Most decks are made from wood, composite, PVC, or a combination of the three. However, there are many different types of deck materials that could add an element of style and sophistication to your existing deck.

Consider adding smooth paving stones adjacent to your deck, incorporating a firepit and some fairy lights to the surrounding shrubs, and now you have an additional lounging space for your guests. Add a rough natural flagstone path, or pebble-filled walkways throughout your garden and you have created the perfect little outdoor retreat. An easy and impactful deck landscape design!

For a less expensive option, consider using mulch, gravel, or chunky bark to create a different ground cover. Set up some lounging chairs or a bench, add some solar lights, or even a water feature, for a quiet space to reflect and zone out in nature. Creating an enviable deck landscape doesn’t have to break the bank to be effective. You just have to get creative!

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Idea # 5: Go Green With a Sustainable Deck Landscape

Going with an environmentally friendly deck landscape is not only great for the planet, but it can also make your life easier by minimizing the time needed for upkeep, plus saving you money on water usage.

Xeriscaping is a concept based on the principle of water conservation and is an excellent step in moving towards a more sustainable footprint. However, sustainable deck landscapes are about more than just water conservation, they are about contributing to the health of our planet, and also creating a more enjoyable, low-maintenance outdoor living space for you.

Here are some sustainability deck landscape designs that are easy on the eyes and the wallet:

  • Native Plants– Choose plants that are native to New Jersey since they are adapted to our local climate conditions and typically require less water, fewer fertilizers, and fewer pesticides.
  • Organic Mulch– Applying organic mulch around plants helps retain soil moisture, reduce evaporation, and suppress annoying weeds, which also gradually improves soil quality as it decomposes. This simple practice significantly cuts down on water usage and the need for chemical herbicides.
  • Collect Rainwater– Use rain barrels to collect runoff from roofs. This water can be used to irrigate your garden, further reducing your reliance on city water supplies.
  • Rethink your lawn– Consider reducing the size of your lawn or replacing it with groundcovers, native grasses, clover, or a wildflower meadow. Traditional lawns require a lot of water to stay green and alternatives can be just as beautiful.
  • Plan with Purpose– Design your landscape to take advantage of its natural features and conditions. For example, position trees to provide shade and cool your home naturally, reducing energy consumption for air conditioning.

Choosing a sustainable deck landscape helps homeowners make a positive impact on our environment while creating a beautiful outdoor living space for you and your friends and family to enjoy.

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Turn Your Deck Landscape Into Your Perfect Outdoor Retreat

So now you know that you can upgrade your deck landscape without breaking the bank- which idea are you going to choose? Maybe you’ll create a secluded space with evergreen privacy shrubs, or add another layer to your deck by DIY’ing a gravel patio. Whatever idea you pick, we are confident that you can change the vibe of a drap deck into a fab place to hang out, with these easy deck landscape designs.

Still not sure what to do to improve your deck landscape? Give our designers at Deck Guardian a call. We are excited to help you create your dream outdoor living space! One that fits your vision and stays within your budget. Contact us today for a FREE, no-obligation, consultation!

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