• Landscape

    How to Make the Most of Natural Elements in Backyard Design

    Outdoor spaces are used for many different functions. Pools, outdoor kitchens, sporting practice, gardening, and more all happen in the typical backyard. While some people enjoy being active in their yards, some prefer a more natural approach to backyard design.

    When considering incorporating natural elements into your backyard design, location is obviously a major consideration. What is natural in Indiana, is not always going to be natural in Arizona, for example.

    Did you know that studies have found that spending time around trees lowers stress, reduces blood pressure, and improves mood? Those are great reasons to consider incorporating natural elements, such as lots of trees into your backyard design.

    Some ways to incorporate natural elements into your landscaping are:

    • Use native plants
    • Create shade
    • Water features
    • Pathways

    Use Native Plants

    Using native plants in your backyard landscape design is a great way to make the most of natural elements in your backyard design. Native plants are those that grow naturally in your climate. They are heartier, require less maintenance, and are more drought tolerant.

    If that is not reason enough, it is also more eco-friendly to use native species in your landscaping.

    Create Shade

    Everyone needs a little shade in their yard. Instead of building a large structure, a few well-chosen, well-placed trees create natural shade. Not to mention create a fun place for your children to play, a romantic spot to share a meal, and a perfect spot to hang a swing.

    When considering planting trees that will be around for many years to come, it is a great idea to consult a landscape designer. Your landscape designer is there to suggest the variety of tree(s) and location to best suit your needs. It is often difficult to estimate spacing on multiple trees when you start with much smaller versions. Landscape designers also suggest trees that are lower maintenance, have a deeper root structure, and provide the best shade for your space.

    Water Features

    Water features are popular choices in backyard design. They often include fountains, ponds, man-made creeks and more. When leaning towards more natural elements in your yard, consider local resources. If you have a lot of a particular stone in your state, include that in your water feature. A natural pond is one that looks like it could be found in the forest nearby.

    In addition to ponds, waterfalls are a popular choice for backyard designs. The calming sound of water rushing is a great way to create a calming space in your yard. Just as with ponds, waterfalls that include native elements are going to provide the most natural appearance in your backyard.


    Creating pathways is a great way to reduce damage to your landscaping that repeated foot traffic can present. There are many materials available for use in pathways including brick, stone, gravel, and concrete. For a more natural look, stick with elements that occur naturally, such as sandstone and limestone stepping stones.

    When using stepping stones, consider incorporating walkable groundcover plants to create an even more natural looking space!

    Natural Backyard Design for Your Indianapolis Home by Hittle

    Planning any backyard design projects is a lot of work. Hiring experts to help with the planning, installation, and maintenance leaves you more time to enjoy your beautiful space.

    Hittle Landscaping has been designing, installing, and maintaining natural landscapes for over 45 years! We are dedicated to your complete satisfaction and would be honored to create your backyard oasis. Call us today for a free consultation!

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