What is a Back Garden?

Sheri Cyprus

A back garden is a type of outdoor space featuring greenery, flowers and/or vegetables located at the rear of a residential home. It's differentiated from other types of residential gardens, such as those in the front of a house or on the side of it, solely due to its location. A lawn, rock planters, plant containers or trees as well as flower or vegetable beds may be part of a back garden.

A back garden is a garden that is in the back of a house.
A back garden is a garden that is in the back of a house.

The size of a backyard garden varies widely depending on the property. Smaller yards may have only a tiny area of grass, while bigger back gardens may feature large expanses of lawn. Flower beds and rock garden sections may border a grassy backyard as well as form a feature near the center. Flower bed borders are often rectangular and located along a property line in a back garden such as one marked by a fence. They may have rocks, bricks or other materials for their edging, but rock gardens typically show less soil and more stones, boulders or even pebbles around the plants.

A back garden space may include a trampoline.
A back garden space may include a trampoline.

In desert locations where grass isn't popular, as it just remains brown and dried out most of the time, rock gardens in the backyard are much more common and cover a larger area that may also be combined with pavement. Cacti and other desert flowering plants may be a part of this type of back garden. Backyard gardens in many areas and climates often feature stepping stones to walk on in flowerbeds to avoid trampling on plants. Besides rock, brick or cement, stepping stones may also be made of resin.

Many back gardens don't just serve as a landscaping display, but rather are used by the families who live in the houses. The back garden space may include a trampoline, basketball hoop or swimming pool as well as space for the family dog to run. Back gardens are usually adjacent to a patio or deck area at the rear of the home. The back door of the house typically leads out onto the patio or deck, then into the rear yard. It's common for people to have chairs, a dining table and an outdoor barbecue on the outside deck or patio that overlooks the back garden.

Back gardens aren't always level to the house. They may slope downward or upward. Water features such as ponds or fountains may be a part of a back garden. Some homeowners like to accent the garden with bird baths or statues, while others prefer a plainer look.

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Discussion Comments


I love the idea of a back garden. You usually have much more privacy in the back of your house anyway! While I always admire those who take the time and effort to maintain beautiful gardens, I don't seem to be very good at it.

My new project for this year is to install water garden. I know they take some upkeep, but I think it would be very relaxing to hear the sound of the water and have some fish swimming around. I like to relax outside with a good book and this sounds like it would be a perfect spot to unwind and relax.


I like the idea that a back garden does not consist of just flowers, plants and vegetables. It is nice to include waterfalls, rock gardens and family entertaining in the whole design.

We spend as much time outside as possible in the summer. I enjoy spending the winter months looking at seed catalogs and doing some garden planning for the spring, but seem to enjoy the time outside with the family as much an anything.


I guess I have a back garden and didn't even know what it was! We moved a few years ago and I had a big backyard and a head swimming with a lot of garden ideas! I have had to be a bit more realistic than I first anticipated, but I love my back garden!

I have planted several of my favorite flowers and the kids have their trampoline and several of their outside toys nearby. We have a grill on the patio, and it is a great place for the family to spend summer evening and weekends.

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