Blog post contribution by Allen Sidwell, owner of Waterwise Landscape Design.

Many backyards lack both function and beauty. As a landscape designer in San Diego, I’m happy to share a number of tips and tricks to bring both beauty and function into your outdoor living spaces in San Diego. This does not need to be expensive. More often, some creativity and thoughtful design will spruce up any backyard.

Draw your eye to a focal point for a visual statement.

One of the main principles of landscape design is to create visual lines to draw your focus and interest. In this image, you can see a pathway leading to a round insert of stones and a potted plant. This visual statement is a great way to bring interest to an otherwise often ignored part of a backyard.

Simple and clean is often more beautiful than complex and crowded.

This modern landscape has simple linear lines which add to the architecture of this modern home. There are not too many plants and the mixed use of materials creates interest and pops of design.

Simple pathway

Create pathways to highlight color and design.

Pathways offer you an opportunity to explore an outdoor space. They can be creative and fun or just an area to highlight favorite colorful plantings. A variety of shapes and materials can be used when creating pathways.

Along the pathway, you may also plant annuals and perennials to show the colors of the season.

small seating area backyard design tip

Carry the inside of your home to outside living spaces.

If you have a home that will allow you to extend the living space into the backyard, you can maximize your living spaces with thoughtful design. In this photo, you can see that similar furniture choices were used to draw the architectural features from the home to the outdoor living space. To create a continuous living space, you can use similar materials to draw the eye from the inside out. Many mid-century modern homes utilize this design principle to great effect.

Can you have water features in your San Diego landscape design? Yes.

Water features for a Serene and soothing oasis. The sound of flowing water has the effect of bringing a feeling of serenity to anyone who is sitting near or walking by. Incorporating a water feature and fountain into your backyard can increase your sense of calm. You can create a micro oasis on a designated area of your property for deeper relaxation that is complemented by the water feature.

Consider a water feature with succulents

Dress up an area with colorful annuals in decorative planters.

Plants and pots are an easy way to add a pop of color to an area that you may want to highlight. There are countless choices of plants and pots that can be used to show off beautiful and colorful annuals. Get creative and have some design-fun with them.

This San Diego Blog Time blog post was authored by Allen Sidwell of Waterwise Landscape Design in San Diego.

Please feel free to contact us at Waterwise Landscape Design with your landscaping questions, we are happy to offer some advice.

Call Allen at 619-513-0834 or visit our website: