Landscaping Ideas Around Your Deck

by  Lauren Lockett-Summers
Last Updated: Jun 06, 2023
Landscaping Ideas Around Your Deck

While a backyard deck is certainly a statement piece on its own, adding additional landscaping can elevate your yard to the next level.

Of course, landscaping around deck areas can be challenging, as your backyard space can be limited, and you don’t want to obstruct your view.

Lucky for you, we’ve compiled this list of deck landscaping ideas, categorized by raised decks, ground-level decks and pool decks.

If you’re looking for inspiration for your Central Texas backyard deck and yard, here are some great ideas to create a backyard haven.

Table of contents

How to landscape around a deck

Landscaping around a deck begins with a plan. Visualize the layout and what features you want to include around your deck.

Consider the deck’s size and shape, sun exposure, existing features, and how much maintenance you want to undertake. You should also consider seating areas and other functional elements that you want.

If you have future plans for your deck or yard, such as expanding the deck or adding a pool or hot tub, think about that when you’re planning your landscaping. The last thing you want is to put money and work into landscaping elements you will need to uproot later.


What to put around a deck

There are plenty of ways to make your Central Texas backyard and deck your own with landscaping and yard features. Depending on your aesthetic, budget, and layout, you could use plants, stone, gravel, mulch, water features, and more to liven up the space.

Here are some ideas:

  • Plants or flowers
  • Trees and shrubs
  • Hardscaping
  • Stone or gravel areas
  • Mulch
  • Raised flower beds
  • Herb gardens

Best plants to put around a deck

Choosing the right plants for your deck depends on many factors such as your climate, how much sun and rain the area gets, the overall look of your deck, the purpose of the plants, and much more. Check the USDA Hardiness Zones to get some ideas for appropriate plants in your area.

Otherwise, these are some good options if they work in your climate:

  • Caladium for aesthetics
  • Begonia for color
  • Lavender for aroma and insect repellent
  • Croton for plant cover
  • Ornamental grasses for privacy and aesthetics
  • Hydrangea for attractive flowers
  • New Guinea impatiens for tropical colors
  • Succulent for a unique look and low maintenance
  • Lobelia for subtle color
  • Million bells for blanketing an area in color
  • Boxwood for dense foliage
  • Roses for a classic look

Landscaping ideas for your deck

Ready to get some yard inspiration? Check out these ideas for different types of decks to enhance them with creative landscaping.


Raised decks

Raised decks allow you to enjoy your backyard from above, but because they’re raised, they can blend into your home.

To make your raised deck stand out, you need to add some landscaping.


Emphasize the height

  • Great for small decks


The best parts of a raised deck are its height and lovely exposed wood. Because you’ll want to show both of these off with your landscaping, we recommend planting a variety of low-growing foliage.

You can also add pops of larger plants to take advantage of your deck’s height without overpowering it.


Work with your space

  • Great for small decks
  • Great for big gardens
Deck with pergola and subtle landscaping
©Austex Fence and Deck

Obviously, decks come in different shapes and sizes, so your landscaping needs to complement the size of your deck, not detract from it.

If your deck is small, with just enough room for your grill, choose low-growing plants and evenly space them apart, so the flower beds don’t look too overgrown.


If you have a larger deck installed, you don’t want to minimize its expanse by over landscaping it.

We recommend adding potted plants on the deck, and hedges around the deck to preserve its lush, retreat-like feel.


Light up your landscaping

  • Low maintenance
  • Great for big gardens


Use landscaping to illuminate your home and provide safety and security at night.

Consider this first, focusing on the architectural features or backyard elements that are most attractive.

Then, highlight the parts of your landscape that you want to stand out, such as topiary or garden pathways and water features.


Use monochrome plants

  • Great for big gardens


Plants that match the house’s color create a cohesive look that can highlight subtle aspects of your home and property.

Anything but boring, monochromatic looks use shades of one color family, creating subtle variations in the design that really make your yard stand out.


Make it vibrant

  • Great for small decks
  • Great for privacy
  • Great for big gardens


This is a good way to make your deck look larger and create some visual appeal with different shades of bright flowers and plants.

If you prefer, use large, rich ferns and greenery for the same effect.


Use planters

  • Low maintenance
  • Great for small decks
Wood raised deck with planters for landscaping
©Austex Fence and Deck

If you don’t have a lot of yard space, planters can help you incorporate more plants and flowers into your landscaping and deck.

Using raised or stacked beds, hanging plants, large pots, and railing planters gives you extra space to plant without taking up room on your deck or in your yard.


Ground-level decks

Similar to patios, but made with wood, ground-level decks expand your living space without the involvement of stairs.

As with raised decks, there are certain landscaping tactics you can take advantage of to complement your deck.


Keep it simple

  • Low maintenance
  • Great for small decks


Ground-level decks already have such great, clean lines and you don’t want your landscaping choices to mask them.

Select some small-stature trees, like Junipers or succulents, to add an element of greenery, without covering the deck.

You’ll want to avoid plants that will get bushy, and choose plants that grow vertically instead of horizontally.


Expand your square footage

  • Great for small decks


The great thing about ground-level decks is that even if they’re small, you can easily make them look larger with some clever landscaping.

Instead of adding plants or shrubbery directly next to your wooden deck, add a stone filler or grass to create the illusion of a larger deck.

Adding additional flat surfaces also allow you to utilize the rest of your backyard as you would use a larger deck.


Make your landscaping part of your color palette

  • Great for small decks


Is your deck style vibrant or more subtle? Do you like bright colors or earth tones?

Whatever your aesthetic, consider your color palette in your design.

Instead of using a mix of colors, plan the color scheme you want and choose flowers and plants that complement your deck decor and home colors.


Use planters as railings

  • Great for privacy
  • Great for small decks


If you have a low deck, planters can serve double duty as railings to enclose your deck and get some extra greenery or color.

This is also a cost-effective option that’s easy to put together, as you just need to work with existing planters that are the right size and height for your deck.


Pool decks

One of the best additions you can add to your pool is a pool deck.

Not only will a pool deck prevent the chlorine and pool chemicals from killing the surrounding ground, but it also creates a safer surface for your family and friends to enjoy your pool.

Of course, a pool deck isn’t complete without some beautiful landscaping.


Create an oasis

  • Great for privacy


With your pool, you’re already half-way to creating a backyard oasis.

Add some lush shrubs and trees, and maybe some additional water features for a total backyard escape.

Choose wispy plants like European beachgrass or fescue for an airy, tropical appearance, and don’t forget to make room for your lounge chairs!


Work with the sun

  • Great for privacy
  • Low maintenance


Shady days are nice, but not when you want to go swimming. Although you can’t control your pool placement if it’s already in your backyard, you can make the pool look warmer with some clever landscaping.

Give your pool a California or Arizona look by choosing gravel over mulch and select evergreen shrubs and grass for a light, warm look.


Add junipers for privacy

  • Great for privacy


Juniper is a tall, evergreen shrub that can be used year-round as a layer of privacy along your fence line.

You can use juniper on your entire property or keep it focused in one area as a privacy screen. Best of all, these plants are fairly low maintenance and thrive in a range of climates.


Mix stone and grass

  • Low maintenance
  • Great for big gardens


Stone and grass is a striking landscaping style that maximizes your usable space with subtle touches of greenery.

This is also popular in Central Texas where the heat can make it difficult to maintain a lush lawn, or to break up large garden areas.


Hot tub decks

Hot tub decks are popular for a touch of luxury in your backyard.

Here are some great options for landscaping around your hot tub deck to create more privacy and maximize your space.


Create privacy with greenery

  • Great for privacy
  • Low maintenance


Instead of installing a fence around your hot tub, you can create more privacy with tall, lush shrubs that give you plant cover from neighbors.

You don’t have to surround the entire hot tub, either.

Just creating a privacy screen on the most visible side is enough to make your hot tub feel more comfortable and secluded.

You could also add a perimeter planter with hedges that will continue to grow, giving you more privacy over the years.


Create natural shade

  • Low maintenance
  • Great for privacy


Similar to privacy screens, tall shrubs or plants can create natural shade around your hot tub without adding a fence.

Think about which area gets the most sunlight, then look for tall shrubs or trees that offer some shade when they’re in bloom.


Add palm trees for a tropical feel

  • Great for privacy


If you want to turn your hot tub into a backyard oasis, add some palm trees around it.

These trees provide some natural shade, and though they can be high maintenance, putting them in pots will make it easier to adjust to the climate of Central Texas.

Just a few will do, but if you want, you can add multiple palm trees and tropical plants to make your backyard look like an island resort.


Multi-level decks

Multi-level decks have a stunning look that begs for elaborate landscaping. Here are some ideas to liven up your space.


Add oversized flower pots

  • Great for big gardens
  • Great for privacy


Multi-level decks offer plenty of space for oversized plants and flower pots.

Whether they’re on the deck themselves or perched on columns, you can add large, lush plants to big pots to break up your deck levels and add a touch of privacy to different areas.


Add a water feature

  • Great for big gardens


Water features like fountains and ponds are ideal for multi-level decks.

You have plenty of space to add these features without taking up seating space, and you could even create a waterfall that flows from the top of the deck to the lower levels.


Frame the trees

  • Low maintenance


Framing the trees on your deck gives it a luxury look that resembles an open-air shopping center or city street.

This also allows you to construct or expand your deck around your yard’s natural features without uprooting them, so you can still enjoy the beauty of plants around you.

We certainly hope this guide on landscaping around your deck has been helpful and has inspired you to add a deck to your home. Whether you’re ready to add a deck today, or still have a few more questions, give our deck experts at Austex a call!


Get an instant online quote for your project.