How to Landscape Around Decks

A landscaped house and front yard with a deck.
  • 4-20 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-1,000
What You'll Need
Insert your do-it-yourself landscaping wish list here:
What You'll Need
Insert your do-it-yourself landscaping wish list here:

Decks are great for a lot of things: grilling, entertaining, and even catching a few rays. But they do make something, in particular, a bit tricky—landscaping. Because decks may be raised and oddly shaped, it can be tough to figure out exactly how to plant beautiful and lush flowers and shrubs around the structure. Luckily, you can find a range of tips and tricks below to make this process easy.

Decide on Your Aesthetic

Before you get started planting around your deck, decide what look you’re going for. Do you want something lush and green or something more colorful? Would you rather have sparse plants or a landscape more crowded and full? Do you want something contained or more overgrown and wild? This is the fun part of the landscaping, and it’s completely up to you!

The Logistics

A deck in a backyard with landscaping around it.

As you’re considering how to landscape around your deck, consider some logistics. First, take into consideration the positioning of your deck. Will this area receive an abundance of sunlight or none at all? Also, remember to be strategic in the plants you choose and where to put them. Place plants next to each other that thrive off of the same soil and watering schedules to add to the convenience of maintenance on this landscape.

Finally, consider how much debris this area accumulates over time. Do many leaves typically fall around this space? Consider the areas that are prone to debris and bugs to work around those issues and ensure your plants’ success.

What to Plant Around Your Deck

A deck with flowers around it.

What you should plant around your deck really depends on your deck’s height and shape. For instance, if your deck is elevated, you may want to consider planting some taller bushes, shrubs, and even small trees around the space. This will ensure that the area is filled out well, particularly in the back row, closest to the deck. In front of that layer of plants, supplement with smaller and shorter plants such as flowers and shrubs for a full look. Consider plants like a Japanese red maple tree or dogwood trees, which are aesthetically pleasing, grow to be tall, and take up quite a bit of space.

If your deck is at the ground level or close to it, stick to smaller plants along the perimeter such as shrubs os flowers like daffodils, tulips, and hosta. If your deck is larger, go for plants that take up more space, like a hydrangea bush.

Accommodating for Growth Space

As you plant around your deck, take into consideration the growth space that the landscaped area will allow for. This will help you to not only choose what to ultimately plant but also how to design the landscape and space things out. Since you’re likely to be planting in a line or more constricted space to add to the aesthetic around your deck, try not to choose plants that are known for becoming overgrown. For instance, forsythia plants are pretty, but can easily take over space and will require much trimming and attention to keep the area neat.

Also, consider growth when planting items within the space. If you’re planting a hydrangea bush, remember that this may grow larger and larger each season. Grant it space it will need to flourish again and again.

Finally, don’t plant flowers, shrubs, or trees too close against your deck. You want to leave a fair amount of room for growth to ensure that your lush plants don’t encroach upon your leisure space.

Enclose the Space

A house with a deck and landscaping surrounding it.

A nice touch to a landscaped deck is to border the planted space with some kind of edging. Rocks make for an easy and natural look, as they can vary in size and shape to give a more rustic feel. Brick pavers are more uniform and are a bit more labor-intensive to install. Either way, this lends a specific definition or personal accent to your landscaping job.

Enjoy your outdoor space even more by installing beautiful landscaping around your deck. Doing so makes your personal oasis that much more serene.