How to Plan Your Landscape Design in Idaho

Landscape planning? No problem. It’s well underway, right? You’ve been pondering this for years.

Let’s see, your dream landscaping includes a multi-level patio; fully equipped outdoor kitchen with pergola; a stunning grove of river birch; luxury lighting; an expansive fire pit; a babbling brook with a splashy waterfall; and a mini golf course. The heliport might have to wait till Phase 2.

You know, just a typical Idaho landscape design — nothing too flashy. 

So, how to plan your landscape design in Idaho? You’ll need to decide lots of details, from what size patio to choosing outdoor kitchen features to what sort of plants will thrive. 

Also, you might have to scale that plan back a bit. The neighbors will talk. 

You need an action plan. Here you go:


1. Assess your Needs and Landscape Budget
2. Determine your Landscaping Style Preferences
3. Creating the Perfect Patio for Your Idaho Home
4. Designing Your Outdoor Kitchen 
5. Enhancing Your Outdoor Space with a Fire Pit 
6. Adding a Shade Structure to Your Idaho Landscape
7. Choosing the Right Plants for Your Idaho Landscape 
8. The Importance of Landscape Lighting in Idaho 
9. Finding the Right Landscaping Company in Idaho Falls

Assess your Needs and Landscape Budget

Oh, right, the budget. So how much is your dream landscaping with the multi-level patio, the outdoor kitchen with pergola, the grove of river birch, the babbling brook with waterfall and mini golf course going to cost?

Hmm. Time to prioritize. What parts of a landscape design plan would really enhance your outdoor life? 

Or, if you’re planning to sell your home, are there certain landscaping projects that are smart to do now, that will increase the value of your home and give you the best return on your investment?  

It’s time to be smart about this whole landscape design plan thing. 

skid loader and front loader move landscape rocks

How much does landscape design cost? 

How much does a landscape renovation cost? 

The cost of landscape design varies widely, as you can imagine. But when you sit down with your landscape designer and talk about your options, it’s important to already know a couple things:

  • How much do you want to spend? 
  • What are your priorities?

The good news is, a skilled designer can help you make smart choices that can cut down on landscape installation cost.

For example, an English-style garden with beds packed with blooming perennials and an elegant boxwood hedge as far as the eye can see will require a lot of plants. All those plants add up.

landscape design plan

Choose a more contemporary Idaho landscape design, with graceful ornamental grasses, easy on the trees and shrubs, and you’ll spend less on plants.

A fancy outdoor kitchen with all the bells and whistles is expensive. But maybe you don’t need all the extras. Maybe a basic grill and some decent counter space to hold all your gourmet grilled goodies is all you need. 

Landscape installation cost is all over the map. So, it really helps to have a creative, knowledgeable partner to help you prioritize.

Determine your Landscaping Style Preferences

This is the fun part.
What’s your landscaping style? 

Rustic mountain? It’s a classic Idaho landscape design. Think nature-inspired, with trees and plants that highlight the rugged Idaho mountain landscape. 

Lots of aspens. Berries for the birds. Native grasses. Hardscape that blends into the environment, like cobblestone or flagstone. 

Love hiking and spending time in the woods? Why not bring it to your own backyard?

ornamental grasses and plantings near front of home

Or maybe you want a more flowery landscape, with an English cottage vibe.

Dreaming of gathering armloads of cut flowers and sipping iced tea in a cozy outdoor breakfast nook? Bring on the hydrangeas and roses. Maybe a gazebo, or a classic brick patio is part of your landscape design plan. 

Or maybe you’re the naturalized xeriscape type. (Don’t worry, it’s good.)
No fussy flowers, thanks. You want a low-maintenance , drought- tolerant landscaping style. You’re not alone. Water- saving landscaping is a huge trend as we strive to take care of the natural world around us. 

Native trees and plants are the go-to here: lodgepole pine, Colorado spruce, fuss-free sagebrush. 

Can’t decide? No worries. Feel free to mix landscaping styles. Or maybe traditional informal is the look for you, an “anything goes” type of landscape style with curvy beds filled with your favorite plants and a multipurpose patio for dining and relaxing around the fire pit. 

The cool thing about Idaho landscape design is it’s totally customizable. Jot down your ideas, gather photos you like, think about the vibe you want to enjoy out there and we’ll help you make it happen. 

Did we mention this will be fun?

Get Started

Creating the Perfect Patio for Your Idaho Home

The first thing to do when planning your patio design is to post a sign that says, “This is Where the Fun Stuff Happens.”

No pressure, but your patio is the center of your outdoor living, so you want it exactly right. 

This is where your landscape designer makes a huge difference as you plan your landscape design. 

While you might be caught up in what paver pattern to choose or who to invite to your first patio party, a good landscape designer will say, “whoa, whoa, whoa” or some similar phrase to slow you down to talk about the really important patio design stuff. 

outdoor patio with seating

Plan your landscape design around your actual lifestyle. What will your patio life look like? Do you need enough space to host big gatherings?  Or just enough room for cozy candlelight dinners for two? 

Is a fire pit part of the plan? A hot tub? Have you already ordered a huge outdoor dining set and a sectional couch that seats 32 people? 

Is it time to think big, with multi levels and separate outdoor rooms? That looks great when you search paver patio ideas on Pinterest, but will you actually use the space? Now is the time to really ponder your patio design needs — not when the bulldozer shows up. 

Once you make a plan for how you’ll use your patio, it’s time to think about materials. 

Landscape design in Idaho often includes rustic materials like slate or flagstone, with a rich, textured, earthy appearance.  

patio and firepit made from flagstone

But brick pavers and stamped concrete are popular options, too. Your landscape designer can walk you through the pros and cons and help you decide what material works best for your Idaho landscape design. 

And don’t assume your patio design has to be a rectangle. Curves add an elegant touch, soften hard landscaping lines and can take your Idaho landscape design up a notch. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

Designing Your Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen is a great part of an Idaho landscape design. If you’re lucky enough to have great scenery, why waste time cooking inside? 
Bring the party outside with a great outdoor kitchen design. 

But where to start? There’s a lot to consider. 

How much seating do you need? Should it be covered? Do you need lighting? 

Read The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Outdoor Kitchen
Want to include a fire pit nearby so dessert can be delectably gooey s’mores? Your landscape designer will help you hone in on your outdoor kitchen must-have features for your landscape design plan. 

A skilled landscape designer will also help you avoid making common outdoor kitchen design mistakes, like facing the grill in the wrong direction (you don’t want your back to your guests while grilling — rude) or skimping on counter space (you need plenty of room for that huge platter of coconut-lime grilled shrimp.)

If you’re wondering about outdoor kitchen design costs, there’s a huge range, as you can imagine.

large outdoor kitchen with bar and grill

It all depends on the size, the features, and the materials you choose.

All you need is a basic outdoor kitchen with a decent grill? You got it. Plan for $15,000 to $18,000. Feeling fancier? You can spend up to $100,000 for a luxury kitchen with lots of high-end features. 

Pro tip: know your budget before you sit down to chat with your 
designer to plan your landscape design. And be up front about it. 

You want to make sure you can afford the great suggestions your designer will make. Crying at the kitchen table is awkward. 
Once they know your realistic budget, they can create an outdoor kitchen design that you’ll not only love, but that you can afford.

Enhancing Your Outdoor Space with a Fire Pit

Patio fire pits are perfect for outdoorsy people who have great outdoor views and plenty of chilly weather. If you like your marshmallows toasted, even better. 

So, landscaping in Idaho often includes a patio fire pit.

It seems simple enough: create a safe spot to get some flames crackling and make sure you bought enough chocolate bars, because chances are somebody will break into them before the fire pit is even built. (Nobody’s judging.) 

But there are actually lots of things to consider

firepit with chairs and deck

Wood burning or gas powered? There are several factors to help you decide. 

Most homeowners choose gas for their Idaho landscape design plan. It’s easier, and gas fire pits burn clean without smoke.

But wood-fueled fires have their own rustic charm, and a cowboy vibe some homeowners love. Bonus: no need to run gas or electricity as part of your landscape design plan. 

What size should your patio fire pit be? Quick tip: Smaller, more intimate fire pits are about two to three feet wide, while larger fire pits for entertaining groups can be up to four to six feet wide.

Natural stone for a rustic feel or brick to complement your house? That’s totally your preference.

Should it be close to your house for convenience, or a bit of a stroll to add a sense of adventure? (Keep in mind wind direction if you choose a wood fire pit close to your house. Not everybody loves campfire-scented pillows.) 

firepit near outdoor kitchen with built in seating and lighting

Hmmmmm. There’s a lot to think about.

Actually, the first thing you should do is check out your municipality’s rules about fire pits. Each city’s fire and burning codes are different.

Once you know it’s legal, fire up that patio fire pit plan.

Get Started

Adding a Shade Structure to Your Idaho Landscape

Here in Idaho, we love the sun. But sometimes it’s nice to have a shady escape.

Meet your new pergola, the perfect patio shade structure that offers just enough respite from the sun but still lets you enjoy some outdoor chill time. 

Pergolas are crafted of vertical posts or pillars that support crossbeams and sometimes sturdy open lattice. Bonus: the pillars and beams offer a perfect place to train pretty vines that offer dappled shade overhead.

pergola with outdoor fireplace

A pergola can be attached to your house to extend over your patio or deck, for easy access and steps-from-your-kitchen entertaining.

Prefer a bit of a stroll, or a place to hide when it’s your turn to trim the dog’s toenails? Add a freestanding pergola anyplace on your property as part of your Idaho landscape design — then enjoy your charming garden getaway.

Don’t underestimate how hard- working pergola designs can be — they’re really versatile. 

A pergola is the perfect patio shade structure to cover your outdoor kitchen. Add one next to the swimming pool. Or over your bubbling hot tub. 

Pergolas add not just a touch of shade, but a touch of elegance. Suddenly, even your leftover pizza lunch seems sort of fancy. 

How big should it be?

pergola with plantings and fireplace

Pergola designs vary, depending on how you’ll use it. Planning big pergola parties? You’ll need a larger pergola than if you’ll mostly be enjoying dinner for two beneath romantic twinkling lights. (Oh, right, don’t forget to add lights! Instant magic.) 

Which material is best? 

Your landscape designer can help you choose between vinyl, fiberglass or wood. 

Pergola kits are available that make construction easier, but a custom-built pergola can be any size you like, and it usually only takes about two weeks longer to have a custom pergola design.

Then, pergola party planning. Perfect.

Choosing the Right Plants for Your Idaho Landscape

How to plan your landscape design in Idaho? Sure, ponder patios and pergolas and fantasize about fire pits, but don’t forget about plants.

Plants bring your landscape to luxurious life. 

How to choose plants for landscaping? 
It’s kind of overwhelming, right? There are thousands of plants out there.

A skilled landscape designer can help make sense of it all. Expect to start with some questions as you plan your landscape design. 

plantings near front walkway of home

Like, how much or little maintenance do you want to do? What are the conditions in your yard — mostly sun? A lot of shade? 

Do you love lots of color, or do you prefer evergreens? Want something super cool? (Of course, you do!) Boulder blue fescue is ornamental grass that’s actually blue. 

Do you daydream about pretty pink blooms greeting you each spring? A designer will know a prairie fire crabapple is just the thing. (Pro tip: a properly planted tree can shade your house in the summer, helping to keep it cool. That saves you money on air conditioning. Bonus!) 

Not every plant will work in every landscape. 

It’s important to choose plants that are well suited and happy where you plop them. Then they’ll flourish.

But native plants will love it just about anywhere in your Idaho landscape design. They’re from here, so they’re automatically at home. 

plantings near pergola

Native plants will require less water, fertilizer, and maintenance, plus they’ll attract wildlife. Using native Idaho plants for landscaping is a big win. 

And there are some native stunners for your Idaho landscape design. Common yarrow is a delicate-looking beauty with lacy flower clusters that’s way tougher than it looks. Burning bush is as impressive as it sounds, with a fiery scarlet hue in the fall that makes a stunning hedge in your Idaho landscape design. 

Plants aren’t just pretty. They’re practical, too. Need a privacy screen? 
Plants can do that. (Swedish aspen! Plus, it has great fall color.) A wind break? Plants can do that, too.

Need to gaze blissfully out at a bountiful harvest of fluffy blue hydrangea blooms that make you swoon? 

Plants can do that, too. Bet you can’t wait to get started.

The Importance of Landscape Lighting in Idaho

You probably don’t spend much time out in front of your house at night. Why would you? 

Take a stroll out there for a nice long look. Is it welcoming? Does it seem safe? Does it look nice? Did your kid leave his skateboard on the front walkway again, daring people to trip and crack their skull open? 

Great landscape lighting design can make a huge difference.

Read Our Helpful Guide to Landscape Lighting Design
How can lighting be part of your landscape design plan?

Light up dark corners to deter criminals and troublemakers. Light up your plants to add drama, texture, and intriguing artsy shadows to your landscaping after dark. Light up the places where people walk and linger, because, let’s face it, that skateboard can’t put away itself.

What’s cool about your house? Impressive columns? Great brickwork? A soaring roofline? Time for landscape lighting installation to show it off. 

Are your trees hanging out in the dark, all sad and ignored? That’s no way to treat them. We have cool trees here in Idaho, from our signature quaking aspen to stunning river birch with bark so pretty it’s a crime not to light it. 

landscape lighting on trees and near walkway

Add great landscape lighting design and not only will your trees perk up, you’ll really add to your curb appeal.

Uplighting your trees makes a huge difference. It directs light up at the trunk or canopy, making even ordinary trees suddenly dramatic and impressive. 

Landscape lighting design isn’t all about the front yard. 

There’s a lot going on out back ,too, from paths to light for safety to your patio that really needs festive lighting overhead for an instant party vibe. 

You might not need all your landscape lighting at once. Consider landscape lighting installation with separate zones you can control. Then you can put your front yard on its own timer, to stay on longer than your backyard. Extra curb appeal.

Need more inspiration for your Idaho landscape design?  Your landscape designer is full of bright ideas.

Finding the Right Landscaping Company in Idaho Falls

You’ve spent 114 hours on Pinterest wistfully gazing at beautiful landscaping ideas. 

It’s time to stop gazing and start making your dream landscaping actually happen. 
How to find the best landscape design in Idaho Falls to get things rolling?

  • Ask for references, then check them out. Drive past homes they’ve landscaped to see if their work wows you.

  • Check out the company’s Google reviews. If a ton of people left reviews and the company also has close to five stars, they’ve made a lot of homeowners happy.

  • Make absolutely sure your landscaping services in Idaho Falls has in-house experienced landscape designers on staff.

Landscape designers know all kinds of great stuff —and they’ll share their innovative 
ideas and brainy creativity to come up with a perfect landscape design plan for your outdoor paradise. 

And when you meet with them, make sure you did some homework to prepare

water feature near patio and firepit

What’s your budget? What are your must-have features? What plants do you love? What plants do you hate? Time for some list making. 

Get ready to answer some questions, too. A good landscape designer will want to know about your lifestyle, and how you want to enjoy your outdoor life before starting your Idaho landscape design. 

Your answers will help them understand how your new landscaping should function — not just how it will look. 

There are questions you should ask during a landscape consultation that will help make sure the whole process goes smoothly. 

You want to know what to expect, right? Ask the designer to walk you through how this will go, from deciding what features you’ll include to choosing materials to construction, payment, and the final walk-through.

How to plan your landscape design in Idaho? Start with us. 

landscape team meeting near fence

At Outback Landscape, we have in-house landscape designers and landscape architects who will bring your ideas to life. 

We love matching our clients with your dream landscape design plan, and watching your excitement as the process unfolds. 

And we make it easy, from your first meeting with our landscape designers right through to the excitement of installation.

patio with fireplace and outdoor kitchen

We’ll talk with you about your expectations, what the project includes, the expected time frame for completion, and your budget.

Bring all your questions. This will be fun!

Outback Landscape offers full-service landscape design in Idaho Falls, offering landscape design, installation and maintenance throughout Southeast Idaho and Wyoming. 

We install beautiful, functional landscapes. But our work doesn’t stop there. We’ll stay with you for the long haul, taking care of your property through all four seasons.

We serve residential and commercial properties in Idaho Falls, Rexburg and Pocatello, Idaho, as well as Bonneville, Madison and Bannock counties.

Call us at 208-656-3220. Or fill out the contact form to schedule a no-obligation meeting with one of our team members.

We can’t wait to hear from you.

Get Started Today