Having a small yard doesn’t mean that you’re not able to create incredible landscape designs. Sure, you may not be able to fit a pool in your backyard, or an elaborate plot of massive trees. But bigger doesn’t always mean better.
In fact, having a small yard can be a blessing in disguise. Not only are you looking at less maintenance and overall work during the design and creation process, but working with limits can really open up some creative avenues.
So, you’re probably here wondering what you can do with your small yard to make it complete. Well, first you want to decide what your end goal is. If you’re looking for a place to relax and have social gatherings — you’ll want to focus your planning around the central point of interest. In this case, it may be a nook or a dining area. Maybe it’s a patio or a fire source. Regardless, you’re going to need to do some preparation in order to decide what spaces or features are most important.
Ultimately, this is because you’re working with limited space. Don’t let this scare you. In the end, all this does is make you more prepared for when the project begins and the installations start.
Some Ways You Can Prepare
There are some foundational planning tips we should get into before we dive into all of the fun and unique ways you can landscape your yard.
Figure out your colors before you get too far in the planning phase. We recommend this for a few different reasons.
- You can eliminate options that don’t fit you colorway plan
- You’re able to begin selecting options that do fit your plan
- It’s the best way to decide on plantings, floral options, and other garden options that you may want to implement
Colors also impact the emotion and feel of your yard. You can also create the illusion of depth with certain color patterns, so if you’re looking to make your yard appear larger, this step is crucial in the planning phase.
Plan on building up instead of out. If you’re working with limited space, the best way to make the most out of it is to utilize verticality. The more height variation you’re able to implement, the less your small yard will look crowded once you begin adding the features you want.
You can do this in the form of terracing, building elevated patio or porches, or even with elevated plant basins. There are a ton of great ways to create space through verticality.
Consider a rock garden or some sort of stone feature in a smaller yard. There are a handful of rock garden ideas that you can use when you have limited space.
If you want to implement some sort of waterscape or water feature, consider creating a rock dike-pond. Or if you want to work around the verticality you plan to create, a sloped rock garden is a great option.
You may be asking yourself, “What am I trying to achieve with my small yard landscaping?” Well, we have plenty of ideas that you can use to make the most out of your yard. Let’s get started!
Try dividing your space to get the most out of your yard. This is a tip we mentioned in Outdoor Living Spaces: Outdoor Living Rooms. The basic idea is that you’re going to create “separate rooms” within your small yard.
We understand that you’re working with limited space, so the term room might not be the best. Instead, think of it as separating the feel of certain parts of your yard. Maybe one area is for socializing, another has more plant life, another has a water feature.
Either way, you’re defining your space with different elements. This could come in the form of different surfaces, plant life, or even small walls to create division. Try to imagine this during your planning phase so that you can select the right materials for each individual “room.”
Small Yard Ideas You Can Try
So now that you’ve figured out some of the ways in which you want to create a beautiful space in your small yard, we’re going to show you some awesome examples of what you can do. These are just some ideas, you don’t need to try and recreate the exact look. But use these as inspiration for all of the magic you can create in a small space.
Found on Pinterest
Here we can see how the homeowner created a focal point around their fire feature with a beautiful arbor. There is a lot going on in such a small space, but it doesn’t feel too crowded. This is probably the most one could pack into such a small space.
Notice the color consistencies in the wood and floral patterns. Even the gravel walkway matches well with the wooden backing on the fireplace. Not to mention the pathway through the archway gives an inviting appeal to come and sit.
Found on Pinterest
This yard maintains a stunning use of space. There’s quite a bit going on, but let’s look at how they made the most out their yard.
Take a look at the use of verticality to divide the spaces. Up high we can see a nice living room area and a terraced planting space behind it. The pavers to the left offer a walkway to the steps that are hidden behind the shrubbery. The fire pit sits close enough to the living space but far enough away from the closer lining of planters to give the illusion of a large yard.
The colors are a bit mundane, but we believe this is the look they were going for. Mainly brown, tan, and green colorways — but they blend well to create a cohesive look and a very relaxed feel.
This property makes great use of almost no space at all. A small amount of verticality to separate the dining and lounge area, and an arbor to enclose the chair and lead people toward the back of the house.
Notice how they matched the floral colors with their pillows, bringing their look together with plantings both high and low.
Here’s another example of what you can do with a small yard. This homeowner makes great use of separation as well, as you can see by the different surfaces used to illustrate different functionalities. The patio dining area has a beautiful wooden finish, bordered by planters on both sides with a stylish asymmetrical length. This asymmetry gives the smaller property the feel of more space.
This spills over into the nook area where the surface becomes gravel and winding toward a sitting spot. An awesome accent water well piece sits in the center and a combination of plants outline the property. Sure, they have a fence that they could have extended their yard out to. But a plant enclosure feels larger as if you’re not enclosed by walls. This is a great use of space, division, and slight verticality for a spectacular yard.
Need A Hand?
If you’re looking to make the most out of your small yard, you may need some professional help. We’ve got you covered. Take a look at all of our incredible services and see how we can help transform your small yard into something your dream yard.