Landscaping Tips to Maximise a Small Backyard — Size should never deter you from getting as much functional mileage with your space as possible. If you have a small backyard, don’t think that’s the end of it since there aren’t many things that you can do with it.
If you’re creative enough and you have professional landscape gardeners working with you on the project, there’s no doubt you can turn your small backyard into a lovely and functional outdoor retreat for your family.
15 Landscaping Tips to Maximise a Small Backyard
There are so many approaches to maximising space to enhance its appearance and usefulness. If you need more ideas, home improvement sites offer a lot. Check out social media sites such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook, too, where a lot of people share their own backyard stories. You’ll be surprised at how creative and resourceful folks get for their gardening or landscaping project, and their ideas just might work for you.
To launch you into the right path of maximising your small backyard, here’s some help we put together. Gathered below is a big collection of tips to get you started.
Landscaping Tips for Small Outdoor Spaces
This is the most sensible landscaping trick for small backyards. Make use of vertical space as much as you can.
Consider trellises for crawling plants, and use your walls and fences to grow everything from herbs to succulents to flowers. If there are a few trees in your yard, you can use them as well for hanging plants and crawlers. And don’t forget standing shelves, especially if you’re interested in aquaponic gardening.
Vertical landscaping is all the rage these days, particularly in urban locations. This is something to consider so your small yard will look lush but not overcrowded.
Zoning is another one of the best landscaping ideas from the pros. It will help you organise your small backyard space based on aesthetics and purpose.
Landscapers advise using everything from outdoor furniture to fire pits to paths. These integrations to the landscape can help open up small areas and make them look bigger than they actually are.
Long lines leading to the focal point of the yard can create the illusion of a bigger space. Creating a path to a gazebo in the middle of the garden can achieve this effect. Ditto with extending or repeating rows of flowers to frame a particular section of the yard.
Draw Attention to the View Beyond
Face outdoor furniture toward an open view such as the field beyond your property or even your neighbor’s garden. This strategy is called borrowing a view and it’s not difficult to implement at all. It’s just a matter of directing the eyes to a distant view.
Another way to make this tactic better is by using furniture that blends into the view. When your garden furniture blends in, it means there’s nothing to stop the eye, thereby creating the optical illusion that space is bigger than it truly is.
Play with Colors the Right Way
Placing colorful blooms or plants at the entrance of the yard and then keeping the rest a continuum of green can automatically make the space look expansive. This is because the colorful array of plants catches your attention first, so the rest of the landscape will seem to recede.
Choose Your Plants Wisely
Keeping your options to plants that grow vertically and have a narrow shape will allow you to maximise your backyard space. For example, you can plant more pine trees in a given space than a short and chunky palm tree.
It’s worth mentioning too that slender plants add a nice texture to gardens especially in areas that look quite flat.
Even Out Yard Shape
If there are weird corners in your backyard, filling those spots with flowers and foliage can create clean lines and a balanced shape for the space. A regular-shaped space tends to always look organised and spacious.
Create Raised Beds
This is another vertical landscaping strategy worth giving a try. Raising or lifting up plantings by a foot or two will keep the eyes up and distract the eyes from the actual lack of space.
To make this strategy more effective, landscapers advise integrating raised beds with other hardscape features such as walls and stairs.
Use Multi-level Planters
Tiered or multi-level planters will allow you to get more out of the limited space you’re working with – they’re just like shelves except for the fact that they have a slanted silhouette.
These planters also provide the nice aesthetic advantage of providing structure in areas of the yard where there’s none. Plus, they tend to create the look of profusion that makes the yard take on a very healthy appeal.
A similar strategy to this is stacking your planters. Basically, you just place a smaller pot on top of a big pot to create a tower of growing herbs or flowers.
Use Strategic Lighting
If lighting can open up rooms, it can do the same for small backyards. The trick is to use multiple light sources around the yard. Try everything from hanging bistro or twinkly lights to luminaires, and lamps. Since light spreads easily, your small backyard may look bigger because of the light’s reach.
Plus, with lighting, you can enhance the ambiance of your backyard. The cozy ambiance will entice you to spend more time in your property’s outdoor space.
Combine Form and Function
If you wish to add a few decorative elements to your landscape, think carefully about how you can get more use out of these integrations. For example, placing the entertaining area with tables and chairs near the stairs leading to a different part of the property will increase the functionality of the area. The stairs can then serve as extra seating for the entertaining area.
Always Keep Scale in Mind
This is a no-brainer, really, but the general idea is if you’re working with a small space, have a good perspective of size. Avoid incorporating bulky pieces or implementing strategies that are trendy but eat up too much space.
Just like in choosing tall and slender plants so as not to overwhelm space, make sure everything else doesn’t use up more space than it should. Say, you want stairs for your backyard, keep the steps just right for a safe landing. No need to make them too wide and the tread too long.
It’s the same principle with furniture. The more linear furniture pieces are, the better they’ll fit into the landscape.
Bring the Sky Into Your Garden
Reflecting the sky will also achieve the illusion of a bigger garden. How do you do it?
By introducing a water element to the landscape. A water garden with a “reflective” liner works like a mirror. A tabletop fountain can also function similarly by reflecting the sky and light into the small backyard.
To make this optical illusion even more effective, clear the area surrounding the water element. Get rid of all those long tree branches that form a canopy and block the sky.
Connect the Indoor-outdoor Room of Your Home to Your Garden
This is a bold arrangement of space that creates a fluid transition of the outside and inside. There’s no clear distinction between the indoors and outdoors, hence, the garden (as well as the house) looks much bigger.
A semi-outdoor space that is in the house but can be opened (such as a sunroom) can make the house and the garden appear like one unit. It’sa rather stylish way to create a smooth flow of indoor and outdoor living. It will seem like the indoor room is spilling out into the garden, and vice versa.
This landscaping strategy also increases the functionality of spaces and even creates benefits for homeowners. There’s a lot of natural illumination and improved ventilation with this concept.
Incorporate Multifunctional Items
Make turning your small backyard into any functional space you want it to be with multifunctional items. A fire pit, for example, can also function as a barbecue pit. Certain outdoor furniture can double as storage for gardening items.
A well-positioned sprinkler is not only perfect for watering the turf, it can also transform the garden into a children’s outdoor water park during the summer. Thoughtful integrations like these multipurpose pieces will really allow you to maximise your outdoor space.
There you have it, 15 landscaping tips that can give a small backyard a grander appearance in terms of space, style, and function. You can choose from any of these to implement in your outdoor space planning, or even decide to use them all.
It’s important to mention that your local library and bookstore are troves of information and inspiration, too. There are tomes and magazines that are completely focused on home improvement and gardening. Suffice it to say, you can get ideas everywhere.
Indeed, there’s no shortage of strategies to make space limitations non-existent. So, sit down with your landscape gardener for a thorough planning of the project to ensure the beautiful execution of landscaping tactics that can maximise the space in your small backyard.