Small Yard & Small Garden Landscaping Ideas
Create a View
A simple pergola gives this small garden landscaping a grand feel. Arbors and pergolas are classic small yard landscaping ideas and great ways to frame a view, but you can do the same with shrubs, small trees, or even pieces of garden art.
Create Small Backyard Zones
This small yard landscaping idea may seem contradictory, but we promise it works: Break up open areas of a small space so it feels larger. Here, different furniture groupings and paths divide a small backyard landscape into attractive and restful seating nooks.
Make It Cozy
It may seem counterintuitive, but boosting intimacy actually helps small backyards. Why? Creating escape nooks for reading and resting is a good small backyard idea for dividing up a space and creating specific zones. Here, a mid-height fence and lots of pretty plantings help to screen out the view beyond.
Use Color Effectively
We love this small yard landscaping idea: Place bold, bright colors in front of where you'll view them. Because they catch your attention first, the rest of the small garden landscape beyond will seem to recede, helping it to feel larger.
Use the Power of Perspective
Long, straight lines trick you into thinking a small yard or small garden landscape is bigger than it is. To take full advantage of this illusion, subtly slant the far end of the lines toward one another and create a focal point. In this small backyard idea, a fence does the job and is enhanced by repeating rows of flowers and a pergola.
Boost the Backyard Interest
Sometimes the best small yard landscaping idea is to mix it up with unexpected elements that offer dramatic visual relief. Here, the mixture of paving materials, lawn, hardscape, and container plantings adds enough interest to a small back yard garden that you hardly notice the landscape's size.
Create One-of-a-Kind Small-Space Vertical Features
Create a sense of uniqueness with a series of small space landscape garden ideas. They'll help your small garden landscape feel bigger. Espaliering is one trick that looks complicated, but is actually easier than you think, and elegant, too. Use it to dress up a plain shed or house wall in a small backyard.
Borrow Views for Your Small Backyard
If your neighbors aren't into gardening like you are, take advantage of their nearby spaces to create the feel of a vista in your small garden landscape. This small backyard is packed with color and texture—but the open views and soaring trees next door keeps it from feeling cramped.
Create a Small Backyard Destination
The highlight of this small garden landscape is a firepit with welcoming chairs. Placing the seating spot just off a paved patio, as well as creating a secondary seating spot near the fence, helps the small backyard feel more spacious.
Take Advantage of Foliage and Texture
Big, bold tropical plants create a lush feel, especially in a small landscape. Their large leaves can change the scale of a small backyard to help it feel larger, and their unusual shape helps to boost the "cool" factor of the area.
Keep Plants Vertical, Not Horizontal
Horizontal space is at a premium in many of the best small backyard ideas. That's why it's good to look for shrubs and trees that max out interest as they grow up, not out. Try dwarf varieties for a small backyard, as well as more columnar evergreens (bonus—they boost wintertime interest, too).
Create a Small Backyard Focal Point
A focal point is a great small yard landscaping idea to draw the eye's attention and help outdoor spaces feel tidy. Here, a simple seating area and vertical planter offer a restful nook.
Conquer Dead Landscape Nooks
In a small space backyard, it's easy to ignore the areas that don't get a lot of immediate or street view—such as corners by a house or garage. Turn those spots into unexpected focal points, with this small backyard idea: Add a centerpiece tree, an oversize container, and flowers and foliage plants for interest.
Skip the Lawn
If you really love plants, don't have need of a lawn, and are limited by a small backyard, consider this small backyard idea: Skip the grass entirely. Stagger your plants for height and include walking paths so you can tend things in the center of the space. Remember: Our homes and our yards should be the best expressions of the things we love.
Raise Planting Areas
You can give your small backyard a sene of height by raising up plantings, even just a foot or two. Try retaining walls or more formal raised beds integrated with other hardscape features, such as stairs. You'll help the eye move up and create a pretty visual distraction from the lack of square footage.