How to Landscape Your Small Yard
Recently my husband and I have been trying to decide how to make our small backyard more functional and appealing for our frequent family gatherings. One might think that landscaping is a simple task, but it can often be an overwhelming process with all of the options out there. From choosing gravel or wood chips to stone walls or wooden planks, I needed to find landscaping inspiration photos that narrowed down exactly the look I wanted.
What are the great ideas for landscaping a small yard? The best idea that will bring the most change and bang for your buck is small stones! We have small brick-like rocks already, but I wanted to accentuate that look by using small river stones all over the place. If you live in a dryer climate, this is the better option because larger gravel would disappear quickly with all of our severe desert storms.
Since our yard is small, we are going to make the most out of every square inch by utilizing different textures and colors throughout each section. When designing your small yard, think about how each section will flow together without making it appear too random.
One great idea for landscaping small yards is utilizing one color theme throughout an area instead of several different colors within a small space. The color scheme should be complementary colors that blend well together against plants contrasting colors or black and white.
Utilizing Small Gravel Instead of Big Rocks
Another great small yard idea is to use small gravel instead of big rocks because small gravel will fit into small spaces where bigger rocks would not. You can use small gravel for pathways or in the dirt surrounding trees, shrubs, wood planks, or stone walls!
If you are looking for ideas on how to landscape a small yard, this is one great way to make your small space appear larger.
Choosing the Right Grass For Your Yard
Taking inspiration from garden pictures online, I found that adding grass is often an overlooked landscaping technique.
For example, in front of our two front windows, we want to put some pretty flowers but I am hesitant about planting grass there because it will just get too shaded to grow well if we do plant flowers there.
Instead, we are going to build a small wooden flower bed around the edges and put small grass in front of our windows. This small yard idea might be small but it is an important detail that will make a big difference.
Small grass patches can play a vital role in your small yards. Think about where you want to put small potted plants around your patio or wood planks. Small grass patches can break up those large flat surfaces on which you would not otherwise be able to grow anything!
Since my backyard is on the shadier side of things, I am taking advantage of different plant life getting sun by putting some colorful flowers on one side of our home, while leaving the other half empty for now. If I decide at a later date to have small grass patches there, I can easily do that without the worry of something growing too big for the small space.
Adding More Plants to Boost Curb Appeal
A great small yard idea is to add small plants around your house in some areas where you can grow things. It not only adds color and life but also makes the small space look larger!
This is especially important if you have multiple windows or doors with a small space between them as we do. We are going to build a flower bed around each window, and one on either side of our front door so there definitely won’t be any dead spots in that area.
In the space between our back door and patio, we have a small walkway to get from multiple parts of our home so I am going to add some small plants down that way.
Another small yard idea would be to put small pots near your patio or wood planks. It will not only look great, but you could also just water them from your patio instead of having to go into an area where grass doesn’t grow well!
Even though I live in a desert climate, this is one small yard idea that came from pictures of other yards online. The difference was there were trees in those other yards versus my open backyard which can make watering any plant difficult if it does not get enough sun. These little ideas will make life much more convenient!
Choose the Right Materials to Make Your Yard Look Bigger
One small yard idea that makes your small space look bigger, is choosing the right materials for your yard. For example, using small gravel or small pavers as a walkway will make the area look larger than it would just have dirt there.
If you have a small patio in your yard, adding pavers around the perimeter of the patio not only makes it appear larger but also keeps dirt from getting out onto your grass or other plants where it can cause problems.
It especially helps create a clean look if you have a deck and stairs going up to your front door because those are high-traffic areas. Appearance matters!
Why Having a Focal Point Matters
One thing I realized as we were going through these pictures was that each landscape had a focal point and restated it throughout the design. For example, some designs used different plant life as their entire focal point while other small yard ideas had a small stone wall or small pond as the focal point.
In deciding what to do for our small yard, I am going to put a wooden pergola on our patio that will be the focal point of our entire backyard. To stay on track with small yard ideas and to make our small yard look larger, we are going to use shrubs and grass patches around the pergola while using potted plants in some areas near our patio.
We might also have small plants down our walkway to break up all of the concrete there.
Add Decorative Accents For The Eye to Follow
A great small yard idea for creating a focal point is to add decorative accents that will draw your eye throughout your landscape. Then it makes sense to put something else right in front of that area so you can see it from somewhere else!
This will help create continuity throughout your yard design because everything is connected in some way shape or form. If you have a small patio such as we do, adding small planters and small pots to different areas will help complete the small yard design.
Plant Shrubs Near Windows For Shade And Privacy
Another small yard idea is to plant shrubs because they can give you shade and privacy at the same time! We have a small bathroom window so I am going to try growing some banana trees there because it needs full sun but not too much sun since it faces north.
If I plant them near our back sliding door, then maybe they might eventually grow up over the door which would provide us with more shade in that area also. Banana trees create great landscape designs that look like mini-forests which would be perfect during those hot summer months.
Have a Small Water Feature
Small water features will add great sound and feel to any small yard! When you go through the pictures, many of them had small ponds which look great, but they require a lot of maintenance and we don’t have time for that. So instead we are going to put in small rocks and small stones to create waterfalls.
It won’t be big enough for fish or anything else, but it will provide us with some relaxing sounds while adding water features into our landscape design. Unless you want something more than just sounds though, even putting in a small pond would be great if you get one with decorative lily pads and flowers.
Add a Walkway To Your Small Yard For Easy Access
When you are trying to create large areas or make something appear larger than it is, an easy way is to add a walkway so people can easily get from one place to another without having to step on grass or dirt patches in the area.
We want our backyard patio space in our yard to be accessible at all times, so I am planning on making a walkway along the side of our small yard leading up to it.
This yard idea is great for small yards and small patios because it makes them look much larger than they are.
This article has provided three great outdoor landscape design tips for small yards. With small yards, landscape with small plants to save space. When working in small spaces, design around things like small trees or other large plants even though it may take some time and effort. In the end, it will make your small yard look great!
With these helpful tips, it will be easy to brainstorm how to landscape a small yard. If you are struggling, don’t be afraid to ask your friends or family for help. Sometimes, you will get great ideas that you never thought of before. So, put on your gardening gloves and enjoy the small space!