Small backyards can sometimes seem like a waste of effort compared to everything else you may want to change or spruce up in your home. But even a tiny backyard can become a relaxing getaway with a little attention, some great design, and a few carefully chosen plants. Keep reading to see 20 of our favorite small backyard landscaping ideas.
To add privacy (and a sense of coziness) to your small backyard, use climbing vines. These are great additions along fence lines and borders. They're also great at defining space, like seating or dining areas.
Add a Grid
To encourage climbing for plants that like to grow nice and tall, add a grid or trellis along a wall or fence line. This can act as a privacy screen as the plants grow in, and it provides an interesting visual feature while they're still small.
Add a Quiet Spot or Two
Even in the smallest of yards, a small spot that's just for a few plants (and maybe a bird or two) can be a welcome addition. Nature-filled coves prevent your backyard from feeling too busy, and they add a lush addition of green.
To add some landscaping to a backyard with an arid climate, plant cacti. Not only do these provide a pop of green amidst a dry landscape, but they also provide a sense of structure and statuesqueness.
Add a Green Wall
Ready to make a dividing wall (or fence) in your backyard a little more eco-friendly? Cover it in greenery. Sprawling plant life provides a habitat for beneficiary insects like pollinators and spiders, and it adds a lush look to your outdoor space.
Use Open Space
Open and grassy space in your small backyard doesn't need to remain empty. It's the perfect spot to add some seating or a table and chairs and joy the bright and warm sunshine all summer long. To define the space even more, consider adding a few small hedges or grasses.
Use Tall Flowers
Ready to add a statement to your backyard landscaping? Don't forget to use tall florals. They're a great contrast against shorter mounding flowers like pansies or daisies, or taller ones like roses. Don't forget to pick a few in bright colors to really make them pop.
Use Your Borders
Garden beds along a fence line or property border is a quintessential gardening technique. A outdoor space can be easily framed with plant life, and lush greenery is an excellent contrast to the stark wood fence line it may be growing along.
For a green space all year long, add some evergreens to your small backyard. If you want to enjoy your space year-round, evergreens are a great way to ensure you still have a pop of green, even in the cooler months. Evergreens with flowers and berries are an off-season treat for birds and bees too.
Use Different Planters
An outdoor seating area doesn't need to be devoid of plant life. Instead, get creative with it and add a variety of planters to your seating areas. Different planters can act as décor in an outdoor space, so pick ones that match your style to create a cohesive look.
Fill in the Gaps
Don't make mulch become your de-facto ground cover in your small backyard. In fact, a small space is all the more reason to take advantage of every bit of ground you can. Fill in the gaps with mounding or running ground cover like creeping jenny, strawberries or phlox.
Use Different Sizes of Plants
A backyard or outdoor space filled with identically-sized plants looks boring and unimaginative. To shake things up, make sure to add plants that are a mix of sizes (like large statement ones alongside running border plants) and arrange them accordingly.
Add a Potted Evergreen
Don't fret if you don't have the ground space (or the soil) to plant an evergreen shrub or bush—you can also use a pot or two. Potted evergreens like Norfolk pines can still give you that year-round green look, while being more compact and moveable.
Hang Some Flowers
If you've got wall (or fence) space to go around, take advantage of it by hanging flowers or other plants. It's a great way to bring a lot of green to a small space, and plenty of different plants can be grown like this, such as herbs, flowers or dwarf varieties of fruits and veggies.
Add Privacy With Planters
Large planters, with even larger plants, can also be an excellent way to add privacy to a small backyard. We like what Lady Landscape did in the backyard above, tucking a seating area in between two large flowering plants to give the space some some definition and privacy.
Things like umbrellas and pergolas can be helpful in providing shade, but sometimes it's nice to incorporate your landscaping too. Planting tall, fast-growing shrubs or small trees on the south-facing side of your home can protect you and your yard from any brutal summer heat.
Add Gravel Beds
Another way to provide definition to your small back yard through landscaping is with a gravel bed with a few shrubs planted in it. This simple garden bed is easy to put together, provides a modern look and lasts longer than mulch.
If you have trees in your small backyard, shape your landscaping around them. One way to do this is like what Ann Living did in the yard above, adding a treehouse to the tree and surrounding it with flowering shrubs and a garden bed.
Add Tabletop Landscaping
Landscaping doesn't need to only go on the ground—you can also use landscaping in, around and top of your outdoor furniture too. Look for a tabletop planter to add a few shorter, low-maintenance plants to.
Add a Patio
If your small backyard comes with an equally small deck, don't be afraid to add a patio to create extra space for outdoor living. To make it fit in with the landscape, use curves instead of harsh lines.