Lawn & Garden Lawn Care

1 Dozen Ways to Make the Most of a Small Yard

Outdoor spaces can increase our enjoyment of our homes. When the weather is nice, it’s like having an extra room—or wing—of the house. Make the most of yours, no matter its size. Even a small backyard can be great for gardening, entertaining, and play. The trick is to use every inch of your property and find ways for spaces to do double duty. Choose furniture that is multifunctional and small in scale. Keep your gardening flexible by growing flowers, veggies, and trees in containers. And remember that no backyard is too small to play in. Portable pieces, such as fold-up tents, let you bring the fun wherever you want it, whenever you want it. Check out these tips and tricks that will help you make the most of your small backyard all year long.

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Step Up and Out

Create levels in a small yard to define spaces, making these areas seem like multiple outdoor rooms. Mix materials like decking (shipping pallets), stonework, and even grass to give each space its own special feel.

Related: Considering a Wood Deck? It’s Not Just About Good Looks

Garden in Containers

Even if you don’t have much soil to dig in, you can get your gardening on in containers. Plant veggies, flowers, and even trees. Mix shapes and colors, or work within a visual theme. One great advantage of container gardening is its flexibility. You can easily move plants around your yard, create different spaces, and completely change your mind from season to season if you like.

Use Natural Elements for Privacy

Zillow Digs home in New Canaan, CT

If your lot is small, try not to hem it in with privacy fencing. It will just feel smaller. Use your property lines as an opportunity to grow more plants with a living fence of hedges or trees. This strategy will allow your yard to merge visually with your neighbor’s property, and you’ll have something lush to look at while you relax.

Create a Focal Point

Make a statement in a small backyard by creating a strong focal point with a fountain or sculpture. The piece will anchor your design and give the eye a place to gravitate in a space that could otherwise feel cluttered.

Related: Make a Splash! 10 Stunning Backyard Ponds to Enhance Any Landscape

Minimize Furniture

Keep furniture small scale and unobtrusive, and your small backyard will feel a lot bigger. Benches without backs and slim-profile metal pieces like this pair of chairs make excellent choices. These seats almost blend into the landscape when there’s no one around to occupy them.

Use Every Inch—Even the Side Yard

If your backyard wraps around to a side yard, don’t let that small piece of real estate go to waste. Instead of parking the recycling cans there, find a way to make it a private dining spot, place of contemplation, or nursery for special plants. It may become your favorite garden nook.

Incorporate Seating into Hardscapes

Find ways to include seating areas in retaining walls, walkways, and other parts of your landscape’s architecture. You’ll avoid the need for additional furniture, leaving more open space to view and enjoy.

Use Vertical Space

When you have a small footprint to work with, use your vertical space to its best advantage. Hang planters on fences or walls, or build a planting column like the one shown here. Four sides means quadruple the planting pleasure!

Related: Top Tips for Growing a Vertical Garden

Let the Sun Shine In!

Keep your small backyard feeling open and airy. Avoid large pieces of overhead architecture, such as pergolas or awnings. Your yard will feel bigger and brighter, and you’ll get your daily dose of Vitamin D.

Adopt Smaller Scale

You can always have big ambience, even in a small backyard. Just modify the scale and think smaller. For example, if you don’t have the room for a fire pit to pull Adirondack chairs up to, opt for a tabletop fire bowl.

Related: 11 Fire Bowls to Heat Up Your Outdoor Living Area

Encourage Portable Play

You don’t need a large yard to have big-time fun for kids. No room for a swing set? No problem. Make an A-frame tent that can go indoors and out. Set it up on the patio or grass, where it can be the next reading nook, castle, or spaceship. You might want to make an extra one for yourself.

Maximize Your Storage

When you have limited space in a small backyard, do your best to find pieces that can be multifunctional. This corner unit serves as a seating area and storage place for all those lawn games and toys. Plus, its built-in planters bring lush greenery into this corner of the patio.

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