Just because you don’t have a lot of space doesn’t mean your backyard can’t look awesome. From playing color and textures to adding in a water feature (oh yeah, they fit small yards, too!), there are loads of options for how to make the most of a small yard.
Let’s take a look at some inspiration and tips for how to landscape a small backyard that’ll have you ready to jump into your next landscape design and installation project!
Sizing Up Your Backyard
The first thing to do when you’re thinking about how to landscape a small backyard is to size up your space. You can start with a landscape planner online to look at landscape elements you’re interested in including and budgeting your next project, as well. Figure out what you have room for, what you want to use your backyard for (after this article, check out some ideas on how to design a backyard for summer entertaining), and how you want to lay out your landscape design.
If you’re having difficulty determining the best layout for your ideas, consult with a professional landscape designer for their expertise and guidance. A professional will be able to come up with ways landscape design can transform your backyard while taking into consideration factors that will affect your projects such as the amount of sunlight your yard gets.
Tips and Inspiration for How to Landscape a Small Backyard
“I don’t know how to landscape my small backyard!” That’s why we’re here. Your backyard has the potential to become the space of your dreams. Do you love hosting friends and family? Want a private oasis to relax solo? Whatever your intention, some of our favorite ideas for how to make the most of a small backyard include:
- Planting a shade tree
- Building a new patio installation
- Adding a backyard water feature
- Go vertical with plants
- Incorporate different textures
- Create an seating focal point
Planting a Shade Tree in Your Small Backyard
If you’ve already worked out how to landscape the front of your house you may have added a few trees for visual interest, shade, and curb appeal. When you first start thinking about how to landscape a small backyard, however, you may think trees simply won’t fit. While you may be right about having several larger trees, having less space requires you to get creative towards how to make the most of your backyard.
Instead of several large trees (or even to many smaller ones), try adding a single tree that will grow within your space limitations while providing shade to your backyard. Having a shade tree gives you the opportunity to enjoy your backyard with a little protection from constant sun. It may also be the perfect spot for a small water feature, bench, or cozy conversation area.
Don’t forget about landscaping around trees, either! Adding landscaping around trees helps create a visually dynamic space when you’re deciding how to make the most of a small backyard. Don’t be afraid to play with color, size, and height to create the perfect small backyard landscape design.
Building a Patio in a Small Backyard
Having a plan for how to landscape a small backyard is important to make every square foot of space count. One of the most common elements you may want to include in your next project is a patio installation.
A new patio installation not only grounds your backyard and gives it an incredible look, but it also gives you the opportunity to choose between different designs and materials for the hardscaping. Patio designs can use brick, natural rock, large flagstones, or even cut pavers to create a space that represents your style. You may even choose to have the patio laid in a cool design like a chevron pattern to give your small backyard a unique look.
Choosing a Water Feature for Small Backyards
As you start figuring out how to landscape a small backyard you might decide you want a water feature. But they’re only for big yards, right? Wrong! While your small space may not be ideal for a large garden pond with a waterfall, today’s water feature installation options include pondless waterfalls and fountains that come in endless designs and can fit almost any space. A professional can help you choose which water feature design is right for your yard.
Backyard water features add value to your home and are relatively easy to maintain after installation. Their polished and professional can also add a zen feeling since studies have shown natural sounds like running water can reduce stress and help you relax.
Small Backyard Landscaping with Vertical Plant Walls
Traditional landscaping isn’t always the most unique way when you’re deciding how to landscape a small backyard. Instead of worrying about if you have enough room for flower beds, take your plants vertically! Vertical plant walls still bring the green to your backyard while also being visually dynamic. They make a definite statement piece!
How to Landscape a Backyard Using Textures
Having different colors in your backyard is great and your new patio installation no doubt looks awesome, but what about using textures? You can really get into mixing textures if you consider your patio installation materials, different mulching ideas, and even textured plants.
For example, you’ve likely installed a backyard patio using brick or stone. To mix up textures, you could use organic mulch like wood chips to change things up! Take it to another level by expertly mixing plant textures, as well. This could mean mixing flowering plants alongside grassy greens or any combination of choices. One of the benefits to outsourcing your landscaping instead of risking a potential DIY landscaping disaster is that a professional will be able to expertly weave colors and textures throughout the project to give you exactly what you envisioned.
Creating a Backyard Focal Point With Seating
To enjoy your backyard you need to be able to use it, right? When you’re learning how to make the most of a small backyard, think about the seating you want. If it’s a super small backyard, a cozy set for two or three might be your best option. For small backyards that are a little bit bigger than that, you could consider creating a couple small entertaining zones with easily movable furniture. This would let you move them together as needed for a larger gathering or leave them be in order to encourage different areas for conversation.
There are a million different ways to discover how to landscape a small backyard. The most important part is that it starts with a plan! Check out our Project Planner to start planning and budgeting your backyard refresh. You can save your plans or submit them to us and one of our best landscape designers will be in touch. Work with a professional for landscape design in Albany, NY and the Capital Region to bring your backyard to life and create your dream space.
Need some more ideas on how to make the most of a small backyard? Get inspired with these guides:
Inspiring Homes & Landscape Design in Saratoga Springs, NY
8 Pond and Water Feature Construction Inspirations
Tips for Planting and Maintaining a Garden in Upstate NY