Small Backyard Landscaping Ideas

Small backyard Landscaping Ideas

Just because you have a small yard doesn’t mean you can’t create the type of landscaping you would like. With a bit of planning, study, and creativity you can do wonders with any size of yard. As you do your research, you will find that there are so many different options available to you planning your small backyard landscaping that it isn’t that hard at all to turn your plain, boring yard into a picturesque landscape.

Any successful small backyard landscaping design, open or closed, big or small, begins with planning. This is the part of the project that allows you to explore any number of different options, all without turning a single shovel full of dirt or planting a single bush. I recommend your being in the space itself when doing the pre-planning. It helps me to visualize the plans when I am actually in the space as opposed to being inside, drawing at a table.

Also, being physically in the space is a great help in positioning the shrubs and trees so that they will be easy to maintain. I think this is an easily overlooked part of the planning process. If you think about it, you can probably come up with several gardens you know of that are very difficult to keep looking their best because little or no thought was put into how to maintain it. Maintenance can be a killer even in a small backyard landscaping project if you fail to give it proper consideration early in the planning stage.

So, with all that out of the way, here are some features I highly recommend you consider in your next small backyard landscaping efforts.


An interesting idea to spice up your new small backyard landscaping design is to create a small pathway. It doesn’t need to be straight; in fact it will be more interesting if it isn’t. Installing pavers or tiles diagonally will help give a spacious feel.


Try to include a small seating arrangement which may be your perfect getaway. If the size of your space permits, consider a hammock as well, few things are as relaxing as a hammock in the shade. If you don’t have an easy way to hang a hammock, how about using an outdoors futon? When dressed up with colorful cushions they make quite a statement.

Don’t get stuck trying to find enough area for traditional tables and chairs. A retaining wall or a swing hanging from a sturdy tree limb can work just as well. Be creative! More than once, I have created a “seating area” with little more than a few well-placed rocks.

Use your Air Space

If you are incorporating a patio into your design, think about hanging a number of plants at various levels and using a variety of plants with different looks as well as a variety of different planters. This will provide a visual separation of the patio from the rest of the landscaping but in a way that is very unique. I like this a lot because it does away with all those boring terracotta planters.

Water features

A lot of people want a water feature until they realize how much it will cost and how much maintenance can be required so do your homework on them first. After that, if you are still game to try one, there is very little else that you can do to create a calm, peaceful ambiance in your landscaping. The sound of a fountain or small waterfall is guaranteed to melt away the cares of the day!


Second in cost only to water feature can be lighting. If you have power already then you are lucky because the cost of running sufficient power from the house to the landscaping can be ruinous. As an alternative, you might want to consider solar lighting but, personally, I haven’t had a lot of luck with it. They require several hours of direct sunlight to fully charge and, mostly, they don’t provide much more than a weak glow at night. Lastly, you will have to replace their batteries about once a year.

Having said all that though, landscape lighting is very much like a water feature in its ability to create a calming, beautiful wonderland. So, if the cost is in your budget, it is well worth consideration.

De-Clutter your space

Finally, don’t overwhelm your plan with things. Too many plants, seating areas, water features, lighting, and stuff will prevent your new small backyard landscape project from being the oasis you want it to be. A good rule of thumb is that is much easier to add than it is to subtract, especially once your plants have begun to mature. I think you will find that you will be happier in your new space with fewer things to take care of.