10 Landscaping Ideas for Your Small Backyard

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As land for houses is getting smaller and prices are getting higher, having a big backyard is becoming more of a luxury, and thus, homes with smaller backyards need to get creative.

For homeowners with a small amount of space available - don’t fret. Having a beautiful backyard without a great deal of space just requires you to be smarter, crafty, and innovative.

Whether you live in a townhouse, apartment, or small home, there is a wide range of ways you can make the most out of the limited outdoor space.

With the right landscaping ideas and advice by your side, you can make even the tightest of spaces feel roomy, practical, and aesthetic.

Things To Consider Before Starting

Like everything in life, planning will ensure that you minimize any risk of damage to your existing garden and will allow for your outdoor space to be functional and usable.

Think about available space

When you’re working with less space, your options are limited but this is where your creativity will shine.

There is only a limited amount of space you might have in terms of space, but vertical garden boxes that contain vegetables and herbs might be more useful to you than homes with a big backyard.

You’ll also want to consider what the primary use of your backyard is and work accordingly to that. Is it an entertainment space? Or is it a place to relax and read a book?

Pick a primary use and your theme and set an overall budget for the transformation of your small backyard.

Depending on your property layout and lifestyle, you might be more suited to an outdoor dining area rather than a feng-shui retreat.

Make use of multi-purpose products

For small backyards, these kinds of products make the most sense to preserve space and provide functionality as well as cost-effectiveness.

Products such as wooden seats that double as storage boxes for outdoor pillows or gardening tools help make use of tight spaces.

Folding chairs or collapsible tables make for easy storage and can allow you to make use of that space however you choose to, at whatever time you choose to do so.

1. Create A Container Garden Using Tiered Planters

Growing your own vegetables and herbs is made easy with tiered planters, which help maximize the amount of ground space you have available by introducing timber planters.

Tiered planters are an ideal way to create patio kitchen gardens or floral features without sacrificing space and effort.

2. Incorporate A Small Water Fountain Feature

Water features are a popular choice for modern and contemporary homes and can become a unique focal point in even the smallest of backyards.

The good news is that most water fountains are DIY and easy to make. They can be made out of layered rocks, repurposed pot and plants, wooden barrels, ceramic birdbaths, and often don’t require much time, money, or effort to do right.

3. Make Use Of The Sky With A Vertical Garden

As we mentioned earlier, vertical gardens help you make the most out of your available space by hanging vertically on fences or wood trellis’ hung on walls.

You’ll need to carefully consider what plants you grow in your vertical garden, but flowers and herbs are a great choice to bring color and vibrancy to your chosen area.

4. Lay Artificial/Faux Turf

The beauty of artificial turfing is that it can bring a sense of the garden to deckings and patios that are on a different level compared to plants.

If your backyard lacks a lot of available lawn space, laying artificial turf down over bluestone, sandstone, or concrete patios can help tie in that space with the rest of your garden.

5. Create The Ultimate Outdoor Entertainment Area

Just because you have a small backyard, doesn’t mean you should be limited to your entertainment options.

Having expert deck builders construct a timber or composite decking allows for the perfect entertainment area, which can consist of an outdoor table setting, a small outdoor grill, and a bar fridge to provide a great space for friends and family to enjoy.

6. Create A Quiet Relaxation Spot

Sometimes your backyard might be missing that relaxing spot where you can kick back, enjoy the sun, and read a good book with a cup of tea.

To do this, a simple geometric, wooden pergola or gazebo that towers above soft outdoor seating will help create a cozy, comfortable, and shaded area to kick back and relax.

Combine that with a small outdoor coffee table and you have an ideal area to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

7. Work On Your Green Thumb

Plants and flowers can really bring a garden to life, with a wide variety of choices that can enhance the vibrance and aesthetic of your backyard without much effort or time.

Opting for low-maintenance shrubs, perennials and selecting small trees that grow vertically-like will help round out the wholeness of your garden if you’re looking for a great landscape without sacrificing too much space.

8. Build A Murphy Bar

If you’re wanting to complete the outdoor entertainment look, you’ll definitely need a bar.

Most bar furniture takes up a lot of space, but with a murphy bar, you’re able to preserve a lot of space and money with the same results.

Murphy bars are a simple construction, can-fold into themselves for easy storage and make for the perfect camouflage around children.

They can even be made with repurposed wood pallets or timber lying around, making it a cost-effective solution to a real, pricy bar setup.

9. Get Chatty With A Conversation Area

Small homes can really benefit from having a ‘destination’ area, where friends and family can congregate for chit chat.

The ideal conversation area leads from out of the house onto the deck, where you may have some simple outdoor chairs and a fire pit that leads to many nights enjoying the summer heat.

10. Create Levels & Dimension

Much like vertical planting, creating levels allows you to feel like there is more space than there actually is and helps segment out different areas of your yard for different purposes.

Mortared block retaining walls in conjunction with steps that lead to a different part of your garden help visually increase the size of your yard and can be combined with raised garden beds for a simple floral effect.


As the size of properties begins to shrink, getting creative with your outdoor space is a serious issue for a great deal of homeowners.

Despite this, there is a lot of amazing things you can do with such a limited space. From entertainment areas to quiet zen gardens, the possibilities are endless so long as you think with innovation and creativity.

I hope you found one or two of these landscaping ideas inspirational to kick start the flow of your creative juices!

Author Bio:

With years of industry experience, Matthew Ferguson showcases his landscaping expertise and is the proud owner of Ferguson Landscape & Design, a Melbourne-based landscaping company specializing in construction and design, deck building, retaining walls, paving and other garden maintenance services. Check them out on Facebook.