7 big ideas for small backyards

Shannon Lee

Not everyone moves from the city to the suburbs. Some people are thrilled with life in the downtown district. If you're one of those city-lovers, you may find that the convenient access to restaurants, shopping, and cafes are great, but that the amount of space you've got leaves something to be desired. Even those lucky enough to find spacious homes still often come up short on one amenity: outdoor space. 

But don't worry. Having a tiny backyard doesn't mean you have to keep it empty and spare. Small backyards make for lovely, intimate gardens. Here are some ideas for getting the most out of your space.

Big ideas for a small backyard garden

You'll enjoy your outdoor space a lot more if it's pleasing to look at and contains all the things you love most in a garden. Consider these popular options to get started.

  • Plant up. Don't think in terms of raised beds and perfect long rows. Look at the space you have to grow toward the sky instead! Tall trellises around the perimeter offer added privacy while allowing your plants plenty of room to grow.
  • Plant on a diagonal. Visually widen the space by planting on diagonals instead of straight rows. The eye sees the space as larger than it really is, and as an added bonus, you might get more space to walk between rows.
  • Make it edible! Encourage family members and guests to use the garden by planting edible goodies. Strawberries, tomatoes, grapes, and other plants that enjoy climbing are the perfect centerpieces to your small backyard garden.
  • Add a tiny fountain. Make the space seem bigger with a fountain that makes the most of the area. A fountain that flows down a wall, or one that tucks into a small corner, are perfect options to bring the lively sound of water flow into your garden.
  • Create a dark base. Make all other colors "pop" using gray concrete pavers to create a walkway through your garden. Concrete pavers are simple yet durable, and look great against any color. A small backyard garden can come to vivid life next to that simple backdrop.
  • Opt for containers. Container gardening is a great way to have the plants you want in an area where planting them directly in the ground might not be feasible. If your small backyard is made of concrete, for instance, a container garden makes the most of the space and turns it into a haven of green.
  • Finish with a pergola bench. Every garden deserves a place where visitors can sit and admire the beauty. Make yours a working part of your green landscape! A pergola bench offers seating area, storage underneath, and a growing area for plants that love to climb.

Your dream home might have the city growing around it, but that doesn't mean your garden plans have to be scrapped! By using your space wisely, you'll have a relaxing, green space to call your own without giving up the concrete jungle.

About the Author

Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.

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