Ideas & Layouts for Landscaping a Small Yard

Just because your garden real estate is on the tiny side does not mean you can't have a flower-filled, outdoor space to enjoy throughout the year. Creating space for plants and flowers in small yards takes a little creativity, but is doable and helps to narrow down the list to only those you truly love. Adding height to the small yard also helps to a well-balanced design that, when planted accordingly, creates the illusion of a larger yard.

Intimate Nook

No matter how small a space, building a brick patio to tuck in the corner of the yard creates a focal point, but without overwhelming the landscape. Durable and weather-resistant, bricks can be laid in different patterns and shapes to efficiently fit into the space. Circular patterns draw your eye into the small yard and around the space for a visually appealing design. Nestling the brick patio into the corner of the yard also helps to create an intimate nook for outdoor dining and living. Over the brick patio, add a small outdoor patio set or trickling water fountain to attract winged wildlife to the garden. Flanking the patio, plant low-growing ground cover like creeping thyme or blue star creeper. Both help to contrast with the red brick to create a showy yard display.

Green Swath

Create a privacy hedgerow and swath of bright green by growing upright evergreens. Tall, thin evergreens like Italian cypress grow in a columnar shape to grow 20 to 30 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide. When planted side by side and along a side of the small yard, the Italian cypress tree creates height in the garden but without overtaking the small space. Evergreens trees are also ideal for a small yard because of their ability to retain their needles and color all year long. Evergreen trees in the small yard are the constant source of color when other plants die down for the season.

Vertical Garden

When soil space is limited, grow plants and flowers on upright trellises. With their ability to mount to an exterior wall such as an outbuilding, garage or house, trellises create a vertical surface for growing flowers but without taking up much-needed garden real estate below. Using the trellis as an area to grow creeping vegetables like tomatoes and beans, the smallest yards are transformed into your very own vegetable patch. Utilizing vertical space also helps to create extra room for vines like clematis or bougainvillea. Both with their rapid growth rate and strong tendrils, they easily attach themselves to the trellis for a bright burst of color to the small yard.

Keywords: small yard landscaping, small yard layout, brick patio, Italian cypress tree, vertical garden

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer, designer and photographer in North Carolina. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate your indoor and outdoor living environment. Her articles have appeared in and and her photography has been featured in "Automotive News" magazine and