Small Backyard Ideas

Small backyards can be the perfect space to get creative with design possibilities. Draw and map out your design to refer to as you go along. This blueprint will help you to consider the space limitations, current curvature of the land, and the best areas of the backyard for placing plants and flowers. To create height in a small backyard, add taller structures such as spruce trees and privacy walls made from lattice. Add a creeping vine to the wall, and you have a lush and inviting design to your backyard.

Curved Pathway

Create a curved pathway using slate to lead through you garden area or around containers to create the illusion of more space. The natural flow and curvature from one area into the next will give you the feeling of wandering through a more open and much larger space. Straight lines can give you the feeling of a smaller space while drawing your eye to specific areas in the yard. Curved lines are free flowing and let your eyes wander around the garden without stopping on one specific point.

Water Feature

Water features are not just for large spaces. You can create your own using a barrel or even a bird bath. Creating a water feature is simple. The two main "ingredients" are the container and pump. Add water and a few decorative water plants and you have a beautiful outdoor water garden feature. In a small backyard, nestle your water feature in your garden or around your patio without taking up needed space. Place the feature in the corner of your landscape to create a focal point.


Add plants and flowers to a small space using containers and flower pots. Use a nutrient-rich potting soil in your containers to provide adequate aeration and proper pH levels. Mix in compost with the soil to your containers, which will provide extra nourishment to the plants. Containers can be utilized in many different ways and--because they come in a variety of colors and sizes--you can create a design that fits in your backyard. They are a very durable and affordable way to add color to your backyard space. Situate containers around the backyard and during each season replant them with new and colorful plants.

Privacy Wall

To add height in the backyard and give the illusion of a larger space, install a covered screen or privacy wall. Consider a screen 8 to 10 feet high for a dramatic back-drop. Cover the screen using creeping vines or a piece of outdoor fabric like mosquito netting. At the base of the screen, install solar lights to light the wall at night. Add mirrors on the wall to give the illusion of a large space.

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Keywords: small backyard, landscaping backyard, landscape design, backyard ideas

About this Author

Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on and Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.