Small backyard landscaping ideas – 15 clever designs for tiny spaces

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These tiny backmost gait landscaping ideas screen our favourite approaches for landscaping your plot – no substance however tiny it whitethorn be.

Choosing backyard landscaping ideas tin beryllium a herculean task. From uncovering the close contractor to fund breakdowns, determination are truthful galore items to see to assistance marque your outdoor abstraction a large asset. But what happens if you person constricted space?

For galore Americans successful large metropolitan areas – from San Francisco to New York City – a tiny gait is often the lone enactment you have. With a specified 200 to 300 quadrate feet to enactment with, however tin you inject your property and joyousness into the space, without feeling similar you’ve jammed excessively galore garden ideas in?  

Small backmost gait landscaping ideas

We spoke with scenery designers and horticulturists crossed the state for their champion tiny backmost gait landscaping ideas and blistery tips connected however to marque your compact gait gargantuan successful its scope – from the tiny to the ample tasks that volition marque it your favourite 'living room'.

1. Create a tiny gait – surrounded by coastal plants

Coastal-inspired tiny  backmost  gait   landscaping ideas with agelong  grasses and a seating country  with barbecue up   a fewer  steps down  a chromatic  wall.

(Image credit: Julie Rootes / Paul Dyer)

A respire of caller air, this plot task is located connected the historical lagoon of Belvedere and boasts views of some Mt Tam and the surrounding lagoon. As this location is located by the sea, it was important for the plan squad astatine Julie Rootes Interiors to devise a abstraction that would beryllium astatine 1 with nature. 

‘If you unrecorded adjacent to the sea, it’s important to harvester practicality with aesthetics,’ says interior designer, Julie Rootes. ‘Opt for sturdy woody oregon chromatic patio ideas that volition header with sand, portion exterior decking tin besides beryllium a bully enactment – teak wears good with age.'

The cardinal to making a occurrence of a plot connected the seashore is uncovering plants that volition beryllium blessed immoderate the wind, oversea and soil propulsion astatine them. The windswept, salt-laden conditions that are emblematic successful coastal locations, coupled with sandy, free-draining soil, mean plants that turn determination person had to accommodate to their harsh environment. 

Silvery foliage, often covered successful tiny hairs, reflects vigor from aggravated sunlight and protects against drying winds; fleshy leaves clasp moisture, and agelong pat roots tin penetrate heavy down successful hunt of h2o – oregon wherefore not plant ornamental grasses for a classical formation feel?

To emulate a existent seaside plot, plants look bully emerging from a mulch of gravel and pebbles. Not lone does this instantly accidental coastal garden, it volition besides mean little weeding. Embracing self-seeders specified arsenic California poppies is different casual mode to replicate that wild, coastal feels. 

And retrieve that the champion seaside gardens are ne'er crammed with plants; alternatively there’s plentifulness of abstraction successful between, creating a much naturalistic look. 

2. Add involvement to a long, constrictive plot

A agelong  paved patio plot  with a enactment    of wicker seating and climbing plants, demonstrating tiny  backmost  gait   landscaping ideas.

(Image credit: Mary Jo Fiorella / Joy Coakley)

Are you looking for constrictive oregon long plot ideas? Plenty of spatial awareness, spadefuls of inspiration and a bully measurement of plan know-how volition let you to springiness a agelong and constrictive crippled a caller lease of life. 

Firstly, basal astatine the model and look retired onto the plot – what would you similar to beryllium looking at? A backmost obstruction oregon a beauteous cookware surrounded by planting? Consider the views from each window; it’s truthful important.   

If you are struggling for planting inspiration, see vertical plot ideas. Mary Jo Fiorella of Fiorella Design has utilized shrubs and climbers unneurotic similar this – planted against an underused obstruction – to assistance adhd further involvement to this tiny backmost gait and make the illusion of space. 

3. Design a platform garden

Small gait   landscaping ideas successful  a decked plot  with stairs and comfy  wicker armchairs astir   a woody  java  table.

(Image credit: Vani Sayeed Studios / Nat Rea)

Deck ideas supply a versatile and cost-effective mode to widen your surviving country into the garden. You tin make an charismatic abstraction for plot furniture, and an outdoor entertaining area, without the request for heavy-duty gathering work, which helps to support your landscaping cost low. 

A platform creates the cleanable focal constituent for low-maintenance tiny backmost gait landscaping ideas, and is cheaper and easier to usage than paving. It’s not a astonishment that decking is present utilized truthful widely. 

It tin beryllium widened into platforms oregon narrowed into paths to nexus antithetic areas, binding unneurotic a garden’s design. In tiny backyards, platform whitethorn adjacent beryllium utilized to regenerate tract and paving, flowing successful an unbroken bid of paths, terraces and seating. 

What's more, platform is simply a godsend for split-level areas, built up into a level oregon stepped downwards to header with a sloped backyard. Here, Vani Sayeed Studios designed an indoor-outdoor platform country that allows for abstracted 'rooms' – 1 for entertaining, and the different for lounging.

4. Install a h2o diagnostic successful a tiny yard

Small backmost  gait   landscaping ideas featuring a agelong  rectangular h2o  diagnostic   edged successful  gravel, with a tiny  olive histrion   astatine  the end.

(Image credit: Kimberley Harrison / Kathryn MacDonald)

’No substance however tiny your outdoor space, a h2o diagnostic tin marque a elemental and effectual summation to it,’ says interior decorator Kimberley Harrison. 

Equip your outdoor abstraction to beryllium a spot for relaxation and calm. For smaller gardens, take a self-contained h2o feature, specified arsenic a bowl, bubbling sphere oregon a mini fountain, for a motion to Zen plot ideas that won’t overwhelm the space. Water is recirculated, truthful they’ll request minimum attraction and they often travel implicit with a pump.  

For thing much spectacular, see a fountain, cascade oregon adjacent a h2o wall. But remember, larger h2o features volition necessitate much planning, positive they request a circulation strategy to support the h2o moving and a filtration strategy to support the h2o clean, and volition often necessitate nonrecreational installation.  

When it comes to h2o features, placement is important, truthful deliberation logistically. Avoid a too-sunny determination that tin promote weed maturation and tract distant from trees, arsenic leaves could clog it. 

You’ll request energy to powerfulness the pump, which indispensable diagnostic a Residual Current Device (RCD) to support from electrical shock. Keep pools and fountains covered if determination are children astir – a diagnostic with nary lasting h2o is the safest option. 

5. Make your tiny gait an hold of your home

Small backmost  gait   landscaping ideas with a woody  fence, rustic woody  array  and metallic  chairs creating an outdoor eating  room.

(Image credit: Arndt Design & Build / Hannah Wilson)

Take it extracurricular and marque a connection successful your plot with a much eclectic design, arsenic Ashton Egbert and Kathleen Nixon of Arndt Design & Build person done truthful here. 

The mother-daughter plan squad person taken a cramped and uninviting plot and remodelled it to widen the surviving space. Adding a table, chairs and quirky outdoor lighting ideas turns this erstwhile boring factual rectangle into a low-maintenance abstraction for each the household to enjoy.   

Mirrors are large for creating a much spacious feel, truthful they are a clever summation to immoderate tiny backmost gait landscaping ideas. Hang it connected a partition oregon prop it connected a potting table, and don’t interest if the solid becomes mottled – it adds a rustic feel.   

If you privation to make a tiny plot look bigger, effort utilizing a well-positioned reflector to marque a never-ending path. Choose from lightweight acrylic oregon pugnacious reflector solid and marque definite it is well-sealed against moisture. 

6. Take it to the extortion – oregon balcony

A balcony with wooded, hilly views and a woody  array  and seat  acceptable   with navy bluish  cushions.

(Image credit: Elizabeth Cooper / Tom Grimes)

If your tiny gait consists of a balcony oregon tiny terrace, past it becomes each the much important that you get this outdoor abstraction right, archetypal time. 

'You request to statesman by reasoning astir what you privation to usage the abstraction for,' explains Isabelle Palmer, writer of The Balcony Gardener. 'Quite often, balcony gardens are incredibly tiny, truthful they're usually a spot wherever you would beryllium and relax. 

'You tin besides usage a balcony purposely – to turn herbs oregon thing to eat. Container gardening truly comes into its ain connected a balcony oregon extortion garden.'

In this instance, decorator Elizabeth Cooper has opted to marque the astir of the views implicit Chestnut Hill – which is simply a beauteous old, residential vicinity of Philadelphia. Here, a enactment of outdoor chairs – laid retired symmetrically – supply the cleanable spot to bask a mid-morning coffee. Symmetry successful interior design is often implemented by designers and architects alike to make smart-looking rooms – and it's cleanable for tiny gait landscaping ideas too.

7. Use pavers to portion an country for entertaining

Small backmost  gait   landscaping ideas featuring a airy   grey  patio with grey  woody  chairs astir   a circular java  table, with potted hydrangeas.

(Image credit: Elizabeth Cooper / Tom Grimes)

Don’t get excessively carried distant erstwhile readying your tiny backmost gait landscaping ideas. A cautiously chosen palette of colors, materials and outdoor furnishings is often the astir satisfying. 

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t beryllium adventurous and experimental; conscionable beryllium mindful that trying to compression excessively overmuch into a compact abstraction volition marque it cluttered and alteration usability. 

In this compact garden, interior decorator Elizabeth Cooper has utilized garden zoning to make a cozy seating country – centered astir a array – cleanable for intimate conversation. 

Earthy materials, specified arsenic clay pavers and timber, adhd warmth and charm, and property beauteous implicit time. For this plot 'room' she has utilized paving stones successful a akin colour palette arsenic the property, to visually grow the space.

8. Embrace a sun-filled backyard

A sunny tiny  backmost  gait   with ample  grey  pavers and a sofa and seat  acceptable   astir   a woody  java  table, with a canine  lying connected  the sofa.

(Image credit: Arndt Design & Build / Hannah Wilson)

If you’re determined to usage your plot for arsenic agelong arsenic imaginable during the warmer months, a patio screen – specified arsenic a retractable awning – volition assistance you structure from some the precocious summertime prima and the unusual rainfall shower.

In the vigor of the day, it’s bully to person a small structure from the sun. Garden shadiness ideas tin scope from imperishable structures, similar pergolas, to much flexible solutions, specified arsenic a parasol oregon a shadiness sail, which tin beryllium fixed to walls, trees, fences oregon posts. 

To genuinely marque the astir of a south facing garden, program seating successful the shadier areas wherever you tin look retired implicit a tranquil country during long, hazy summertime days. 

9. Go for a chaotic plot aesthetic

Small backmost  gait   landscaping ideas featuring thenar  trees and lush planting on  a paved walkway to a villa-style home.

(Image credit: Genna Margolis / Amy Bartlam)

Small yards don't each person to beryllium paved oregon decked. In fact, planting up a chaotic plot could conscionable beryllium what your psyche – and gait – craves. 

Here, Genna Margolis, proprietor of SHAPESIDE, has created a bold look with exotic evergreens, that supply low-effort play and colorful involvement each twelvemonth round. Tree ferns of assorted sizes and glossy, informal mounds of pittosporum harvester to signifier a stunning greenish tapestry.  

Unsurprisingly, gardens tin commencement to look ragged by the extremity of summertime arsenic galore perennials statesman to fade. An casual mode to inject beingness into your flower furniture ideas is to spell tropical. Buying garden-ready plants volition springiness your gait an exotic vibe for the remainder of summer. It’s an casual mode to boost colour and springiness your outdoor abstraction different highest of involvement that volition past until the archetypal frosts.

For an exotic look, don’t consciousness restricted successful your works prime – simply look for plants that person the characteristics of the tropics. In a border, purpose for a premix of heights, with tall, towering plants similar bamboo and bananas providing a protective canopy for lower-growing plants specified arsenic ferns and hostas. Dense planting volition assistance make the feeling of a jungle, and flowers specified arsenic cannas, dahlias and crocosmia volition springiness your borderline vibrancy.  

10. Combine planting with paving

Mediterranean-style tiny  backmost  gait   landscaping ideas featuring olive trees successful  gravel areas either broadside  of a curved walkway starring  to a doorway flanked by symmetrical planters.

(Image credit: Mary Jo Fiorella / Joy Coakley)

Olive trees volition bring a interaction of the Mediterranean to your yard, and they’re hardier than you think. Perfect for tiny spaces, mature olive tress – with gnarled trunks – volition let to oculus to spot beyond the contiguous space. 

'The cardinal to creating a palmy plot of this benignant is to take the 2 main elements – planting and paving – carefully,' says decorator Mary Jo Fiorella. 'This abstraction makes usage of earthy materials to make a calming oasis successful a large city.'

Plant these drought-tolerant plants on a paved pathway to make a welcoming archway inspired by Mediterranean gardens, arsenic Fiorella has done here. Then determination yourself a solid of wine, beryllium beside your olive trees, and bask successful the prima portion imagining that you’re holidaying connected the enactment of the Med.

How bash you plan a tiny backyard?

'How you plan a tiny backyard is wholly babelike connected what you request your abstraction to bash for you – not conscionable physically but besides emotionally,' says plot decorator Laura Morton, of Laura Morton Design successful West Hollywood, California.

The decorator has been landscaping gardens since 2000, and believes that emphasizing horticulture successful your gait – nary substance the size – is captious for your happiness and longevity. 'Each plot is going to beryllium a spot wherever I tin amended the ecology, works beingness and greenish space,' she says. 'I bash a batch of what I deliberation of arsenic implicit transformation.'

For her clientele successful the Los Angeles area, Morton aims to promote her clients with her horticulture knowledge, generating functional but beauteous greenish space. Through her work, she aims to enactment vertebrate beingness and pollinators, incorporated autochthonal plants into the design, and adhd successful effect trees and adjacent a small rootlike garden. 'No substance the size, the abstraction is the connection, some to the radical and to the environment,' she said.

How tin I marque my tiny gait look nice?

Making a tiny gait look bully is easier than you mightiness think. Despite its tiny quadrate footage, determination are galore elements to see erstwhile readying how to scenery your backyard.

Isa Hendry Eaton, who launched Isa Bird Landscape Design successful her hometown of Santa Barbara successful 2013, released a publication connected designing tiny gardens successful February 2020 with manner writer Jennifer Blaise Kramer, and has a 'special love' for tiny gardens, due to the fact that the details substance truthful much.  

'There’s nary abstraction to waste,' she says. 'In large gardens, you tin effort and neglect galore times, but you truly don’t person that luxury erstwhile designing small plot ideas.' 

Even with abstraction constraints, however, Eaton believes backmost yards should beryllium treated arsenic an hold of the home. Much similar the home’s interior, a tiny gait should absorption connected relation implicit form, and you should person an thought of each the things you privation to bash successful the abstraction and however you privation to consciousness there.