Families with children, especially small ones who love being outside, always want a big backyard. Makes sense, a nice large yet contained area in which their kids can burn off energy, soak up some necessary Vitamin D, and make a whole lot of memories playing with their friends. While the size of the backyard may or may not weigh heavily into whether or not you purchase your home, if you’re in the market for one, or you settled for a less than stellar outdoor space, don’t discredit the small yard just yet! There’s still plenty to be done to even the smallest of spaces to enhance the beauty and make the most of the space you do have. Here are our tips for making a small piece of paradise out of your tiny backyard.
Organize The Space
If you’ve ever read any blogs or editorials about how to improve a small room inside your house, you’ll find many of the same rules apply. The first we’ll touch on is organizing your space. We don’t mean organizing your gardening tools and such, but defining the space by being specific about what’s in it and where it goes.
The same way area rugs help separate the spaces of your small room (a rug under the entertainment area, a rug under the seating area, etc.) having a designated space for sitting and a designated space for plants, or playing, provides structure and that structure makes it seem bigger because it’s all being purposefully used.
Utilize Your Side Yard
The sides of your house are probably the most neglected. No one really uses it as a walkway, and you probably use it as the place to store your garbage cans, or where you stash that extension ladder. Don’t do that! It’s not a large space, but it’s capable of at least fitting an herb garden or a small table and chairs for a quick coffee break getaway. Using this nebulous side space will also free up space in the back, while allotting you more visually breathtaking real estate.
Play With Levels
Raise those flower beds, install an arbor or pergola, plant a few trees. Using the vertical space, not just the flat landscaping, gives the eye more to see, more places to wander, and that gives the impression of a larger space. If you have a pergola or arbor, use hanging planters or creeping vines to add fauna and flora in places that aren’t the low down ground.
While we mentioned organizing and defining your space, when you get to straight laced with the layout, it compartmentalizes too much and shortens the perceived depth of a yard. Outside of your patio area, creating a walking path that curves gives more dimension and breaks up the space without making it look boxy.
Whether you choose to accomplish this with plants (rabbit ear is just nature’s velvet, let’s be real) or the different types of material from a brick fire pit to a wooden arbor or swing, adding texture enriches your small yard instead of letting it fall flat. Fescue is a beautiful grass that is fine, like hairs, and looks like it was lifted out of The Lorax. Not only that, but it’s drought friendly. From the type of ground cover you use to the pots where you grow your plants, textures are pleasing to the eye and enhance any space they’re in.
Plant Up Not Out
If you are going to plant some trees and shrubs, be smart about your choices. You don’t really have room for a giant oak or sycamore tree. But smaller trees that grow upwards, rather than outwards, add height and beauty without taking up too much space.
Furniture That Fits
You can stuff your yard to the brim with things, it won’t feel overly cluttered if you organize it well. But when it comes to furniture you want understated pieces that don’t engulf the entire patio with their bulky nature. A wrought iron set of dainty table and chairs is far less cumbersome in a small yard than a massive communal table that takes 3 people to move.
Store What You Can In The Garage
Those trash cans and such that we spoke of earlier? Keep as much of that utility nonsense in the garage as you can. It may require a little rethinking of your garage space, but to get the most out of your aesthetics, keep only those things that serve that visual appeal in the yard. Store the rest away where it’s accessible, but not in the way of your new landscaping masterpiece.