Yards are often pictured as large open areas overflowing with trees, garden beds, and ample room for a patio. However, many do not have access to these sizeable spaces and instead have small yards and gardens.
Thankfully, no matter what the size of your yard is, the space is only limited by your creativity! There are plenty of ways to improve a yard’s style, layout, and overall feel. Even a small yard has the potential to grow through simple additions and design strategies.
Wondering how to utilize your yard better and make the outdoors feel more spacious? Explore six ways to make your small yard look bigger.
Start Vertical Gardening
When the yard doesn’t have space to expand outwards, take to the skies!
A vertical garden is a fabulous solution for smaller yards because they take up less (horizontal) space. Growing upwards allows you to plant your garden without taking away from other yard features. Not to mention, vertical gardens also save on watering costs and help out the environment at the same time.
With some creativity and DIY inspiration, there are plenty of ways to suspend your garden. These ideas include hanging pots off the wall, vertically building planters, or even repurposing unused gutters. Look for the concept that matches your style and space.
When choosing what to grow in your vertical gardens, find plants that are content in narrow spaces. These plants include herbs, beans, tomatoes, strawberries, cabbage, and lettuce.
Pro Tip: Not intent on growing food? There are other more decorative plants that thrive in a vertical garden, too!
First of all, what are sightlines?
Using sightlines is a method that uses perspective to draw the eye toward a specific focal point. They work to help capture focus on the stunning views rather than the inadequate ones. For example, a pathway in the yard leads to a cozy and welcoming patio, a statement fire pit, or a DIY water feature.
The best way to do this is through garden edging, pathways, healthy lawns, and other garden features. Lay each element out linearly, pointing and aiming toward the pièce de résistance.
Build Raised Garden Beds
A flat yard often leaves a space looking boxy and small, so adding levels enhances the appearance of size through a hierarchy of visuals.
But how do you add height and depth to your yard? One way is to apply it to your garden beds.
Rather than having your garden beds flush to the ground, take the time to build them up. Raised garden beds offer deeper growth for plants, control of soil conditions, and attractiveness to the yard. (DIY your own raised beds and use materials that match your style!)
Not sure what to plant? Cherry tomatoes are one the best plants for small gardens. Don’t want to grow fruits and vegetables? Grow flowers in raised beds to add color and vibrancy to your space — Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ear’ and cineraria are excellent choices!
Pro Tip: Want even more space for your greenery — a tiered garden bed is a way to go! This style of raised bed allows you to have multiple sections that move upwards in a stair-like formation.
Plant the Right Trees
With their overarching branches, the scent of spring blooms, and vibrant leaves in the fall, trees make a yard feel more complete. But when it comes to growing trees in small yards, it is essential to plant the right ones.
Planting the wrong trees often leads to a tree overtaking the yard and crowding the space. Instead, choose a tree that is a smaller variety, like dwarf varieties, or one that grows tall rather than wide.
For example, the weeping white spruce is a tree that grows tall (12 to 40 feet) and does not spread much (only about 5 to 8 feet wide). Another option is the Chinese redbud ‘Avondale,’ which grows about 10 feet tall and spreads about 5 feet wide.
Seek out small trees that work in your designated space and enjoy all they provide throughout the year!
Skip the Grass
Though a lawn may seem like a mandatory part of the yard, in the case of small ones, skip the grass!
An alternative to grass is to have an area with more functionality. Lay flagstones, or other landscaping materials for your ground cover, in sections. Doing so creates a designated patio space, barbeque space, or other interactive areas to give the yard more purpose.
Don’t want to say goodbye to the grass? Another alternative for small spaces is to allocate an area for grass to grow! Find a practical location that does not look out of place alongside the rest of your yard. Some examples include around raised garden beds, alongside pathways, and at the edges of your patio.
Pro Tip: If you are not partial to laying stone, another alternative is to create a zen garden. Sand is a common material used in these gardens, but gravel or other natural materials also bring peace and calm to your space.
Find Lightweight Furniture
Choosing the right types of yard furniture to feature outside has a huge impact.
Yard furniture like benches, wicker, or Adirondack chairs are often large and boxy. They take up a much wider space than may be necessary. Due to the smaller size of your yard, find simpler furniture. This includes pieces that can fold away, are not fully solid, and are smaller in size.
Of the large selection of yard furniture to choose from, find slim and compact pieces. Styles like folding chairs, wrought iron or aluminum chairs, or a limited number of statement pieces are best.
Place your lightweight furniture in a showcased space at the end of your sightlines. Now you may snooze away in the sun in a yard that feels much larger.
Maximize Your Yard!
Now that you know how to help your yard become something grander, start maximizing!
By growing your gardens vertically or finding the perfect furniture to suit your space, transformation is possible. Find the styles and layouts that work for you, and get ready to enjoy every inch of the season outdoors!
Do you have a small yard? What are some of your favorite ways to enhance its layout? Comment below and share what you plan to do for your space.