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Small Backyard Garden Ideas: 50 Ways to Create a Unique Space

Small Backyard Garden Ideas: 50 Ways to Create a Unique Space

#1 Bring on the Butterflies

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Looking to inspire some pollinators to hang around your yard? Planting flowers popular with butterflies is a great start, and if you have space, adding in a safe space for them to hang around will ensure they complete their life cycle before migration.

#2 Create an Oasis

A place to sit and relax, entertain, and simply hang out is all you need to truly enjoy whatever space you have. Surrounding yourself with greenery and then sit back and take in your own private, outdoor retreat.

#3 Moss Garden

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No hassle garden ideas are not too hard to come by. A few perennials and some good pace rock and moss provide a great way to add greenery without the maintenance and work to keep it look great.

#4 Puppy Power

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If you have a pet and a small yard, you probably have wondered why to bother due to the waste of your animal. But did you know that you can influence them to only go in one spot? Your own personal fire hydrant is made specifically for this purpose.

#5 Hanging Herbs

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Wanting to add a little freshness to your culinary experience? Herbs grow wonderfully in small spaces, and recycling a hanging shoe organizer into a planter is a great way to help yourself to green, garden freshness all year long.

#6 Claim Your Plot

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Nothing helps keep your plot organized, and undisturbed then a small fence. It not only looks aesthetically pleasing, but is a great addition to a small yard to help unwanted pets, and pest, from disrupting the growing process.

#7 Going Up

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Container gardens are a great way to have a garden in very small spaces. They fit well on porches, decks, patios, and even apartment balconies. COnsider going up, rather than out, to maximize your space even further.

#8 Lighting Choices

Your lighting choices can make or break a small space. Overlight your yard, and it can highlight how small it is, but if you allow natural shadows to fall, and pay particular attention to lighting up, rather than down, you can create depth and deception.

#9 Fire Pit Perfection

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You may be mourning the space you want for a fire pit, but this truly isn’t something to cry about. Many portable fire pits exist in sizes to fit your needs. All you need is wood and friends (and maybe a marshmallow or two) to gather and enjoy.

#10 Stackable

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Another vertical arrangement- this towering pyramid of plants allow for you to plant your favorites without worry of where they will spread out into. These types of designs are perfect for strawberries and herbs as well.

#11 Create Depth

Place taller greenery along your fences, with clusters of smaller plants and grasses to the front, and create an illusion of depth. Nobody will know that your property ends, rather than continues into other, unexplored garden lands.

#12 Raised Box Beds

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Placing a few wells placed raised garden beds around your property allows you to utilize your space, and keep your plants from rambling around. It also provides a uniform landscape, all while fulfilling your garden veggie and flower needs.

#13 Urban Area

Even inner-city yards can be transformed into a quiet backyard retreat. Providing a deck area also allows for you to take advantage of even more space, as does a small lawn- providing the suggestion that more exists.

#14 Double Duty

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Why not double up the utilization of your furniture to include a planting area? Small yards cannot afford wasted space, and unique ideas are more than welcome. Benches can double as a place to grow your favorite vegetation, and allow a place to rest.

#15 Well Trimmed Trees

Large trees in small spaces tend to dwarf the space, but that doesn’t mean you can’t include your favorite towering plants in your landscape- you just need to keep them well trimmed and dwarfed so they don’t become overwhelming.

#16 Getting Creative

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Looking to build your own garden areas from what you have on hand? Create raised beds from just about anything that can hold the proper amount of dirt for your plants to survive. This cute idea doubles as a fun sculpture of a boat.

#17 Winding Walkways

A well-placed garden path, bordered by greenery, is another way to make your yard look larger than what it is, and provide great interest. It will leave your guests wondering where the path leads to next, and help showcase your blooms.

#18 Fun for the Kids

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If you have kids, utilize even small spaces with something they will enjoy. A built-in a tic-tac-toe board, made from slate and painted rocks, is a great way to keep them busy. Plus, it’s adorable!

#19 Usable Focal Point

Make use of those yard sale buys and don’t make excuses as to why you can’t take it home. A small yard benefits from some focal points for both interest, and a way to showcase your garden blooms.

#20 Upcycle

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Just about any sort of container can be upcycled into your very own garden. Wire baskets, water containers, old tanks, etc make perfect places for your garden to grow and bloom!

#21 A Place to Sit

No matter the size of your yard, don’t leave out a place for you to enjoy it all. Small sitting areas spread out in the space allows you to take in all your hard work, and relax and rejuvenate after a long day.

#22 Need a Drink

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Don’t discredit a water feature simply because you have a small space. Recycle all those wine bottles into a wall with a fun disappearing waterfall. It also will draw in birds and pollinators to provide even more color and interest.

#23 Shady Gazebos

Gazebos are another feature many people with small yards avoid, but they actually make an awesome way to provide protection from the elements and can be surrounded by your gardens for year-round enjoyment.

#24 Ponds for the Patio

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Patio ponds are awesome and include fountains, boxes, stones or another structure that can hold water. These provide interest and draw in the birds and pollinators that are so cherished. Plus, the sound is soothing!

#25 Brick by Brick

Never underestimate what existing landscaping might be able to do for your backyard vision. Even if you feel old patios or rock gardens ruin your dreams, take a step back and see how you might be able to reclaim them and make them all your own.

#26 Garden Borders

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Don’t waste that unused space next to the garage or fence. Instead, create a few bordered beds and grow your plants upright or along a fence to provide a bountiful harvest!

#27 Mix and Match

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A patch of lawn here, a raised bed, there – and don’t forget a place to sit and enjoy! Just because you have a smaller space doesn’t mean you can’t have it all. Just be smart about how you utilize your area and keep organized.

#28 Arched Walkway

Many people feel that an arbor is for larger spaces as so not to dwarf what little room you have. But an arbor can absolutely be a focal point for a smaller space. For example, here it frames a narrow walkway and is a great way to showcase what lays beyond.

#29 Border Additions

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Adding a fence to an existing border, such as this, not only protects your plants but also allows an unexpected pop of color. Don’t limit yourself to just one type of border or another- instead, have fun with the space you have.

#30 Simple Summer

If you have a certain lack of planting space, but still want to create a garden to call your own- never underestimate the power of the planter. A few well-placed pots and a choice of vegetation brightens any area to make it picture perfect.

#31 Fence Space

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Often overlooked as possible decorative planting spots are fences and walls. Hanging pots and baskets are easy to attach and allow you to set up your space exactly how you want it. Whether you keep it simple or fill it up is up to you.

#32 Treasure

One man’s trash truly is another man’s treasure. If you love to go junking, go with an eye towards what might look awesome in your yard as a focal point. Even older, broken planters can be made to look like new.

#33 Looking Up

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Think outside the box when it comes to utilizing your space. Create a place to sit, protected from the sun, all while allowing your plants to grow and bloom. This innovative approach provides multiple solutions to potted gardens and a place to enjoy them.

#34 Urban Reclaiming

Even the concrete jungle can get an upgrade with a little effort, If you are surrounded by the scenes of the city, attempt to reclaim a small section to beautify and green up. Your neighborhood will thank you.

#35 Temporary Touches

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If you aren’t quite ready to commit to a plan or are unsure of where to begin, look to simple container gardening, All you really need are various containers, such as these barrels that have been cut in half, and a vision of which plants to put in.

#36 Watering Hole

If nothing else, a great place to sit and enjoy the company of your friends and family should be included in your yard. Potted plants, or even more permanent choices can be placed where you find you can enjoy them the most and provide privacy.

#37 As Your Children Grow

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Our kids outgrow their toys quickly, and you can donate them, or recycle them if they aren’t up to par. You also can pick up whimsical toys at garage sales, and second-hand shops for cheap- and most are durable and make the most unique planters.

#38 Between Buildings

Urban gardening is all the rage, and if a plot of land lays unused between buildings, you have your chance to take advantage. You don’t need much space to begin to beautify and add in pops of color, texture, and other interests.

#39 Portable Plantings

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Put all those old pots you’ve collected to good use, Even old bowls and dishes make awesome, decorative portable planting solutions. If all you have is a patio, this is an awesome way to incorporate a small garden.

#40 Rest Your Feet

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It’s been mentioned to include a place to rest. Concrete benches are awesome to both sit on or provide a place to raise up planters to provide added height to container gardens.

#41 Stackable Solutions

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Ladders, a-frame shelving, or anything similar is the perfect solution for a stackable potted garden. The angle allows for your plants to get sun and water in abundance, and the room to grow tall and bloom.

#42 Tiered Herb Garden

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Have an empty corner that you aren’t sure what to do with? No matter what the foundation is, you can easily build a tiered garden planter to utilize as much space as possible and create room for your favorite plants and veggies.

#43 The Artist in You

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I think small spaces are the best because they often have the coolest ideas incorporated into them. Rather than thinking traditional, people begin to think outside the box- like with this artist’s pallet that grows all the colors you need to paint the rainbow.

#44 Cheap Space

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Unwanted, used wooden pallets and the like are generally easy to find once you get looking. Piecing them together is equally as easy to make a backdrop and support for your own tin can container garden. Old paint cans are perfect for a project like this and can generally be picked up for free!

#45 Bottom’s Up!

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Recycle your old bottles into garden bed borders that verge on the ridiculous. But in all seriousness, what an amazing idea for a flower garden; I can see this being a focal point for a winery- or for a person who really likes wine!

#46 Cold Frame Duty

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You can both protect your plants from climate weather and freezes, as well as showcase them with a simple cold frame. There are many different kinds you can use, but upright ones work best n small spaces.

#47 Whatever Your Heart Desires

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With the right materials, you can most definitely create whatever garden bed shapes your heart desires. Get creative in your plans to best use the space you have and provide exactly what you need.

#48 Textured Contrast

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A manicured lawn and pebbled bed are only separated by the pathway- reminiscent of a meandering stream. Your use of textures and colors can provide an effect that not only makes the yard look larger but also creates a sense of wonderment and imagination.

#49 All in the Details

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Small spaces benefit from a pop of color here and there that is from more than just the plants you have included in your landscaping. Stepping stones, small sculptures, and other interesting features can be added sparingly depending on your interests.

#50 Garden Lighting

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Solar lighting is awesome and allows you to put lights almost anywhere you desire them. If you have a spot in your yard that is out of the way, but perfect for garden lighting, you will have much to choose from to make it exactly how you want it.

To Conclude

If you have been wondering what to do with a small yard, hopefully, this extensive list has provided you with both landscaping ideas, as well as decor that may work well within your space. Don’t be afraid to add structure and plants you might have only through would work in a larger area. If there is a will, there’s a way, and you can generally make your vision come true. We’d love to hear what inspirations you have from these and how you plan to incorporate them. Let us know below! And, as always, please share!

About The Author

Danielle McLeod

Danielle McLeod cuts a tragic figure in the High School English classroom teaching literature by day, and moonlighting as a writer and graphic artist by night. Published in a variety of travel magazines, and now a blog, Danielle enjoys coming up with home and garden projects to complete with her two young boys. A native of Michigan, she resides in Southeastern New Mexico with her variety of horses, poultry, and variable mix of rescue dogs (there’s a cat or two in there as well). In her free time she enjoys travel, art, photography, and a good book!

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