These elegant small backyard ideas are some of our favorite approaches to designing, styling, and decorating small spaces.
Whether you’re going for a completely new look, redesigning an existing area, or simply adding an eye-catching element to add variety, getting your small backyard ideas right is the first step in any makeover, as it provides the crucial structure to your yard.
To narrow down the ideas and options for your garden, think about how you want it to look, how it fits with your home’s architecture and furnishings, and what you need.
There are a wide variety of materials, plants, and flowers to choose from (we’ve rounded up the best ones below), but one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is the sustainability of the materials you want to use they’ll last.
Small Backyard Ideas
Not everyone is blessed with a large garden. For those who live in places with less outdoor space, it’s all about practicing smart design on a smaller scale.
Whether you live in an apartment, condo, townhome, loft, or a house that has more indoor space than outdoor, you can still create a garden with soil, trees, plants, patios, seating, and even water features.
Once you start researching, you’ll find that there are endless garden styles and solutions – there’s a garden for every little piece of land. Ideas to consider include:
- Container gardens: If you don’t have good soil or your outdoor space is primarily a patio or balcony, you can use pots, low bowls, repurposed wooden crates or boxes, and urns.
- Think vertical space: the sky is the limit when growing succulents, herbs, flowers, or even vegetables in vertical containers on the wall.
- Hanging garden: plants can be hung from beams, roofs, or walls; it’s up to you what you plant and what works in your area.
- An effortless patio or deck that allows you to get outside and have water-tolerant plants that don’t require a lot of care and maintenance
- Kitchenette and dining area: if space allows, you can set up a simple outdoor grill, countertop, and refrigerator, and even plant a small herb garden to enhance the flavor on the spot.
- Private garden: city dwellers often crave an outdoor space. High walls and propped or climbing plants help create a sense of seclusion.
What Can I Do With a Small Backyard?
There are so many things you can do with a small backyard, no matter how small it is. It’s important to make the spaciousness of the space and sense of place the focus of the design.
Especially in urban areas, an easily accessible space that is cozy and spacious allows for relaxation and tranquility. It’s the perfect antidote after a busy work week.
Also, think about the orientation of your small backyard, as it can change the entire atmosphere. For example, you can transform a large space into an enclosed or intimate space that is in a warm, sunny location or a cool, shaded area.
The view also changes depending on the orientation of the patio. Would you rather look at the back of the house or a prominent point in the distance? Below is a list of the most effective small backyard ideas.
Small Backyard Landscaping Ideas
Small backyards are just as good as large backyards. While you may not have as much space to grill, relax, or play as you would in a large yard, you can still make the most of your postage stamp space by using it wisely.
You can transform your space by using clever small backyard landscaping ideas, like Bob Vila, that will help you take advantage of every inch of grass and walkway you have.
These small garden landscaping ideas prove that you can have everything from a rock garden to a rose bed worthy of Buckingham Palace to a charming lounge area in your garden if you just plan it right.
You can make your small garden look bigger by including certain plants and trees, and you can make it more orderly by dividing the space with iron railings or arches. If you have a small plot and have been meaning to spruce it up, you’ve come to the right place.
Small Backyard Ideas With Pool
Looking for ideas for a small swimming pool in the backyard? Well, we have just the thing for you. Building a swimming pool when your backyard space is limited may seem like an impossible task.
If you have a small, narrow, or just awkwardly shaped backyard, how and where can you install a swimming pool? All it takes is a little creativity.
And if you’re smart, you won’t have to sacrifice your entire outdoor space for a swimming pool. Small swimming pools are usually around 12 feet and can be even smaller if you are just looking for a plunge pool to cool off in.
Small pools go by a variety of names: Lazy River, Plunge Pool, Cocktail Pool, Mini Pool, and Wading Pool. Some are even above ground, while others have interesting features like fountains, built-in ledges, and other special details. Find small backyard pool ideas here.
Small Backyard Patio Ideas
Do you have a small backyard patio of your own, but don’t know how to decorate it? Maybe you don’t get amenities like fire pits and swimming pools. But you can make your small backyard and patio very cool and useful if you are creative.
With effective design methods like landscaping, fencing, and using appropriate outdoor furniture, you can turn your small backyard into a cool and useful space that everyone will love to have. Here are ideas for small backyard patio ideas that will make your yard look much more spacious than it is.
To create a cozy little patio, it’s important to move the comfort from indoors to outdoors. “Covering a patio makes it an outdoor living space, gives it structure, and extends its use throughout the day and often into the evening,” advises New York architect Eric J. Smith. “A covered patio with flexible furniture can be used for sitting, relaxing or dining, and fans and thoughtful lighting can add to the enjoyment.” A small outdoor bar or mini-fridge can reduce trips to and from the house, making everyone feel more comfortable, Smith adds.
Small Backyard Turf Ideas
You may have seen artificial turf on balconies, in sports stadiums, or even in your neighborhood home. Many are switching from natural grass to artificial turf, which is also making a splash in interior design. In this article, you will find some small garden ideas that will help you create a beautiful garden.
Artificial grass is a surface material made of synthetic fibers, which is used as an alternative to imitating grass. It is commonly used in sports facilities and arenas because of its ability to withstand extreme conditions.
However, in recent years, homeowners have begun using it in various areas of the home. It is ideal for areas where grass does not grow or where it is almost impossible to maintain turf. It’s flexible, green and so much more!
Lawn maintenance around the exterior of your home is tedious. Grass requires a lot of water and mowing, fertilizers, and pesticides, all of which require patience, time, and money.
Artificial grass is a green alternative that can add lasting value to many outdoor areas. There are no limits to how you can use artificial grass to enhance your landscaping. Find small backyard turf ideas here.
Small Backyard Plunge Pool
Our current obsession: plunge pools. A small backyard (or outdoor) alternative to the traditional pool. Also called cocktail pools, these are small, deep water features that are perfect for swimming and floating when you’re short on space!
Plunge pools aren’t just popular because they allow you to relax in your backyard, even on smaller lots – they’re also commonly used for home fitness, as they’re the perfect size for performing water aerobics or other low-impact exercises at home. If you want to stay fit in the water but aren’t a long-distance swimmer looking for a lap pool, smaller pools like plunge pools are ideal.
Another reason many homeowners prefer plunge pools is that they require less water. This is especially appealing for drought-affected areas where it is important to reduce the amount of water used by regular pools.
Plunge pools come in all shapes, sizes, and configurations, but options range from inground or above-ground pools made of concrete, vinyl, or fiberglass to alternatives like lap pools and high-end hot tubs. Read more about the small backyard plunge pool here.
Small Backyard Basketball Court
Small Backyard Basketball Court The ideas of fancy passes, athletic dribbling, poster dunks, and breathtaking jumps – basketball is exciting because anyone of any age can start playing it.
According to Sports Show, basketball is the third most popular sport in the U.S., and unlike soccer, most fans can play on their own small backyard basketball court without prior experience or good skills. Even if you have a small backyard, you can make the most of it with an all-pro hoop to improve your shooting skills.
Not only can you practice and shoot hoops whenever you want, but you can have unlimited fun and excitement with family and friends. Building a basketball court in your backyard is a fantastic addition to your property and not expensive. It’s often cheaper than paying a monthly membership fee.
And there is a lot of flexibility when it comes to placement, installation, and customizing your sports court. You can get your small backyard basketball court built for as little as $4 to $16 per square foot for a standard court.
Small backyard playground ideas
When you have small backyard playground ideas, everything becomes easier, especially if you want to decorate your backyard. Since this area is usually used by children, you need to think about the specifics beforehand.
Don’t worry. Ideas for the garden for children are easy to implement and are considered affordable. The key is to have the right plan. This means that you should not rush when setting up a playground.
Creativity and fun are the two most important points that should be considered when building a playground. Are you still confused? Here are dozens of examples of great backyard playground concepts you can implement right away.
- Center Climbing Structure: The centerpiece of a DIY playground is the central climbing structure with four posts and two levels. Here, kids can run up the stairs to the upper level or play below. This is a stable center for all other functions.
- The staircase: a short ladder, which is easy to build yourself, takes the children from the ground to the upper floor.
- Rock climbing wall: children can improve their climbing skills on a short, slightly inclined rock wall for safety. Molded stone handrails, purchased separately, easily attach to the base of the rock wall.
- Sandbox: double toe rails at the base of the climbing structure provide additional stability. They are also integrated walls for the sandbox. Just add sand and you’re ready to go.
- Slide: The center structure is the perfect place to install a plastic slide.
- Swings: Buy or build a swing with one end of the top bar attached to the center climbing structure and the other end on its stand.
- Extra Fun Features: buy or craft flags, ship wheels or steering wheels, telescopes, or zip lines and install them on the top level of the playground.
Choose plantings that are suitable for a small garden.
When looking for small garden ideas for beds and containers, you should always consider the available space. This applies to choosing the best trees for a small garden, of course, but also to choosing shrubs and flowers.
When I plant a bed, especially in the middle of a lawn that might separate a patio from the lawn, I always consider the height of the plants I’m planting, and if I’m sitting there, maybe at a dining table or on a sofa, I consider that, too,” Lucy Searle says.
Sometimes I want the planting to be tall to create privacy, but often I want to make sure I can continue to see the rest of the garden. It’s worth noting that lower planting in the middle of the lawn helps the space look less divided, wider, and longer.
Consider a row of plum trees for a small backyard
Create the illusion of space in your yard with pleached trees.
Pleaching is a tree training technique that produces trees with clear, straight trunks and crowns designed to grow into a canopy on a skeleton.
This technique creates a sense of mystery by allowing glimpses of other areas. When planted in rows, they create an elevated “green wall” that can be a great natural alternative to a tall garden fence.
Pleated and screen trees are a great way to shade a patio and reduce heat and glare from reflected sunlight.
Plant a living wall for small backyards.
When ground space is extremely limited, a living wall may be the only option for those who want to create a garden planted with plants.
When space is at a premium, planting a vertical garden wall is a great way to add more color to your yard.
Clever living wall ideas are an easy solution to covering up old fences and sheds, or even your garbage cans, with flowers and foliage. Add pollinator-friendly flowers and your living wall will also feed the bees, or try edible plants for fresh produce right outside your front door.
Award-winning garden designer Alexandra Froggatt suggests using evergreen foliage plants as year-round privacy screens, such as Siberian günsel (Brunnera), small ferns, heucheras, and reeds, or growing lettuce, thyme, chives, marjoram and strawberries for an edible wall.
Hope this article’s small backyard ideas will help you to get more ideas on what to do to a small backyard. Find more ideas for your backyard in backyard ideas. Also read 23 best small backyard ideas for entertaining.