Landscaping Ideas for Small Yards
Some might say your yard is small. You might prefer the term "fun size." Regardless of what you call it, a small yard can pose some unique landscaping challenges. It's those very challenges, though, that open the door to some very creative ideas. In this post, we are going to take a look at innovative ways to landscape a small yard.
Room for a View
When you coordinate several pieces together, they can form a view or attraction that can make a small yard feel bigger. Traditionally, arbors and pergolas have been used as an attractive way to frame a view. Still, there are some great ways to do it with some small trees, shrubs, or even well-chosen garden art.
Get in the Zone
It might seem counter-intuitive, but if you segment a small yard into different zones, and landscape accordingly, you can make the yard feel much larger. For instance, you could have a section for some outdoor seating, maybe another section highlights a fountain or other water feature, and one is a wildflower garden. If you connect them with paths, which also acts as a great segmenting device, you can create a real experience in your yard.
Color, Texture, and Foliage
Colors can be a great way to change perception. Try placing landscaping elements that feature bright, bold colors right where they will be the first things you notice. These types of colors naturally catch our attention. In doing this, the remainder of your small yard landscaping will seem layered behind it, giving the whole yard a sense of depth.
You can take this one step further. Large tropical plants, which are usually very brightly colored also, can help to create a lush, luxurious feel, particularly in a small yard. The large leaves of tropical plants change the perspective of a small yard and make it seem larger than in it is. Even though tropical plants will need to be replaced, their uniqueness can be pretty attention-getting.
Change Your Perspective
Color is one way to influence perspective. Lines are another way. Long, straight lines can make you think a small yard is bigger than it actually is. You can combine this technique with the framing idea in the first tip by lightly bringing in the ends of your lines to a focal point. You could use a fence as a starting point and introduce rows of flowers that end at a fountain or pergola.
Mix It Up
One way to accommodate space limitations is by introducing unexpected elements to your landscaping. These unexpected items then become the point of focus, rather than the size of the yard being the focal point. For instance, you could use a combination of different paving materials, plants, hardscape elements, and well-trimmed lawn in a way that is so attention-getting that you don't even notice the size of the yard.
If you don't have a lot of horizontal space in your yard, consider going vertical. One great option is Espalier, which actually looks more difficult to execute than it actually is. You can use this technique to decorate walls on your house, garage, or shed to gain more landscaping space.
Another way to go vertical is to consider the way different trees and shrubs grow, and then choose the ones that grow "up" rather than "out." Take a look at dwarf varieties. You should also consider columnar conifers, which will also look fantastic in winter!
Borrow from a Neighbor
If your neighbors aren't all that into gardening or landscaping, use of some of their nearby spaces to your advantage. For example, open views through fences can give the illusion of space.
Your Final Destination
A gathering place somewhere in the yard is another way to change perspective. A simple way to do this would be setting up a fire pit with seating set up off the patio / deck (if you have one). By having to go away from the house to the destination, it can make your yard feel more spacious than it actually is.
This is going to sound like a radical idea to many, but hear us out. If you have limited space, you love plants, and don't really feel like you need a lawn, why not just skip the grass completely? Work with plants that are arranged in some sort of order, such as colors, heights, etc., then use a paver path to connect them. This also allows you to get to each section for watering, weeding, pruning, and such. If you are stuck on the idea that a yard needs grass, just remember that our yards should be a reflection of what we like, not what we feel like we should have in place just because it's always been done that way before.
Plant Beds and Boxes
This is another way to use vertical space. Simply use plant beds or boxes to get your plants off the ground and up one-to-three feet. Load them with plants you love. Maybe try an herb garden, too, so that it satisfies both form and function. By lifting plants off the ground, you can change where the eye's attention goes. If the focus is on the raised beds/boxes, it is not on the relative smallness of the yard.
Keep it Clean
Clutter will make a small yard look even smaller; therefore, reducing clutter and simplifying your landscaping will make a small yard seem more spacious. It will also make it seem more calm and relaxing. With the clutter removed, you can place all of your focus on just a few elements, such as a few plants that are used repeatedly or one color that serves as a theme. What about a paver path lined by boxwoods and hydrangeas, which leads to your fire pit area? An idea like this incorporates several of the tips we've discussed.
When it comes to landscaping, the size of your yard isn't nearly as important as the depth of your creativity. When you consider the elements of a yard that you really love, you can almost always figure out a way to make great landscaping happen regardless of the size of the yard. To get the most out of your landscaping, E.P.M. Lawnscape and Supply offers professional landscaping services in the Jackson, MI area. Feel free to contact us online or call us today at (517) 990-0110.