4 Timeless Landscaping Tips for Small Yards

A home is your own personal sanctuary, no matter how grand or intimately cozy the indoors or outdoors spaces may be. Townhomes, condos, apartments and zero-lot style homes typically have modest outdoor spaces. But even a small space can be developed into a functional, attractive yard utilizing many of the features of a larger yard. 

While having a large outdoor space to work with may seem like the best way to achieve a well-designed, gorgeous place for play and relaxation, smart landscaping for small spaces can create a beautiful space that you will love to live in. 

Let’s look at 4 timeless tips to maximize your landscape for small yards that will add charm and functionality to your outdoor space.

Take your Landscape to New Heights

Even though adding in more yard space might seem like the ideal solution to create the perfect outdoor living space, adding more real estate to the yard is not an option for most. So when your yard can’t be expanded in size, the best way to create an expansive feeling is to think vertically instead.

Put plants into pots or planter boxes on high shelves or even attach directly onto walls or fencing to create the illusion of a grander space. Trailing plants look stunning in decorative containers that have been placed strategically on outdoor shelving while blooming flowers can add a punch of seasonal color nearby. 

Wall gardens, where a grouping of containers are clustered in a vertical space, are a unique and gorgeous addition to any small outdoor space. 

Another way to tap into using new heights in a tight outdoor space is to use hanging plants as they draw the eye upwards, creating the illusion of more room in cozier yards.

Give your Landscaping an Edge

Another of our favorite landscaping tips for small yards is to integrate the use of steel edging to define the space. Landscape edging can create a smooth transition between planting and grassy areas free from invasive growth that can diminish the look and feel of a yard. 

Steel landscape edging from Colmet comes in green, brown, and black, each with powder coat option of smooth or textured. Plus, Colmet also offers galvanized and unpainted (which patineas beautifully for a decorative antique look). 

The different color options allow you to choose a landscape edging that will blend naturally with the grassy or the planted areas of the yard, increasing the clean look of your smaller space. Plus clearly defined spaces, especially in small environments,  create an organized tidy impression that is inviting. 

Edging will also highlight the boundaries between landscape areas in your outdoor space, showing off planting areas, walkways, or other outdoor features of the landscape for small yards to function so well. 

Leave Some Open Space

The concept of using the power of negative space has been utilized in indoor home design, but this decorating concept can also be applied to outdoor living areas that would benefit from the illusion of a grander space.

One way to accomplish this is to simply leave clearly defined spaces free of decor or clutter. And while we all love to find those little touches that add in charm and character, like the adorable garden gnomes or oversized birdbath from the garden center, using too much of a good thing can make a modest-sized space feel crowded. 

For smaller outdoor spaces, sometimes less is more. A single hanging bird feeder might add delightful character to your yard but landscaping for small spaces effectively is not always the ideal setting for collections of garden decorations or groupings of items throughout the yard. Include one or two curated items in your outdoor space to show off your interests or personality instead of a collection of items. 

Small yards that feature multiple garden accessories and decor items can feel claustrophobic, effectively shrinking the feel of an already small outdoor space. A neatly kept garden, planting area, or rocky path can create a beautiful small yard with only spare additions of garden decor.

Plants That Grow Up Not Out

Another of our clever landscaping tips for small yards is to focus on the types of plants grown in gardens, planters, or pots. Just like vertical planting creates the illusion of height, and as a result space, in a tight space, plants that grow up and not out can also be used to the same effect. 

Choose a variety of plants that grow up tall and that do not need a large horizontal footprint once they become fully grown. Taller, lankier greenery will draw the eye upwards and less bushy plants will also take up less space regardless of where they are planted. 

Trailing plants are also a great way to add in vertical optical lines for variety. Try adding in hanging baskets with plants that will spill out of their containers, arching vines towards the ground creating vertical lines that increase the feel of a small outdoor area. 

Columnar evergreen trees have a slim shape making them a perfect choice in landscaping for small spaces. Many dwarf varieties of bushes provide a classic look but in a diminished size, matching a modest yard without overwhelming the space.

Getting Started with Your Yard

Creating comfortable and beautiful outdoor areas when you have a smaller space presents specific challenges, but our 4 timeless tips will help you turn your smaller yard into an inviting space that feels big and welcoming. 

Adding in vertical visual interest, cleanly defining landscape borders with strong steel edging, utilizing open space, and planting tall trees and smaller bushes in your smaller yard will all create the illusion of height and ultimately a larger, more relaxed space. 

Outdoor spaces that you love begin with a well-designed landscape plan. To find out how you can add in a functional, beautiful steel edging from Colmet to your landscape design, go to your local garden or home improvement retailers and ask your store associate for Colmet or click the button below, to find a retailer near you.


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