Sumo Gardener

Small Backyard Ideas: Make the Most Out of Your Small Space

There comes a time when you get tired of looking at the same setup of your house and want to change it. Some decide to renovate homes while some make minor changes, such as painting a different color to their room, changing furniture etc.

Everyone covets to have a backyard or lawn which looks absolutely stunning. Spending a fortune over it to make it happen isn’t always wise. When it comes to the size of the backyard, ideally bigger isn’t always the better choice. 


Small Backyard Ideas 

A well maintained small open-air space can be as enjoyable in every season as the spacious ones. The smaller size also offers much less maintenance. 

Talking about the backyard design, vertical gardening or setting up miniature storage with water, incredibly transforms the entire space and the look of the backyard. Gaining more on the space, but also adding elements of comfort and coziness with style.

In case you are worried about how to make your small backyard look fascinating and big, don’t worry; we have provided below small backyard ideas which will help and facilitate you greatly.

1. Side Gardening

Side Gardening

While making gardening plans, the foremost thing to consider is side gardening. Most of the time, side yards tend to be narrow yet they can provide a pleasant walk through from the front side to the back without getting into the house.

Ideally, putting and lining up pots and grasses at the corners gives enough space in the center. This creates a space illusion, even the narrow area looks wider.

2. White Backyard Theme

White Backyard Theme Backyard

A vast range of styles and materials are used for designing the backyard. Color is deemed as an important element. It adds life to the landscape supporting other details like pots, plants, and furniture. Injecting a color doesn’t really cause any such difficulty nor it is a budget-buster.

White color looks very modern, extremely sophisticated, and elegant at all times. Designing the backyard with a white color theme also reflects cool and calmness, making spaces look and feel bigger.

Also, it is relatively very convenient to maintain, and never goes out of style. Among other benefits with a complete white backyard, it also provides the freedom to use other colors.

3. Small Backyard Pool

Small Backyard Pool

Depending on how much space you’ve got, a garden pool is also a good option. Get a hole dug and have a proper one built, drop a fiberglass in or have an affordable above-ground pool.

On a hot day there’s nothing like slipping into some cool water without going to the beach or the local swimming pool. Having a pool in the backyard looks cool and attractive. 

Most pools require similar kind of machinery and chemicals to sanitize and look clean. The smaller the pool is, the less it costs to maintain as it requires less amount of work resulting in a significant amount of saving. 

A circular pool in the center appears flawless and looks classy and hence fits accordingly to a small area.

4. Corner Seating Hub

Placement of furniture strategically creates the impression of wider open space in the backyard

Placement of furniture strategically creates the impression of wider open space in the backyard. Corners are ideally located to perform this function effectively.

Therefore, corner spaces can be utilized by adding sofas. Guests can also be more entertained through maximizing the seating arrangement in the small backyard.

5. Adding a Garden Pathway

A simple garden path will give a landscape look to your small backyard

A simple garden path will give a landscape look to your small backyard. Not only does it look beautiful but it reflects a sense of order, organized and a great structural admirer.

6. Creating a Garden Layer

Creating Layers

To have an elevated look, a stairway can be built to give a classic feel. It gives a contemporary feeling and looks more natural. Therefore, you can add a staircase that cap off with bricks or stones. It is not too expensive and can be easily maintained.

7. Hanging Pots and Planters

Hanging Pots

Life becomes wonderful when you add colors to it. Bringing colors into your backyard, completely transforms the entire view of the place. Keeping in sight, the proper placement and utilization of walls by hanging planters can also add value to your backyard. They have their own class and style.

You can also hang small pots around the side walls. Relatively, it demands low maintenance, occupies small space, and take no time to do. It is cheap and doesn’t cost much. Moreover, it is one of the attractive looking things to do in the backyard.

8. Adding a Layer Deck

Layer of Plants

Potting plants in a small backyard seems to be a difficult job. How about placing them in a layer form? By simply adding a layer deck! It not only looks convenient and organized but also easier to maintain and water.

Moreover, it occupies a certain area of the backyard making ample space in a limited area available for such activities and look amazingly cool.

9. Organic Food Supply

You can use a small backyard place for organic food supply

You can use a small backyard place for organic food supply and as a source of health by gardening some refreshing fruits. There is no rule, the selection of fruit may vary according to your own choice.

It can flourish depending upon the season and so you can enjoy the seasonal fruits adding flavor and color at the same time.

10. Entertainment Area

Entertainment area

Keeping a place for entertainment and fun is not a bad idea at all. Create and form a space to play musical instruments to make your small backyard look lively.

By doing this, the place is ideal for the backyard parties! Open for you and your family or friends!

11. Small Backyard Patio

Small Backyard Patio

A patio is a decorative element. It has the ability to transform your backyard layout into a relaxing evening place. It provides a perfect combination of choice with other surroundings in your backyard.

Thus, when selecting, make sure that the patio is more on the complementing side of the overall design, so it can create a more magnanimous impact.

Plain backyards are boring and you don’t feel like sitting outside. Add more color and life to it, and you won’t feel like going back inside! 

12. Tree Carvings

Tree Carvings can be used as a focal point

Source: Treescape

These great works of art are perfect decors for your garden. For instance, it can be used as a focal point which should do an excellent job of catching the eyes of your neighbors and visitors.

It only takes a few minutes to search and buy a ready-made piece from different sources. Always search locally first, as many craftspeople rely on local business. But if you’re feeling a little creative, you can also create your own masterpiece. 

Proceed with caution though if you want to go the DIY route. The most common tool used to create tree carvings especially the big ones is a chainsaw, and you will need the best professional chainsaw to do the job.

Be extremely careful because power tools such as chainsaws can be dangerous if not used properly. If you insist on doing it yourself, wear the appropriate protective gear to keep yourself safe at all times, and make sure no one else is in the area to keep them from potential harm.

13. Enhance Backyard with Gravel

Using gravel in your garden

Using gravel in your garden is a simple and affordable way to decorate it. It can add visual appeal to dull areas and can also serve as a nice-looking divider for your flowerbeds.

Gravel is also an excellent material to use as a surface for paths and patios compared to paving. Do note, that gravel comes in different colors, sizes, texture, and what they’re best used for.

For example, man-made crushed gravel is best suited for high-traffic areas like paths and driveways. If you’re not after functionality but are looking for something that’s aesthetically pleasing, river-run gravel is a great choice.

Finally, cobbles are the way to go if you want to add borders and separate areas in the garden.

14. Adding Small Deck

Decking is a simple, attractive and long-lasting method of turning an unused outdoor area into the place for after hours socializing. Raised decking makes a lovely, usable feature in both small and larger spaces.

For example, perhaps you have a corner of the garden that is little used as it is furthest from the house. That’s the perfect place for a corner deck, complete with a canopy or gazebo, solar lighting and furniture. An outdoor room, if you like, that will be used by all the family.

Making a Small Garden Look Bigger

How to Make a Small Garden Look Bigger

Even if you are not blessed with a vast outdoor space, knowing how to make a small garden look bigger when maximizing the sense of area can work wonders. 

With a few creative tips and tricks, you can turn even the most compact plot into space where you like to spend time. 

Design Your Garden Layout from the Start

It is crucial to plan the garden layout correctly; otherwise, the finished space may look disorganized and cluttered, but it is worth it. This creates more space to move around and more room for plants, flowers, and other plants to grow and thrive. 

Make the most of the area you have in your garden by creating a secret garden or outdoor area that feels classic. Paint your outdoor spaces in bright colors (pastels seem to be popular these days) with charming details and create an outdoor home where you can relax.

Plant Different Sized Plants

One of the most important things to know on how to make a garden look bigger is plant a variety of different-sized plants

One of the most important things to know on how to make a garden look bigger is plant a variety of different-sized plants. Whereas a row of shrubs or full-grown trees creates a foliage wall, a collection of small trees and shrubs scattered around the garden will appear to stretch the space. 

Hide the Garden's Boundaries 

Borders can make a small garden feel obviously smaller. Making it clear where your garden begins and ends, you are drawing unnecessary attention to its size. By hiding the boundaries, you will create a space that make small garden look bigger than it is in reality. 

However, you should be aware of some caveats. For example, use individual plants that rapidly overgrow or don't maintain them properly. You will find they encroach on what little space you have, giving it a claustrophobic feeling.

Slower growing shrubs and wall climbers like ferns and ivy's are ideal for this task.

Create a Small Rockery Area

Small rockeries make a small garden look bigger

Garden rockeries have been around for many years, but more and more people have begun to create them because they are such a popular item to have. The gardens are made of natural materials, which look great in the backyard. 

They come in many different sizes, so they can be used in nearly every garden. The best thing about these rockeries is that you can make them from reclaimed material. They can also be made from natural materials, which are known to be better for the environment. 

You can decorate them by using a succulent planter box to provide shape and color, thus making your small garden even more aesthetically pleasing. A grocery will give some height and layering to a flat garden and make it seem larger.

Add Mirrors to Your Garden

Using mirrors to make a small garden look bigger

This may sound like an odd suggestion, but as the perspective trick, mirrors have also been used to increase the feeling of size. You can place them strategically throughout your garden space, but the best method is to place one either at the side or at the end. 

You should make sure that you cover the mirror's edges to make it less evident that it is a mirror. You should also try to make it look like a garden feature rather than something you have placed there for a purpose other than decoration.

Proper Plant Placement

This is a classic trick that has been used for centuries, both inside and outside. Essentially, you will want to layout your plants so that they trick your perception into thinking that your garden is either longer or shorter than it actually is.

You want to lead your eye to see the entire journey of your garden's length or width, rather than merely having it look straight to the endpoint. You can do this very naturally by placing larger plants and trees in the foreground and gradually decreasing their size as they go down to the end of your garden.

Use Smaller Sized Furniture

Use Smaller Sized Furniture

If you enjoy sitting out in your garden when the weather permits (who doesn't!), then you will evidently need furniture. Most garden furniture is designed with more extensive gardens in mind, so if you purchase the first items you see, you could find it taking up an extraordinary amount of space.

However, some manufacturers specialize in creating smaller furniture which will be more at home in smaller spaces. By reducing the amount of space taken up by your furniture, you will be able to make it seem more extensive when you are admiring it from inside your home.

Another furniture related tip is to consider all-weather furnishings. You probably don't have the luxury of storage, so being able to keep these items outside all year is a real lifesaver.

Grow Vegetables and Herbs

When people think of vegetables or herbs, the image usually conjured up in the mind's eye is a farm. Farms are often big, and therefore, by planting a few useful veggies in strategic locations, you will make it seem that your garden is so large you have enough space to grow your own!

This also has the added benefit that you can use them for your home cooking. The simplest options are to grow things like:

  • Tomatoes: Great for adding height as they grow on vines.
  • Zucchini: Simple to grow, and when they get big can be quite impressive.
  • General herbs: Any assortment of herbs is acceptable, including the staples of Thyme, Rosemary, and so on. They also smell amazing, so anyone walking past will immediately be awestruck.

Plan Out Your Garden Lighting

Lighting can have a significant impact on making your backyard look fantastic and help it seem grander

Now that we have covered how to make a small garden feel bigger in the daytime, it is time to move onto the night! Lighting can have a significant impact on making your backyard look fantastic and help it seem grander.

Lighting your garden can make it look bigger than it actually is. You can use lighting to make it appear more space around the home and make the garden look more open and airy. 

Place the lights up and around the periphery of your garden, making you and your guests look up rather than straight ahead. This adds a height, which means that you will be moving your head and eyes more subconsciously, making you think that space is more significant than it is.

Having a garden of smaller size doesn't mean that you don't have to enjoy it. These simple tricks are easy and cheap to implement, and what better time to get started now that we will be coming into Spring soon. 

Gardening in a Tiny Home

How to Garden When You Live in a Tiny Home

If you love gardening, moving into a tiny home and traveling around to different areas might not seem like your cup of tea. After all, if you’re constantly moving around, how are you supposed to have a beautiful garden for all your flowers, fruits, and veggies?

The good news is that even if you’re moving around frequently or if you’re parked on a small plot of land, you can still garden in and around your tiny home. It might not be a huge garden, but it is still a way for you to cultivate your green thumb.

Keep Your Garden Small

If you’ve managed to find a small plot of land from your tiny home and you’re looking to stay long term, then go ahead and start planning that outdoor garden! Your only constraint is how much land you have available.

If you only have so much land around your home, think about what your favorite vegetables, fruits, or flowers are. While you might not have room for a spacious garden, you can probably figure out a way to add some plants.

Consider constructing some raised beds for veggies or add some flower beds around the perimeter of your house. You might be able to expand upon your garden if you realize that you have enough room.

Use Portable Containers

Using Portable Containers

If you have outside space, but you’re not sure how long you’ll be staying, consider using portable containers to grow your garden in. If you don’t have land around your tiny house, they can be placed on your porch or steps.

They can also be placed inside by a sunny window if absolutely necessary. Portable containers allow you to pack your garden up and take it with you when you move.

Many flowers and shrubs will do just fine in portable containers. You can even try vegetable container gardening, such as tomatoes or radishes, also do well.

If you do use portable containers, make sure that they have good drainage to help prevent your plants from dying. You’ll also want to use fertilizer to help provide your plants with extra nutrition.

Utilize Your Vertical Space

Vertical gardening for small spaces

If you’re limited in outdoor space and have to move your plants indoors, utilize your vertical space instead. You can use a trellis system or find some sort of shelving unit which can also be used in balcony gardening

You can grow flowers, herbs, and vegetables this way. You just need to make sure your plants have access to ample light. Trellises are great for pole vegetables, such as peas and green beans. 

With encouragement, these plants will easily latch onto the trellis and begin to grow upwards. Climbing flowers, such as morning glories, also do well on a trellis.

If you’re using a shelving unit, you’ll likely need to find plants that can grow in shallow pots. Flowers and herbs can easily grow in shallow pots, as well as some vegetables such as radishes.

Grow Plants Hydroponically

Growing plants hydroponically

Hydroponics involves growing plants in a nutrient-rich liquid solution instead of soil. There are smaller hydroponic racks that can be placed indoors and larger hydroponic towers that can be placed inside.

Not only are these systems less messy than soil, but they can also be easily emptied. So if you’re only staying in an area for a season, you can use your tower to grow your veggies and then empty the tower at the end of the season and easily pack it up.

All sorts of vegetables and herbs can be grown using this method. Even if you have limited space, growing hydroponically guarantees a harvest. If you’ve never grown hydroponically before, start with the basics. Try growing leafy greens, radishes, or carrots.

Growing on Window Boxes

Growing on Window Boxes

If you’re staying in one spot for a while and you’re limited on outside space, window boxes could be an option. Window boxes can easily be added under your windows to provide a place for you to plant flowers.

Flowers in a window box can add some color to your tiny home. Perennials are a good choice. Depending on the size of your box, you’ll be able to get 3 to 8 plants in it.

There are also some fruits and vegetables that can successfully grow in window boxes. These include strawberries, radishes, spinach, and most herbs. You can find window boxes at most home and garden stores.

You can also build your own custom ones that match the exterior of your home.

Find Support From a Community

One of the best things you can do when starting a garden in your tiny home is to read what others are doing. Sites such as Houzz or Tiny house huge ideas can give you inspiration for ideas on how to garden.

In addition to websites, consider joining a social media group. Facebook is a great way to meet other people living in tiny homes. Once you find a community, ask to see if others are gardening in their tiny home. 

If they are, ask them what works for them. Most people will be happy to share their tips. If you’re new to tiny house life, an online community can give you other tips. For example, if you’re struggling to condense your belongings, they can help you figure out what isn’t essential.

As you can see, it is completely possible to have a garden while living in a tiny house. Ideally, you’ll have enough land so that you can plant some of your favorites. But even if you don’t have outside space, portable containers or window boxes can help make your gardening dreams a reality.

Home Exterior Design Ideas For Your Backyard

Home Exterior Design: Ways to Upgrade the Look of Your Backyard

Here are a few suggestions that will elevate your backyard exterior design, make it seem more appealing than ever, and boost your home’s value as well.

Using Pavers and Clay on Your Patio

Using pavers and clay on your patio might look like a complex and expensive project, but it’s really not.

This is one of the best ways to spice up the look of your backyard and make it more appealing than ever. Using pavers and clay on your patio might look like a complex and expensive project, but it’s really not.

In reality, you’ll probably be able to complete it on your own, especially if you’re a handy person who’s not afraid of getting their hands dirty and investing some time and energy into their backyard.

Concrete pavers, on the one hand, are a great option for people who love the classic style and don’t want to be too extravagant and radical with their projects. 

This will make your outdoor area look clean, neat, and properly organized, and that’s something all homeowners are looking for. These might need a bit more time to install, but if you go with clay, you won’t have to worry about anything. 

Installing a clay paver patio is something you’ll be able to do in just a couple of hours and create a perfect lounge area in your backyard. 

And the best thing about these ideas is that you can always decide to cover a new part of your outdoor space with pavers and clay, thus getting a more coherent and unified look in the future.

Adding Fire and Water Features

An amazing way to boost the look of your house exterior design and its overall value is by adding a new fire and water feature

Another amazing way to boost the look of your house exterior design and its overall value is by adding a new fire and water features. What’s great about this idea is that the options are numerous and you can opt for different combinations and designs that will work well with your existing backyard design.

In other words, you can do whatever you want, as long as it’s in accordance with your personal design preferences and your inner style.

Fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, fountains, and water walls are among the most popular fire and water features out there. All of these will easily turn into the focal point of your backyard and make it more special.

But, if you want to do something truly special, you can think about adding a pool – this idea will take the value of your home to a whole new level and, at the same time, give you and your family a new hangout spot in your backyard.

Just make sure you set some safety measures for your kids. 

Installing an Outdoor Kitchen and Bar

Installing an Outdoor Kitchen and Bar

It doesn’t matter what you’re doing in your outdoor area, who you’re with, and how long you’re staying there – you’ll feel hungry and thirsty after a while.

But, that means you’ll have to stop doing whatever you’re doing, go inside, prepare some food and refreshments, and then go outside again. And that doesn’t sound too relaxing and enjoyable, does it? 

Well, if you’d like to change this paradigm and come up with a more efficient solution, you might think about installing an outdoor kitchen and a small bar as well. These will make your life a lot easier and your backyard a lot nicer, especially if you keep the visual appeal in mind at all times. 

Add just a few simple and effective details, as well as eye-catching carpets from Hong Kong that will make your outdoor kitchen as cozy as your indoor kitchen – and you’re good to go! 

Once you discover the wonders of al fresco dining, you’ll want to do that all summer long, thus giving your backyard a whole new role.

These home exterior design ideas will surely help your home look inviting, appealing, and, more importantly, cooler than ever!

How to Use All the Space in Your Backyard

Having a backyard is one of the most important benefits and a common decisive factor for people who choose houses instead of apartments. Here's a few tips to make sure you use up all the space in your backyard. 

Design the Hangout Area

One of the best ways to maximize your backyard is by spending all your free time there, enjoying bbq Sunday with your friends and family.

One of the best ways to maximize your backyard is by spending all your free time there, enjoying bbq Sunday with your friends and family. This is a simple activity that can boost your mental and physical health, making you happier and more satisfied than ever, which is why so many people try to be in the open as much as possible.

But, if you wish to spend all your free time in your backyard, you have to invest some energy and patience into designing the perfect hangout area where you’ll be able to do that whenever you want.

Pick a spot in your outdoor space and turn it into your private sanctuary. You can grow new grass, build a patio or a deck, and equip these areas with some comfortable outdoor furniture, fire or water features, and an outdoor kitchen as well.

Should you go for building a patio, it is essential to have the best patio heater handy during those nights you want to relax outside and maybe do some stargazing. 

But, even if you’re stuck with a small backyard, you can use it as a hangout space as well, as long as you’re creative and imaginative. Just find a special place where you can put your tiny but comfy furniture, and you won’t have a problem spending tons of time in your small backyard.

Define the Backyard Boundaries

A professional installing a fence

Another thing you need to do before you’re able to maximize your backyard is defining the boundaries of this space. No matter how amazing your neighbors are and no matter how much they love you, the chances are you’re going to notice that you need your private space sooner or later.

That’s why having a proper fence around your property is the best way to define it and always know where you can and can’t spend your free time. However, not all fences are the same, and not all of them are going to work for you the same. 

That’s why you need to pick the most professional fencing supplier and distributor you can find because these are the only people who can help you define your outdoor space and protect you against intruders and other unwanted guests.

These fences are made from high-quality materials and are therefore able to introduce a ton of visual appeal to your outdoor space and take your protection to a whole new level at the same time.


Plain backyards are boring and you don’t feel like sitting outside. Add more color and life to it, and you won’t feel like going back inside! Having a beautiful lawn in the house is itself a tool of embellishment for the house.

However, it is crucial to take care of the plants and cut down extra stuff from the space if you want to make the lawn look bigger. Pick one of the ideas mentioned above and transform your backyard!

About the Author Ann Katelyn

I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.

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