Making the Most of Small Backyard Gardens: Tips and Tricks
Small backyards can be found in both urban and suburban areas and can come in various shapes and elevations. Regardless of the initial size and shape, there are ways to maximize your garden space and create an illusion of a larger area. In this article, we provide nine tips and tricks for planning the perfect backyard garden.
1. Stay Aware of Color
When it comes to creating an illusion of space, color is crucial. Cool and light hues make an area feel larger, while darker and bolder colors can make the space feel smaller. To create depth, place pale-colored plants and flowers at the boundaries, while eye-catching blooms should be placed in the center. White foliage can also work wonders in the same way, so it’s essential to pay attention to where each plant should be.
2. Add Walkways Between Garden Beds
Creating a walkway between garden beds can add functionality to the space and allow visitors to move around the area freely. Aim to space out garden beds by 18 to 25 inches to make room for a usable path. If you plan on moving large equipment around the garden, ensure that the walkway is wide enough to accommodate it. Additionally, including a walkway is a great way to involve children in gardening activities.
3. Make Plans Keeping Proportions in Mind
While large garden features may be eye-catching, they can make small spaces appear cramped. To prevent this, opt for modestly-sized items that are in proportion with the overall size of the garden. Avoid dwarfing all items in the space, as this can have the opposite effect.
4. Include a Mirror
Mirrors are a great way to make small spaces appear larger, especially in awkwardly-shaped backyards. Place the mirror to highlight a visually-appealing feature or plant, and hide the edges with tight-knit lattice or climbing plants. It’s best to opt for an acrylic mirror instead of a glass one to avoid safety hazards.
5. Embrace the Surrounding Scenery
Utilizing the surrounding scenery can make a garden appear much larger. Use similar shapes, colors, and plants to blend in with the wider landscape. Incorporating plants that flow from a neighbor’s yard can also add a larger-than-life feel to the space.
6. Add Decking
Decking is a great way to provide a dedicated seating area around a feature like a fire pit or as a feature itself. Additionally, smaller decks can be built with basic materials, making it a cost-effective way to add varying heights of features in a backyard.
7. Textures Should Vary
Texture can create distance and depth, making small spaces appear larger. Placing small, fine leaves farther away and bold-leaved plants in the foreground will draw the eye. This trick works especially well in sloping or shallow areas. A deck also provides more usable space in a small backyard, perfect for hosting parties or barbecues.
8. Create Separate Spaces
Dividing a space into smaller areas can obscure the real size of an area, making it appear more extensive. Using freestanding walls, wooden trellis, or plantings can create separate areas, which can be used for various purposes. It also generates curiosity about what’s beyond the boundaries of each space.
9. Utilize Light Reflection
Natural light that reflects into a space can make it feel less claustrophobic. Light surfaces like quartzite or granite and glass tables won’t take up much visual space but can significantly brighten up the area. Steel pots and glossy foliage can also attract more light, creating a brighter and more spacious feel.
In conclusion, creating a beautiful garden in a small backyard doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following these nine tips and tricks, you can create a visually-appealing and functional garden that makes the most of your outdoor space.