Big Ideas for Small Backyard Landscape Designs

Patio furniture set up in backyard

The size of your backyard doesn’t matter, it’s all about how you use it! Current residential subdivisions are built on smaller lots with reduced backyards, but that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate all the features of a bigger backyard. Here are some of MPS’ big ideas and tips for your small backyard landscape design!

Backyard patio with grill

  1. Optimize the space you have by dividing it into zones or sections. These sections could be a seating area, grass area for the kids to play, gardens, a BBQ station, fire pit area or a pergola. By creating separate sections within your backyard, it creates the feeling of more space.
  2. Create the illusion of space by drawing the eye to the perimeter of the property with gardens, lighting, hedges, or retaining walls. Incorporating tall thin trees and shrubs will also help create an illusion of more space.
  3. Scale is extremely important when you have a smaller space, you can still incorporate your favourite landscape design and elements, they just need to be scaled to the size of your property. When the scale of a landscape feature doesn’t match the size of your backyard, it will make it feel smaller. Planting ornamental trees and dwarf plants are a great substitute to properly scale for small backyards.
  4. Planters and container gardens can go a long way in small backyard landscape designs, without the space for large gardens or trees, adding colourful lush planters is a great way to add greenery.

Backyard with stone patio

Tips: Here are 3 important tips to consider (or ask your landscape contractor) before you commit to a design.

  1. Sun exposure – smaller backyards may have less sun exposure depending on the size of the house and orientation to the sun. The landscape design should incorporate seating areas where there is the most sun exposure. If your backyard is primarily shaded, you might want to reconsider landscape elements that create shade or trees with large canopies. On the contrary, if your backyard has full sun exposure, you will want to consider adding multiple shades creating landscape elements.
  2. Access – homes with smaller backyards tend to have less space between their neighbours as well, this creates access issues for the landscape construction. In the past, MPS’ landscape construction team has gotten creative with different design options that can be transported to the backyard or even creating a new access point through the garage of the house.
  3. Drainage- Drainage on a property is extremely important for the integrity of the home as well as the subdivision as a whole. Things like interlocking patios, decks, excavation/grading, stone retaining walls, gardens and swimming pools all change the original drainage design of the property. When designing for a small backyard space, it’s important to be very mindful of the drainage.

Backyard with patio furniture

To learn more about landscaping ideas, contact our team at MPS Property Services today!