Inventive Landscaping Ideas for Small Yards

Bare and sparse or over-cluttered and over-planted!

These are the two descriptions that come to mind when considering a typical backyard in Warwick, NY. Most homeowners either have the conventional lawn and fence, or tend to lean toward the other side of the spectrum, by filling every nook and cranny with a hodgepodge of outdoor pots, plants, and accessories.

Neither one of these backyard options work very well. Why live with a backyard that is either of too little consequence or is, at best, a type of family outdoor storage area? Instead, convert your outdoor space into a lovely landscaped area. Make it into an extension of your well-designed home – an outdoor living area that you and your family can enjoy. Here are some ideas for getting the most out of a small backyard space.

Put Your Visualization on Paper

Draw a map of the property and take note of what and where you might like to add features. At the very least, keep a notepad handy as you look through magazines, landscaping pictures and read through ideas. Take note of what you think might work and where. When you are ready to consult with your landscaper, these notes can help you make important decisions. A landscaper will also be able to offer you their own design ideas and recommendations based on your personal preference.

Inventive Landscaping Ideas for Small Yards in Warwick NY

Choose a Color Scheme

Monochromatic or neutral landscaping colors work well to make a small space seem larger. You can always add in a few bright colors here and there as focal points. Bear in mind that dark colors tend to make a small space appear even smaller. With this in mind, you may want to limit dark colors to the foliage of your plants and choose a combination of natural shades that complement your home.

Related: Landscaping Ideas for Injecting Light and Color into Heavily Shaded Backyards


Pavers add distinctive features to an outdoor area. Create mini patios or a large island of flagstone that separate ribbons of herbs, shrubs and flowers. Large format pavers are ideal for making a small space appear larger. Lighter colored pavers can also create this illusion. The jointing compound between the pavers is also something to consider. The less contrast this creates, the less it will catch the eye and make the space appear smaller. Instead, consider low contrast pavers and jointing and avoid structured grid-style laying patterns.

Flowing Water

A water feature such as a pond or fountain can be an excellent focal point. Even a small yard can accommodate a wall fountain given how little space they take up. The ambience created by the sound of running water can automatically make a small space seem larger.

A Magical Entrance

Place an oversized rose arbor at the entrance of your outdoor area. This offers an inviting flowering doorway to your intimate backyard.

A Cozy Thinking Corner

Tuck in a small seating area among your landscaped flower beds. Use a trellis with trailing vines as a backdrop, and add a few comfy chairs to complete the scenic charm. A trellis can be a great tool for creating privacy without creating the closed-in feel of a small space.

Related: Create Outdoor Rooms With Landscaping