Six Space-Savvy Design Ideas for Your Small Backyard

Don’t let limited space limit your gardening possibilities. In fact, small space can be just the inspiration you need to try out some creative, and beautiful gardening ideas.

Tiered garden (Photo by Nate Davis)

Tiered garden (Photo by Nate Davis)

Below we’ve listed six stunning examples of space-saving ideas for your yard. Overall though, it’s a good idea to focus on vertical design, avoid clutter and choose lighter colours.

1. Tiered gardening

Tiered gardens are a way to cram a lot of plant life into a small space, while also adding some impact to your yard or patio. There is a range of ways you can build such gardens, including tiered walls, barriers, and steps. But for a small yard, sometimes re-purposed furniture like an old dresser will do. You can buy one at a garage sale, or bring out one of your own, and all you have to do is pull out the bottom draw the furthest, the second-bottom draw a little less, and so on, then fill the draws with dirt and seeds or plants. Remember to drill a few holes for water. Alternatively, you can also stack terracotta pots: the biggest at the bottom, a bit like a Christmas tree.

2. A living table

You don’t want to just walk through your garden – you probably want to be able to sit in it and have a beer or coffee. A living table is a beautiful, innovative way to combine that ability with some plant life. You can make your lovely table out of a few pallets. Paint it a light green or a rustic light blue to complement your garden, and build in a long hole in the centre of it for plants. Add some pebbles to the soil surface, around the plants; you have yourself a very cool small-yard centrepiece. Succulents are a recommended plant choice here, as they don’t need much watering.

3. A living wall

Make the most of your wall! It doesn’t take up any extra space, and it’ll turn a barrier or fence into living artwork. A living wall requires a fair bit of building, but it’s worth it. Ultimately, you’ll need some thin, horizontal beams to nail at regular points along the surface, and some heavy duty landscape fabric for the plant pockets. Choose small plants, flowers, herbs and succulents of different colours and textures, then plant them in the wall pockets according to a pattern of your choice.

4. Miniature gardens

These make for a great project on a rainy day, and they are a perfect way to add some very personalised character to a small yard. Fill a shallow container of your choice with potting soil, after adding a few drainage holes if necessary. Then, use some local moss and plants, as well as pebbles, coloured gravel, mosaic tiles, and little props like a prized tiny toy, or a toy animal or house, to build your little fun world. Some of the best plants for miniature gardens are those that look like small-scale trees. Bonsai can work, or plants like a Norfolk Pine.

5. Hanging gardens

You can use old guttering or anything else that’s long and somewhat shallow, to create a hanging garden. The elements are fantastic for taking up little space, and they work as a natural divider. Just size, paint, and drill drainage holes in your pieces of gutter, and then hang them (spaced about 40 cm apart), using a durable cord or steel rope. Add some soil, and small plants, flowers, or herbs, and you’re good.

6. Vertical plants

Plants that grow vertically rather than spreading out, including plants that vine upwards from planters, are ideal for small spaces. Other plants that have a small footprint are also a good option, such as dwarf or miniature varieties of vegetables and herbs. Edibles like chives, shallots, celery, and leeks are thin, tall and have high yields.

For big or small yards, some great edging will always make your garden pop. And of course, if you live in a city like Perth, you’ll have other serious considerations beyond a small space to take into account. The hot weather can affect your plant choice, and sustainable landscaping is also important.

If you need outdoor equipment to help put together a rocking small garden, be sure to swing by your nearest Beacon Equipment store today.