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Leave some space

Leave some space
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When considering landscaping ideas for a small yard, remember to leave space. It’s easy to overcrowd things and inadvertently create a claustrophobic effect. Here, a seating area has a clear view to the garden, courtesy of a small patch of grass and some unobstructed hardscaping.

Layered landscape

Layered landscape
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An easy backyard idea for small yards is to create a layered landscape – just like in nature. Think of a forest with low groundcovers, ferns, shade-tolerant understory shrubs and trees, and the tall overhead trees. You can do the same thing with your small yard landscaping! Use things like groundcovers, bulbs and crevice plants to create a beautiful layered landscape, while maximising your flower bed space!

Check out these cheap landscaping fixes that look expensive. 

Walls and fences

Walls and fences
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Sure, you want your small yard landscaping to include privacy, so why not utilise surrounding structures like walls and fences? For this small yard idea, vines are the perfect answer – just be sure to pick one that’s not invasive or a garden thug.

Learn about the 6 best screening hedge plants. 

Vertical gardens

Vertical gardens
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A popular trend in small yard ideas is to garden vertically. There are many off-the-shelf products that allow you to grow plants vertically, such as the wall planters seen here. Or you can create something yourself. Either way it creates gardening space out of thin air.

Hanging planters

Hanging planters
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Another clever way to maximise space is with hanging planters.

Window boxes

Window boxes
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A more traditional way of maximising gardening space is with window boxes. Naturally, you can attach them beneath your windows. But other small yard ideas include placing them on a porch, around the perimeter of a patio, or hanging from a deck railing.

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Dwarf plants

Dwarf plants
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Growers are continually introducing new cultivars with special characteristics. One of those is a dwarf habit. When considering landscaping ideas, you can grow a tree that matures at 30cm or 25 metres. When you choose the former, you end up with enough space to add companion plants.

Columnar plants

Columnar plants
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While you’re considering size and growth characteristics, think about habit as well. Columnar plants, such as this upright pear cultivar, grow straight up. There’s more room to the side, and more light at the bottom for a greater variety of plants. And yet you still get the blooms and the fruit. Win-win!

Trailing plants

Trailing plants
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Here’s another shape that will help when looking for landscaping ideas for a small yard. You can run trailing plants down the side of a planter, as seen here, or let them trail from the top of a wall. Either way maximises space and softens a hard surface to help it blend into the landscape.

Crevice plants

Crevice plants
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Crevices are ubiquitous to most gardens, so you might as well make use of them. Sedum and other succulents such as Sempervivum are perfect for these spots, which are often on the lean and dry side. They make the space prettier and the hard surfaces less imposing.

See our tips for planting succulents.

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