According to a 2014 survey by the National Association of Home Builders, subdivisions built in America typically hold 2 homes per acre. That means each home doesn’t come with a lot of space. But being short on lawn space doesn’t mean you can’t still have the landscape of your dreams. It just means you have to be a little more creative to get it. Here we’ll share a few ways you can to take advantage of any sized lawn.

Create Zones

While breaking up the space into smaller zones based on function may not make your yard look bigger, it will certainly make your yard feel bigger. To have separate areas for resting, eating, recreation, and gardening will give the illusion of a larger yard. These can be created using different sets of furniture, with a walkway between each zone.

landscape ideas for small yards

Utilize Vertical Space

If you’re dying to have a garden but don’t quite have the acreage for it, start thinking vertically. In urban areas or small yards, espaliering – the act of growing plants in a deliberate shape, often against a flat wall or trellis (as seen below) – is quite popular. Not only can you still have fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables, but you’ll also be creating a focal point, improving the aesthetic of your yard.

landscape ideas for small yards

Artificial Turf

Artificial grass might be a solution for those looking to put fewer hours towards lawn maintenance, especially in smaller yards. If you’ll only have a very small area of grass (between hardscapes, walkways, etc.) you may want to think about faking it. The mowing, edging, seeding, and weeding required for real grass may not seem worth it for so little square footage. And now that artificial grass looks more real than ever, it’s definitely a great option.

landscape ideas for small yards

Let Your Neighbor’s Yard Complement Yours

If your neighbor’s lawn is lined with trees, let those become part of your own view. In the example below, the homeowner only added a few trees, but it still appears as though they spent a ton on foliage.

landscape ideas for small yards

Create a Focal Point Using Mixed Materials

Arbors and pergolas can add an immediate focal point, as can a water feature or a fire pit. The idea here is that a small yard doesn’t have to mean a small design. Any ideas you have for how you would design a larger yard can still be accomplished with a few adjustments.

landscape ideas for small yards


If you’re ready to landscape, you first need to figure out your priorities.

  • Is the goal to make your yard look bigger? Go for a more clean design with straight, long lines.
  • Is the goal to create a destination backyard? Utilize zones and focal points.

Your yard is as much a part of your home as any other room in your house, so don’t think you have to compromise to make it exactly what you want. If you can dream it, we can build it!