by Lisa Steinhaus, Landscape Designer/Horticulturalist
Even if you do not have a large yard, you can still have a fun and functional outdoor space. Smaller yards can be creatively landscaped to to incorporate areas for dining, entertaining, relaxing, playing, planting, or whatever your needs and wishes are. Optimizing every square foot of the yard is key!
A landscape designer can help you through the process of planning your yard by analyzing your site, taking measurements, considering light and soil conditions, and evaluating hardscape options to fit your space. A scaled landscape plan or 3D images can then be created, providing you with a good visual of how your yard could look.
Planting in Small Spaces
|When planning planting areas, consider using Dwarf varieties of trees, shrubs, or perennials, which will fit the scale of the space, not outgrowing the area or becoming too crowded. There are many Dwarf varieties of plants available that offer nice color, flower, and all-season interest.
| If you don't have room for planting beds, there are other options to consider, including going up! Vertical plantings on trellises, pallets, or green walls offer a variety of ways to bring plenty of green plants to small areas. And if you don't have room for a large vegetable garden, berries, vegetables, and herbs can be grown in pots or containers. Or you could incorporate some of your favorite edibles in with ornamental planting beds.
Fire and Water
Fire and water features aren't just for large outdoor spaces. If you don't have the room for a large firepit or fireplace, fire tables and fire bowls offer warm ambiance for a small space.
Likewise, if you don't have room for a pond, waterfall, or other large water feature, there are a variety of smaller ways to incorporate water into your landscape design. Bubble rocks or urns let you relax to the sound of running water without taking up too much space. They are easy to maintain and are available in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes.
Playing, Relaxing, and Entertaining
Just because you have a small outdoor space doesn't mean you can't get maximum use out of it!
Kids' play areas can be constructed under a deck, among shrubbery or flowers, or nestled in the back corner of the yard. Likewise, nooks and crannies in the yard can be used as an opportunity for seating or quiet reading areas.
Squeeze the most out of your entertainment opportunities in a small yard with compact grill kits, pizza ovens, or bar kits.
The possibilities of design in a small space are endless - explore your options with your landscape designer. Designing small yards can be fun and provide years of enjoyment!