8 Ways to Make Small Yards Appear Larger

Plan Your Space

You might think that keeping a small yard open and loosely planned would make it feel bigger, but the opposite is true. The key to a more spacious feeling is all in the organization. Define the spaces in your small yard and make their purposes clear. Delineate a dining or lounging area with a stone patio, or separate the play area from the dining area with plantings. All of a sudden, it looks like there’s so much more space.

Vertical Gardening

In a small yard, gardening space is a valuable commodity. In tight quarters, use available vertical surfaces and plant up. Whether you choose to grow herbs and veggies or lush flowering vines, a vertical garden creates a green oasis, softens boundaries, and makes your yard seem larger.

Play Up the Side Yard

Side yards are often ignored, or just relegated to garbage can storage. Used correctly, however, this precious square footage can help you expand your usable space. Incorporate the side yard into your landscaping plan by planting a culinary herb garden, or add a slim cafe table for a morning coffee retreat. Surely, you can find room for those garbage cans in the garage.

Create a Destination

A small yard will feel more grand if you turn it into a destination. Create an outdoor room with a nicely arranged patio set and grill. Or add a special feature like a fountain, fire pit, or cozy reading nook to make this tiny spot worth the visit.

Frame a View

Architectural features like arbors or pergolas are perennial favorites in small yards. Use one to frame a view, hang a swing, or even plant a climbing garden. The height of these backyard structures gives the illusion of more space, while the features themselves add interest and character.

Choose the Right Trees

You can plant trees in a small yard so long as you choose ones that grow up instead of out. Taller, thinner shapes, such as columnar evergreens, and dwarf varieties of shrubs will give you lush landscaping without eating up all your space.

Use Levels

Incorporating terraced landscaping helps to designate spaces, making a small yard look bigger. Elevate your dining area, or sink a conversation pit around an outdoor fireplace. Terracing can also carve out more space for plantings, while a lower wall can double as bench seating.

Skip the Fence

With the neighbors close by, you may feel the urge to put up a privacy fence. Try to resist. Your yard will appear bigger if the eye can take in the plantings and trees beyond your property line. With a continuous view, the unobstructed greenery can all seem part of the same landscape.


Above all, when it comes to designing your backyard, the most important rule is to do what you like and have fun with it! Always remember your backyard has dreams too, and it is our goal at Dogwood Landscaping to transform dreams into reality.