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20 Ways to Make a Small Garden Seem Bigger

Expand your horizons—if not your square footage—with some small garden sleight of hand.

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Photo: Jason Miller / AP Images

Divide and Conquer

It seems counter-productive, but dividing a small space into smaller areas based on function actually helps give a little yard some breathing room. This small yard features a welcoming pathway, an al fresco dining area, a vegetable garden and flowers for filling vases.

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Photo: From: Joseph Richardson.

Embrace Elevation Changes

Delineate different sections of your outdoor space with different heights. You can keep the shift simple, like with a raised bed or raised wooden deck, or you can choose an elaborately terraced effort that gives kids an elevated play area that’s distinctly separate from other outdoor living areas.

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Unify Spaces Using Hardscape

As you divide your garden into functional areas, maintain a similar material underfoot to weave a unifying thread through the spaces. Here, gravel and stone pavers provide an unobtrusive visual signal that these areas are connected by more than just geographical proximity.

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Photo: Sage Design Studios, Inc.. From: Sage Design Studios.

Keep Scale in Mind

In a small garden, avoid using hardscape materials that are too large for the space. If these pavers were any bigger, they’d overpower the small yard. This same principle applies to structures, furnishings and even individual plants. Select trees, for instance, with tidy dimensions that complement the garden without overwhelming it.

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