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33 Small Backyard Landscape Ideas

Turn your tiny backyard into a great getaway when you add a pond, grill station, flowering wall or pet-friendly planters. Let our small-space landscaping ideas inspire you.

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Photo: Chris Brown Photography/

1. Dress Up a Deck

Need more living space? Look outside. You can landscape a small backyard to add room for entertaining, growing flowers and veggies, playing with your pets or watching wildlife. For best results, sketch your design before you begin and keep scale in mind.

A back deck is a good place to start. Is yours unsightly, exposed to the neighbors or too hot and sunny to use? Train a fast-growing perennial on a trellis for privacy, shade and beauty. Orange A-Peel Black-eyed Susan vine is a climbing annual that thrives in partial sun to full sun and doesn't need deadheading. Other vines to try: Scarlet runner beans for sun or California pipevines for shade.

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Photo: Doreen Wynja/Monrovia

2. Make an Outdoor Room

You can also stretch your living space with a small patio. This one feels like an outdoor room, thanks to surrounding beds that serve as "walls." Install pavers or bricks for a "floor" and edge them with materials in a slightly darker color for contrast. For vertical interest, plant ornamental grasses like Blackhawks Big Bluestem and English boxwoods. Large containers can hold trees like this 'Autumn Moon' Fullmoon maple. For color, grow ‘Grace ‘N Grit’ pink shrub roses in a large planter or as a hedge.

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Photo: Gardeners Supply Company/

3. Fill in a Corner

Turn a corner of your small backyard into a gathering place with a fire pit, benches and a side table for snacks and sips. Dahlia blossom punched metal lanterns are decorative and provide a soft glow at night. Put the fire pit on a firm base of level stones or pavers and surround it with gravel or pebbles to catch stray sparks. To add seasonal color without digging, use hanging baskets, wall planters and tall, self-watering containers.

more fire pit ideas

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Photo: Chris Brown Photography/

4. Grow a Flowering Wall

“Vertical gardening is a great way to beautify a small space by growing plants on an existing wall or fence or by adding a trellis,” says Rebecca Sears, Chief Gardening Guru for Ferry-Morse. Attach planters or grow bags to your wall or fence and add herbs like mint, sage and thyme, foliage plants like sweet potato vines or pansies, violas and other flowers.

more vertical planters

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