With some expertise and creativity, a smaller backyard can reach its full potential—and give you more enjoyment of your overall landscape. Here are tips on maximizing a small backyard in Lebanon, PA, with strategic landscape design and planning.
Embrace the Size
Small backyards have something that big backyards don’t—inherent coziness. Think of it this way: In the home, where does everybody congregate when there’s a party? In the kitchen—and it doesn’t matter how tiny the kitchen is, everybody will try to cram in there because it’s the heart of the home. Take that same approach with a tiny backyard and create an intimate and welcoming place to entertain and relax.
Add Inviting Features
Your landscape design expert can work with you to consider the type of features that will draw people to your backyard. Top of the list could be a fire pit, outdoor fireplace, or fire table. While a fire pit can take up valuable space when you have a small backyard, it could be just what you need for welcoming gatherings, intimate conversations, and warmth on chilly evenings. If you prefer a fireplace, tuck it into a corner so that it doesn’t overwhelm the patio. Fire tables can do double duty as fire features and dining tables.
When you’d prefer to spend most of your time outdoors either cooking food or eating it, consider whether a simple grill station or full gourmet kitchen makes the most sense. This is where everyone will want to be, so carefully consider traffic flow, and whether your space would be enhanced with a dining area or bar-style dining. If you don’t want a full kitchen, a wheeled bar cart can be pulled out for parties and put away when not in use.
Another idea is the installation of a simple fountain or water wall that would bring instant tranquility to your space. A water wall could also serve as a privacy wall.
Keep It Simple with Double-duty Elements
Choose elements that serve double duty: fire tables, bars, and low seating walls are all double-duty elements. Seating walls, for example, provide a dividing line, a place for planters, and plenty of overflow seating without cluttering up a tiny patio with chairs and tables. And if the walls are curved, they gently draw the eye slowly through the landscape rather than emphasizing its small size.
Minimize the Lawn
The feel of lush grass under bare feet is undeniable, but you may find that you would get more use out of your limited space with a paver patio. This patio could be broke up into several zones such as a kitchen/dining area, lounging area, and hot tub. And then the patio could be surrounded with lush greenery for a sense of enclosure and privacy.
Use One Surface Material
Continuous pavers throughout create a cohesive space without a lot of visual clutter. You can use different materials—for example a paver patio and a wooden hot tub surround—but you may want to minimize accents and borders for a cleaner look.
A multi-level landscape can create the illusion of more space by breaking up the space visually, and makes the best use of a sloped lot. The multi-level approach also helps to define spaces with different purposes.