If your tiny yard is no more than a small concrete space with room for only a lounge chair and a portable camp-size grill, get creative. Try making it “bigger” with these ideas:
DIVIDE THE SPACE.
Yes, even a small space may feel larger if you create “a space within a space,” says Joy Diaz, chief marketing officer at Land Care Inc. She suggests a small wood pergola; you can purchase one at a home improvement store or build one yourself. Another idea is to use a trellis, arbor, or a vine-covered wooden fence to separate a lounge from a small patio table. Having to walk around a “wall” creates the illusion of more space rather than a straight line from one end of the patio to the other.
PLANT A PRIVACY SCREEN.
A few cleverly placed plants can create a more peaceful space, making your outdoor space feel roomier while shielding you from the neighbors’ distractions. J. Scott Williams, a landscape architect at YardApes in New Milford, Conn., recommends a tall, wide bush in a container; trim it to keep it growing up, not out. He tells us that “a larger plant in a small space is dramatic.” Another suggestion is a trellis with some climbing vines to privatize your patio.
ADD A WATER FEATURE.
A water feature doesn’t have to be huge; consider a bubbling birdbath or wall fountain to add a little drama. A black bottom creates a darker surface, reflects the sky and trees, and makes the outdoor space seem bigger.
USE A VERTICAL SPACE.
Maximize vertical space by using walls, railings, or a fence to add space with vines or by creating a living wall of flowers and herbs. A simple idea is to add an attractive ladder against a wall and use the rungs as shelving or brackets for planters or other décor. Check out the internet for ideas using pallets.
EXPAND SPACE WITH A MIRROR.
Just as they do indoors, mirrors can make a small outdoor space seem larger. A tall mirror behind a patch of potted flowers or greenery “makes it look like a doorway into another garden,” Williams says. Even a smaller mirror hung on a privacy fence or wall can increase the spatial effect. Weatherproof your mirror with mirror edge sealer and add outdoor sealant to a wood frame to prevent moisture damage.
Have fun with your small outdoor space! Be creative and enjoy it!