What are the Best Plants for a Small Backyard Garden?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2019
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The best plants for a small backyard are those that will help to maximize the space without overpowering the space. Planting vines that will cover a gate, a fence, or even a trellis is a great way to turn a horizontal surface into a green space. This also helps even small gardens to feel lush and full of life. Be sure to choose plants that can be easily pared back or plants that will not grow too large. Potted plants, including potted herbs and vegetables, also allow you to create dimension in a small backyard garden.

Very small back yards are sometimes best outfitted with potted plants. One of the best things about potted plants is that the can be rearranged as necessary. A small backyard garden can be prepped for a party by moving all of the plants to one area of the garden and by moving a few inside. This also allows people to enjoy plants that need to be kept inside during the winter. Potted plants can also be arranged on risers so that they are both visible and accessible, even when they are arranged in layers.


Incorporating colorful flowers is a wonderful way to accent a small backyard garden. It is usually best, however, to choose just one or two colors for a small backyard garden. Three or more colors of flowers can make a small garden feel too busy and full. Another way to incorporate color into a small backyard garden is to plant flowers that have blossoms of similar color. This is a great way to create a colorful garden that does not seem overpowered by too many colors in one small space.

For those who enjoy cooking with home grown herbs and vegetables, even a small backyard garden can be turned into a vegetable patch. A variety of vegetables and herbs can be grown in even very small spaces. This is also true for gardens in which the plants are primarily kept in pots. Many herbs and vegetables can be grown in pots.

If the area does not already receive shade from an awning or nearby trees, then consider creating shade with a garden arch or a small pergola. These structures will provide a bit of shade on their own, but will be most effective when they are covered in vines. This is also a good way to create a sitting area in the back yard that can be used during fair weather.


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Post 3

@croydon - I guess it all depends on what the person wants to do with it. I don't really like the look of a rockery, and I'd rather use my small backyard for vegetables and herbs. It's amazing what you can actually fit into a small space if you do some research and tend it carefully.

I also have quite a few fruit trees in pots (because we move a lot and I don't want to lose them if I have to move again).

The only thing that I've found difficult to fit into the space is the composting bin, but I've got a miniature one that works in the kitchen.

I didn't really use any special plants, either, I just decided what I wanted and then figured out a way to make it all fit. I'm quite proud of my vegetable garden design as well.

Post 2

@umbra21 - It might even be worth bringing in a profession to do a bit of garden design so that you can make the most of the space. It probably won't cost as much as it would if the space was bigger, and that way you can get it organized exactly the way that you need it to be.

Often people have small backyards because they don't want to do much work on them. If that's the case, I'd go with something like a rockery, which can look wonderful with professional advice.

Post 1

A neat trick I saw in a magazine lately for a small backyard is to arrange it around an outdoor mirror. If you put the plants in the right places, it can help to create the illusion that there is more to your backyard than is actually there.

You might also want to consider using layers, rather than putting all your plants on the same level. Use hanging baskets of flowers and install shelves that can carry different pots.

There are lots of landscaping ideas for a small backyard, so that you can make the most of the space. I'd just go to the library and see what I could find.

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