When it comes to backyards, bigger isn’t always better. Especially if you can customize your space by using some of these inspiring ideas we’ve compiled for you! We promise your petite backyard will benefit from some simple and stylish tricks, like patio string light ideas that help set the mood around the outdoor bar, pergola, and gazebo, or browse innovative backyard ideas that might even include a water feature or two! We’ve also found the best patio plants, great ground cover flowers and plants, healing plants, and even low-maintenance flowers and greenery that will add plenty of visual interest to your outside retreat.
But perhaps you haven’t been blessed with a green thumb and struggle to keep your plants alive? No problem! We have plenty of backyard solutions for you that don’t require getting your hands dirty, pruning, watering, fertilizing, or any of those other tedious gardening tasks. And if you’re short on backyard storage space, we have plenty of great solutions for that, too—from fabulous projects sheds to cozy benches with plenty of incognito spaces to tuck things away. This is your chance to make your small but mighty backyard your very own oasis (maybe with some pretty new outdoor rocking chairs for your back porch?), and the good news is you don’t need to spend a lot of time or money doing it. After all, shouldn’t the goal of summer be to to enjoy your outdoor spaces without having to constantly worry about maintenance and upkeep? We think so!
Set the (Outdoor) Table
All it takes to dress up an outdoor table is a simple tablecloth or runner, and viola! You’ve added a little polish for an outdoor party or even just a little nicer-than-usual family dinner.
Set Up a Potting Station Bar
When it’s time to host the next backyard bash, put away your tools, slide over the plants, and serve drinks and snacks atop your potting station.
Make DIY Hanging Planters
If you don’t have the ground space to showcase potted plants, go up! You can take on a DIY hanging planter project—here, inexpensive planters are wrapped in vintage scarves.
Consider relocating some of your more weathered possessions out to your backyard. These potato chip tins are now charming flower pots.
Hang String Lights
Hang outdoor string lights above your outdoor dining table or sitting area to create the ultimate mood lighting.
Storage with Style
Save space by relying on a sturdy bench that doubles as a roomy storage unit (think toys, gardening tools, and the like).
Hang Herbs Along an Outdoor Wall
Believe it or not, a hanging file organizer is an outdoor space-saving unsung hero. Compress your herb garden by planting within the vertical pockets, then attach to the side of your porch or garage.
Capitalize on Fence Space
If your backyard fence could use some love, optimize valuable lawnscape and use the area as a canvas for a prosperous container garden.
Consolidate clutter by crafting a garden tool organizer. We’re loving this project’s use of a metal rake head for easy hanging.
Repurpose a Vintage Mailbox
Give an old mailbox some TLC to transform it into the dreamiest outdoor planter. It hardly takes up any space, yet still packs a huge punch.
Set up a Small Backyard Fountain
Incorporate a small water feature for big impact. This rustic fountain consists of stacked wooden barrels to utilize the vertical space.
Try a Tree Stump Planter
If you’ve got an old tree stump in your backyard, rejoice—they make the most beautiful planters.
Hang a Colander Planter
Hanging your plants leaves extra space below; plus, these colorful colanders make the most adorable vessels for flowers.
Make a Murphy Bar
No room for a fancy bar? Try installing a Murphy bar outside, which simply folds down into a table whenever you’re ready to use it! The shelves are perfect for storage, and you can stack cute plants on top.
Tiered planters will maximize the ground space you have available for planters and herb boxes.
Instead of planting horizontally, plant vertically! Use a wood trellis, tin cans, and IKEA pot hangers to recreate this look.
Lay Faux Grass
Offering the illusion of luscious green lawn, a faux-grass rug will help make your patio space look bigger than it really is.
Design Succulent Wall Art
Use a rectangular plastic tray divided into planting cells to display an enchanting succulent garden like this one.
Repurpose Coffee Cans
We didn’t need an incentive to drink more coffee, but now we’re glad we have one.
Make a Mason Jar Herb Garden
Use some Mason jars to plant a cute herb garden that can even be displayed inside your kitchen.
Stack Your Planters
Stack your planters to make a tiered herb garden.
Build a Mini Storage Shed
Repurpose old doors and windows into a cute mini gardening shed, just big enough for all of your essential tools.
Start Off Small
Terrariums are a great way to decorate any indoor or outdoor space—and they’re super low maintenance.
Create a Small Water Feature
Want a water feature, but don’t think you have enough room to install one? Not anymore.
Hang a Garden
Another way to cram more greenery onto a backyard patio with minimal square footage—hang your plants in tiered baskets.
Make your own vertical garden by stacking crates. Make sure to reinforce them with wood planks!
Dedicate a Corner
Use a rolling cart to hold a miniature herb garden that can be brought inside or kept outside.
Invert Your Tomatoes
Tressling and the upkeep of tomato vines can take up a lot of space. So, hang your tomatoes from the roof instead.