What To Do if You Have Just a Little Bit of Outdoor Space

published Jul 9, 2017
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(Image credit: Ben Pentreath)

If you live in a big city, or in a smaller house in a small one, chances are good that your outdoor space (if you have one at all) is pretty small. But just because you don’t have an expansive, suburban-style backyard doesn’t mean you can’t create a beautiful retreat, a place you’ll look forward to escaping to every day. Here’s a little inspiration from nine tiny outdoor spaces.

Even a little outdoor deck with no dirt can still feel like a secret garden, as evidenced by this outdoor space (above) from Ben Pentreath, via Desire to Inspire. The key is using plants with a lot of different heights, to create a feeling of lushness.

(Image credit: Wealden Times)

Gentle steps and numerous planters help to make the most of the side yard of this UK home, spotted on the Wealden Times.

(Image credit: Southern Living)

Here’s another side yard, this one in New Orleans, from Southern Living. Placing the garden in the middle, surrounded by a walkway, means there’s room for growing and also for meandering, even in a space that’s only 14 feet wide.

(Image credit: Lubrano Ciavarra)

This townhouse by Lubrano Ciavarra, in New York’s West Village, has a petite backyard, made slightly less cavelike by the walls of plantings.

(Image credit: Garden Club London)

Plants in different shades and heights create a feeling of lushness in this long, narrow townhouse backyard from Garden Club London.

(Image credit: Paul Zansler)

It’s no secret that I love water features of any kind, so I’m especially impressed with the owners of this New Orleans home, who managed to squeeze a hot tub (and a few plantings, too!) into a very, very narrow outdoor space. It’s proof that it’s possible to create an inviting retreat in even the tiniest of spaces.