I know that some of our neighbors didn’t want to purchase the steep-hilled lots on the side that we are located on in our duplex home neighborhood. To me though the hill in our yard presents a beautiful backdrop and it is what we see when we look outside from the back of our house. I had so many different ideas in my head when we moved in and I thought I’d share my small yard landscaping ideas with you today.
Last week I shared our new stock tank pool with you and since you couldn’t really see where the pool is located exactly in our yard, I thought I’d also share some more all-over photos where you can see how our small yard is laid out and landscaped.
Small Yard Landscaping Ideas and tips
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Making good use of every inch in your small yard can be a challenge for some. Over time we have made every square inch of our sloped and narrow yard work for our needs while looking nicely landscaped as well.
We have several designated areas in our yard and the yard is actually only about 33 feet wide. There is a play area at the side of the house which could now be taken down since our kids don’t use a playhouse and sandbox anymore but we have kept it up so far for when friends come to visit with their small children.
Our yard also has a paver patio, a cat enclosure, an herb garden, rock stairs leading to a flagstone patio under big sycamore trees, and now our little stock tank pool as well.
Below is a photo of our yard when we moved in and just started to work on the stairs and upper patio. We also didn’t have a fence yet.
The stock tank pool is now on the left side of those stairs and the cat enclosure is on the right side of that hill, leading all the way to the top.
And here are the stairs going up the hill now:
Another view from up top looking down where you can actually see the rock stairs much better than from the bottom. It shows that it’s not as grown in or overgrown as you may think it is from the bottom
The rock stairs are lined with different colored foliage coming from bushes, trees, and a variety of different hostas which are my favorite.
Designating different areas in your small yard landscaping
Creating other designated areas within your garden just like rooms in your home is one of my favorite ways to landscape any yard, not just a small yard like ours.
We sectioned off different areas with rocks and plants to create an intimate feeling. Our patio has a retaining wall with plants behind it and the stock tank pool is located right behind it to the left. (You can read more about the DIY stock tank pool HERE)
A little lounge area right outside the patio sliding door.
And a little seating area under the trees by the stock tank pool. I bought these small teak folding chairs which have the perfect small scale and are surprisingly comfy.
The rock wall and the fact that it is nestled within the hill also give it a cozy and intimate feeling.
Adding different colored and textured plants and rocks
To me the most important thing when “decorating” your landscaping with plants is choosing different textures and colors for interest, just as you would inside your home. Usually, I never pick a plant by its flower color but I try to stick to choosing the plant according to the foliage since that is what you see most of during the growing season.
I mentioned that I love hostas and we have a large variety of them with different-sized and colored leaves. If you aren’t sure what you are doing yet and want to start somewhere, I think adding hostas is a great place to start. Plant the large ones in the back with the smaller ones in the front.
I also like breaking those hostas up with different ornamental grasses like the light green one below or with different ferns. These types of plants alone give you a great variety of textures and colors.
We live in a climate where it gets really cold in the winter which can make it harder to choose plants. What I mentioned above works really well for us in our climate though.
If you live in a warmer climate then you have a lot more to choose from for sure.
Of course, let’s not forget about the texture and colors the rocks add to the landscaping. They are always my husband’s favorite part. He is almost like a caveman collecting big rocks and taking pride in grouping them. LOL
I recently found the perfect faux rock to cover our pool pump that is hidden by the lounge chairs above.
We have a little herb garden to the right of the pool where the rock stairs are leading up to the rock seating area and wall.
Below are also two cellphone photos I took while we were just hanging out one night to show you what the pool looks like at night. We love it!
You might be interested in reading my blog post about my favorite decorative outdoor solar lights that I use in our yard.
Designate an area for your pets
My pets have always plaid a huge role for me when I was growing up with dogs and now loving and owning cats. Designating an area in our yard is a must for us and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
Behind the table, you can see our cat enclosure. A tunnel leads to it from our living room window and another tunnel leads up to our upper patio.
Since I originally wrote this post we bought a new affordable table and chairs for the patio which I love so much.
They love being outside with us this way. It is way too dangerous for them to roam the neighborhood. If you watch my cat enclosure video or pool video then you can hear the gunshots from the outdoor shooting range. We also have cat-hating neighbors and busy streets which is why we feel the need to keep them safe.
The tunnel leads to the below space on the upper patio at the top of our sloped yard.
The next image is an older photo of the upper patio (see more HERE). The smaller enclosure is to the left of the hammock:
I think we were able to fit a lot of special little areas within our tiny, narrow, sloped yard and it is perfect for us. I hope that you were able to get some ideas to use in your own yard.
One more thing, I even treat our front porch as a small room and created a cozy covered area with a vintage rattan sofa that I found on Facebook Marketplace for $50. (or keep checking Craigslist)
Below you can see the new cozy look of our porch: