Introducing an elevation change to a small backyard can identify a dining area that can be enhanced it with a bistro set or other small scale outdoor furniture. A statue, fountain or trellis placed toward the back of the yard de-emphasizes the yard's smaller size by focusing on a wider view. Effective grouping of colorful low-maintenance plants in containers creates privacy and reduces watering and weeding.
Small backyards lend themselves to interesting nooks and hidden spaces. A nook for reading and relaxing is easily created by selecting a comfortable outdoor chair, adding a small side table and screening the view beyond with a small mid-height fence surrounded by colorful plantings. Vertical interest creates the illusion of space when an ordinary exterior wall is the background for a dramatic espalier or a trellis accented with beautiful flowering vines.
Because horizontal space is minimal, dwarf shrub and tree selections that grow more vertically are best in a small yard. In a sunny location, varieties of sage, thyme and rosemary can combine with flowering perennials for scent and edible texture. For a more extensive kitchen garden, a raised bed area provides space to grow fresh produce on a small scale. A crisply edged lawn clearly defines the division between grass areas and shrub and flower beds, and the addition of several pots, planters or hanging baskets adds color and personality to the tiniest backyard.