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How Do You Maximize a Small Yard with Landscape Design?

As our homes grow bigger, our landscapes grow smaller. What are we to do? Do we simply throw out our plans for an outdoor fire pit, a flagstone patio or a cozy reading bench next to a bubbler? You have these dreams for a reason because as people we long to be outside.  Being outside is important and a growing body of research links time spent outside to key health factors including everything from reducing stress to improving our ability to focus. Connecting with nature starts in your own backyard. Like all things, having a plan can help save time and energy.

First, although we may look at a small space and think about our limitations, what we really should do is think about our opportunities. Small spaces require less maintenance, which means more time for enjoyment.  Also, they can often be landscaped at a lower cost and still provide a basic level of coziness. To get the best design for small outdoor spaces consulting with a landscape professional, like Nick Engel, will come in handy.

According to Nick, before we start designing, we need to think about three things:

#1. Your Space: Seems like a no-brainer and many times it boils it down to a number.  For example, let’s say 12’ by 8’. What this number lacks are key factors like weather, grade and especially soil type, which are all important elements of your space. 

#2. Function: What you want to do in your space. Whether you want to entertain, relax or try your hand at a small vegetable garden, figuring out that function is an essential part of starting your landscaping project.

#3. Strategic movement: How you enter/exit the space and move about it. The most beautiful landscape can become inaccessible if movement is not considered. Be strategic about where you want seating areas or other features, make sure they are easily accessible in your strategic movement plan.

Now that you have taken care of the basic elements, it is finally time! Plants and décor are likely one of your favorite parts of the landscaping process. Give Nick a call: 402-467-1627 or send him an email at


Published: March 23, 2018