2131 Princes Hwy (Cnr Cambro Rd) Clayton Vic 3168

Phone: (03) 9755 6811

5 Landscaping Tips for Small Backyards

February 23 2018 – Bernie Cummins

5 Landscaping Tips for Small Backyards
5 Landscaping Tips for Small Backyards

Feeling a little uninspired by your small backyard? Here are 5 of the top international landscaping trends you expect to see popping up in the Garden City.


LESSON OF THE DAY - Space is always an issue when planning to landscape an urban backyard, but actually, there are endless possibilities.

Living in the city centre has its perks: you’re within walking distance of shops, you’re close to work, and there are limitless options for entertainment. But living in an urban environment does have its downsides, like potentially landing up with a small garden space. If you're struggling for inspiration, here are 5 international landscaping trends to follow.

Open the Space Up

Outdoor Lounge Area

When planning the layout of your backyard make sure there aren’t too many things happening in your space. Try keeping the area under your feet uniform and easy to navigate, either choose grass, decking or paving, but not all three! Not only will this make your yard feel larger it allows you to play with pot plants and outdoor furniture, which are easily moved and changed - after all variety is the spice for life.

If you do want to go for grass, remember you’ll need to provide direct sunlight and lots of water. Artificial grass has come along way from the tacky, bright green plastic used at putt-putt courses. Nowadays you can get amazing textures that look beautiful and are drained making them pet-friendly (which is a bonus for those of us who remember the undrained and smelly varieties of the past). Obviously, they’re more environmentally friendly because they don’t need to be watered. ALSO - creating uber-green spaces is all the rage.

Green All the Way Up

Internationally, the "greenscaping" of walls has taken off. While Pinterest will show you a million and one amazing pictures of hanging/vertical herb and vegetable planters made out of timber, don’t blindly follow this without reading up on the plants you want, pre-garden centre visit.. Most edible plants need full sun, lots of water, and a good amount of root space to grow. They may not do well in small pockets, and a lot of those Pinterest posts are staged #FakePosts with fully grown plants, which are placed in the pockets just for the photographs! That being said, there’s nothing wrong with experimenting, so you definitely should try out different plants, without breaking the bank, obviously.

But in the end you can’t go wrong with a scattering of succulents.They need little to no root space, minimal sunlight, and require very little maintenance. Also they do extremely well on walls and come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, and colours. To be honest, getting bored of succulents would be like getting bored of London - as the expression goes.

Eat from your Garden 

Edible Garden

However, if you’re really invested in growing an edible garden, you’d be on trend, and for good reason! Nothing is more satisfying than enjoying produce that you’ve grown yourself. Internationally, there has been a major drive towards more sustainable living and knowing where your food comes from.

If you go the veggie gardening route, make sure to choose an area in your yard that gets the most sunlight. However, if the plants require additional shade, an outdoor metal garden screen would work well. As mentioned before vertical gardening, while gorgeous to look at, is not your best option here. What tends to happen in small urban yards is these plants are mounted high up on walls so they can get to more light.

This requires the installation of a drip sprinkler system as climbing a ladder with a hose pipe is always tricky. More cons are the previously mentioned root space issue, leading to smaller, less abundant fruiting, and if the produce is too high to reach you won’t want to harvest on a regular basis. Save the edibles for ground planting.

An alternative to vertical gardening is to grow fruit creepers like grapes or passion fruit. Not only do they produce food, they also provide shade. Before planting a large creeper think about whether you need shade year-round (if your vine is evergreen) or whether you want to let in more light during winter (if you have a deciduous plant).

Another option for going the urban farming route is to plant your produce in large pots or planting boxes. These, while potentially beautiful, will take up loads of ground space and are generally better for ornamental plants. They can however, help create stunning settings by framing areas around the yard.

Whatever direction you take remember to tier your edible plants and group them properly, as many plants help each other to grow better or avoid pests. Tomatoes and basil are a great combination, because basil may deter tomato pests. They’re also easy to grow. Planting in 2-3 week intervals will ensure that you have produce throughout the harvesting season. Vegetables do take daily work, so, if you’re willing to put in the time, following the edible garden trend is great. Also, your guests will never stop talking about picking their own salad ingredients! 

Upcycle and Create Entertainment Areas

Outdoor Patio & Decking

Recycling wood is a very popular trend in 2018.

Outdoor furniture trends in 2018 will be rustic, with earthy tones and raw textures that will subtly blend in to your small, urban spaces. Worn and rusted metal features can also be used to bring in a natural feel, as if the garden has taken over. They can even be made into a cool focal point. This is where Pinterest is your friend.

However, you should also remember that every piece in your small space needs to have multiple uses. After all, your outside space should be a garden hideaway, but at the flip of a switch should be able to accommodate a few mates around the open-pit barbecue.

Bamboo & Natural Materials

Natural Bamboo Wood for Screening

To decorate your backyard, you do not have to look towards treated timbers, or concrete, nor metal as in today’s options for décor, natural hardwood & bamboo materials have emerged as popular choices. These materials have been tried and tested to be durable & hardy enough for outdoor usage, whilst being adaptable and appealing in a wide range of environments. In 2018, you aren’t limited to using bamboo or natural materials in Japanese / Chinese aesthetics, as they are readily transplanted in modern, contemporary Australian settings as well. Bamboo gets a big tick for being environmentally friendly, as well as sustainable, due to their extremely rapid growth compared to old growth trees.

Aesthetically Pleasing, Privacy Screening to Complements your Style.

Merbau Timber & Rust Matrix Screening on Stone Wall


Within urban environments, particularly higher density areas that contain townhouses, villa homes & apartments, home owners have modern privacy issues to consider. However traditional privacy solutions have been largely unaesthetically pleasing, which can detract from the look & style of your backyard.

In 2018, Privacy Screens have adapted to this issue, by being flexible with your décor. Nowadays, rather than being unappealing and bland, screening has been designed with modern aesthetics in mind, now being manufactured from a range of materials (Rusted Corten Screens, Timber Screens, Galvanised Metal, Composite Screens, Bamboo Screens & Natural Hardwood Screening), in different designs.

You now have the power to choose your privacy screening in a manner that is adaptable to your style and can transform the way your home looks, whilst blocking out prying eyes from neighbours, without making your backyard feel like a cold, harsh jail.


If you want your small backyard to be on trend for 2018, make sure to create an organic space that you can adapt, is green as well as responsible, use decorative screening methods (in either timber, metal or composite) to regain privacy from neighbours and is easy to manage - natural looking is great but messy is never in vogue.

For those who feel like they have no DIY skills, feel free to give us a call and we’ll help you landscape your space into 2018.