Small Space Landscaping

The term “Small space landscaping” can have a variety of meanings in Houston landscaping. It can refer to developing a portion of the yard that is too small for a traditional garden, outdoor building, or hardscape to be installed.

It can also refer to landscaping a yard that is too small to support these forms. Many townhomes, for instance, have very small yards that offer little space to build any of the larger, traditional Houston landscaping elements.

Such areas do not have to go undeveloped, however. There are a number of things that Exterior Worlds can do with these smaller areas that can significantly improve the curb appeal of any property regardless of physical limitations.

Many Houston neighborhoods feature large, asymmetrical lots that require a custom approach to landscaping and gardening. Larger areas of the yard can accommodate swimming pool patios, custom pool design, garden design, outdoor kitchens, courtyard patios, and walkways. Small corners and borders of the yard are often too small to house traditional landscapes or softscapes.

Areas like this can be easily cultivated into aesthetically pleasing, small zones of interest. These small space landscaping projects are normally highly customized by nature due to the unique properties of each small area we work in.


There are a few basic common designs, principles, however, that help guide the process. With these basic tools, we can transform the most insignificant space into one that makes a major contribution to your Houston landscaping plan.

One of the most important guiding principles of small space landscaping is the creation of focal points. In symmetrical areas, this can normally be accomplished with something as simple as a small tree in the center of the area. A gravel bed or small rock garden can then be built around the tree to draw attention to its vertical impact.

A custom fountain is another element that we can build as a focal point in small space landscaping. A fountain can be built out of masonry, decorative concrete, or stone. It can be built to resemble a recognizable form, or it can be highly abstract in nature to support a contemporary style home.

Sometimes, though, a space may be too asymmetrical to benefit from a single vertical focal point like a tree or fountain. In an oddly shaped geometry that lacks a definitive center, too much vertical impact will work against the intended aesthetic by accentuating the irregularities of the environment too much.

In these small spaces, more than one focal point may be necessary to create a sense of order in an environment that by nature lacks order. For example, many homes have fallow areas that run between the wall of the house and the garage.

One end of the space is significantly narrower than the other, creating a very uneven quadrilateral space. Sometimes too, utility meters and exposed piping in these areas makes them extremely unattractive, not to mention unworkable from a conventional lawn maintenance perspective.

Small space landscaping in an area like this might involve building a uniquely shaped covered patio that follows the linear movement of the area. This would provide room for stone benches that would overlook a low level fountain, a small custom garden, and a decorative gravel arrangement that would draw attention to the elements within the zone and minimize the odd shapes of its borders.

Places like this can be private retreats for couples looking for a secluded place away from the world. They can also become some of the most interesting places in your yard, where guests will be genuinely amazed at the high level of creativity that goes into transforming an otherwise neglected area into something unique, special, and truly attractive.