When deciding on the best plants for a small backyard, you first need to consider what you’re trying to achieve. Typically, you’ll be wanting to make plants the focal point, have your garden look bigger by blurring boundaries, and disguise unsightly walls and fences.
As you don’t have the option of quantity, focus on quality. A few carefully chosen, well-placed plants can transform the look of a small space. Given the cramped conditions, you’ll need to consider your planting scheme carefully to allow enough space for plants to reach their full potential. Limiting your colour scheme may also help create a more unified look. Climbing Plants
Climbers are perfect for disguising unattractive fences as they draw the attention away from the structure beneath and create a point of interest. Annual or perennial climbers can be used to transform brick or concrete, while vines that grow over arbours provide a canopy that both creates shade and generates sweet-smelling blooms. Espaliered Plants
Blurring boundaries and creating a green focal point can be achieved by the espalier technique. Espalier is when a plant or tree is trained to grow on a wall or fence. It can be used effectively on solid windowless walls and is often used to add greenery to drab brick surfaces. There are many plants and shrubs that can be used for this technique, but keep in mind that you want the height of the mature tree to match the height of the wall or fence. Trees and Shrubs
While a Moreton Bay fig might be out of the question, there are plenty of trees and even more shrubs that will thrive in a small backyard. Dwarf varieties, lower-growing trees and flowering trees are best. Trees and shrubs are also great in pots or raised garden beds
if your area is paved, and you can take them with you if you move house. Great trees to use in a small yard include the magnolia little gem, magnolia soulangiana, agonis ‘burgundy’, coral bark maple and acer palmatum ‘sango kaku’. Flowering trees such as crepe myrtle and crab apple usually do well in tight spaces, as do varieties of dwarf fruit trees, such as lemon and lime. Examples of small to medium shrubs you should consider include westringia, correa, banksia ‘birthday candles’ (a dwarf form of the banksia) and callistemon ‘Little John’ (a dwarf bottlebrush). Low-growing and mondo grass
To break up small stark areas that contain concrete slabs, pavers or tiles, plant mondo grass. You can also use it as a lawn in light traffic areas, or as a border for a more formal look. Low-growing grass varieties that also work well include liriope, dwarf flax, lomandra tanika and dianella.
With so many vines trees, shrubs and grasses to choose from, the only real limit in a small backyard is your imagination. For more great gardening ideas - visit the Bunning's website Planning a fresh coat of paint - try the Colour Selector and Paint Calculator 'Like' us on Facebook Follow us on twitterSign up to our FREE weekly newsletter