Long Narrow Backyard Landscaping IDEAS
Defined areas in the yard make the best use of the space.
A narrow lawn often feels small and closed-in even if it is long. The challenge in landscaping and arranging the area is to maximize the space while making it feel like a larger space. Creating a design plan that defines the space and makes the best of the long, narrow area is key before landscape work begins.
Identifying a specific use for each section of the narrow lawn increases the functionality of the space. Outdoor living spaces often include dining, cooking or barbecue, lounging, growing and open grass for playing or general activities. The ways you use the yard help determine the specific areas to include in your backyard. Outdoor cooking and dining spaces are typically near the home so that you can easily retrieve food from inside as needed. The back edge of the narrow lot works well for a secluded lounging area or hidden area for a hot tub or pool. The existing features of the lawn help determine the layout. For example, a shaded area of the lawn works well for a relaxing oasis. Draw the backyard on a piece of paper to get a sense of where each area will go.
A narrow lot requires you to think creatively and use every bit of space available. The perimeter of the yard provides a spot for activities like growing plants without cutting into the large open space in the middle. Create planting beds along the yard’s perimeter to add color through flowers or to grow food. Layering with taller plants at the back and shorter plants in the front adds depth to the backyard. Add shelves or hooks to a fence to hold potted plants. A trellis along the perimeter guides vines upward so they don’t take up much square footage.
Variety in the landscaping choices breaks up the long, straight lines of the yard. One option is to add curved lines into the space. An example is a winding path that leads through the yard to different functional areas, such as a seating area at the end of the yard. A patio or planting bed with curved lines also introduces softer lines. Variety in height, color and texture for elements like plants adds interest and draws the eyes around the space. Even with variety, the colors and elements should go together to avoid a mismatched, clashing landscape.
Make Focal Points
Creating several focal points in the narrow backyard keeps the eyes moving to minimize the feeling of a compact space. You can create a different focal point in each area. For example, you might install a water feature that fits the scale of the yard in a relaxing lounge area. A raised planter full of colorful perennials becomes a focal point in the middle of the yard. The focal points also help define the areas and divide the space. The raised planter might divide the open play area from the seating area near the house.