No one wants a small front yard, but if you have one, you’ve got to do what you can with what you have.
And there are ways to trick anyone who looks at your garden and make them see a larger space than there actually is.
You can plant climbers, incorporate a tree that perfectly fits the area, build curving paths, and use lights to add more depth.
Below, you will find 10 amazing ideas that can make your tiny front yard look larger without spending your entire budget.
Let’s get started!
1. Go Vertical
One of the best ways to give the appearance of a larger yard is to blur the lines and borders so that no one can tell for sure where things begin and end.
You can do this by planting fast-growing climbing plants and softening hardscape such as walls, pillars, fences, posts, etc.
These vertically growing plants will add unique interest and color to your garden, making it more aesthetically pleasing.
And if you want a more modern design, you can add green walls all over your garden, and put some succulents in a sunny area or ferns in a shady area.
These vertical lines will make you look upwards and give the appearance of a larger space.
2. Make Room For A Tree Or Two
There are benefits of having more trees in your garden, and even a small front yard should house at least one or two.
Choose a thin, yet tall tree with a unique shape to add structure without overcrowding the space. It will make the space appear more extensive by drawing the attention upwards, while the canopy will give your space more shape and structure.
And just like climbing plants, it will add vertical interest to your garden and save space for other projects you might have. The canopy itself is worth admiring, while the surrounding space makes a great location for a shade-tolerant perennial bed.
Additionally, you can grow trees in containers, just make sure you choose a variety that isn’t too big. This method will also allow you to move your tree around, so you can use it as a privacy screen or a centerpiece.
If you opt for this method, choose deciduous trees to get changing colors and unique visual interest all year long. Smaller varieties are better suited for tiny gardens because they are easier to control and won’t overtake the space.
Japanese maple, birch, and shadbush are excellent choices because they are thin, tall, and turn gorgeous colors come fall.
3. Build A Curved Pathway
Building a walkway in your garden has a double purpose; it allows you to move around more easily and upgrades the entire look of your yard.
And when it comes to pathways, we always tend to choose ones leading straight to our doorstep because it has a certain structure and order.
However, if you want to make your front yard appear larger, build meandering walkways and plant some greenery at its borders to create an illusion that there’s more space beyond the curve.
Curved pathways offer a hint of mystery, strategically hiding and revealing certain parts of the design. As you move along it, you get to new features of the garden, increasing the perception of space and making it appear larger.
If you don’t know which path design to go for, you can always use some of these backyard walkway ideas and apply them to your front yard.
4. Soften The Edges With Plants
Another great way of making your small front yard appear larger is by blurring the edges of flower beds, walkways, driveways, etc. by planting ground covers and perennials that will spill over their borders and soften the transition.
This genius method will trick the beholder’s eye and look amazing in naturalistic and wild gardens.
Low-growing shrubs, evergreens, and perennials are great options for softening the hardscaping in your front yard.
Some of the best border plants for your garden include creeping Jenny, sage, daylilies, yarrow, etc.
All these gorgeous flowers will attract attention to themselves and make you forget how small your garden actually is.
5. Use Shrubs To Frame Patios And Pathways
Shrubs are a staple of small and large front yards alike as they can frame the garden, and give it more structure, depth, and visual interest.
You can use shade-tolerant shrubs in darker corners of your garden where nothing seems to grow or opt for sun-loving bushes in light parts of your yard.
Flowering shrubs are my favorite because they add interest and create an illusion of more space if you use the colors correctly. Intersperse the colorful bushes throughout your garden to get a foreshortened effect on plants and blur the borders to make your yard seem larger.
Long-blooming hydrangeas, fragrant lavender and rosemary, and colorful hibiscus shrubs are perfect for small front gardens.
They don’t require too much care, bloom prolifically, will attract beneficial bugs, and give you the chromatic oasis you’ve always wanted.
Just choose a shrub that can thrive in your area and combine flowering with all-green varieties to create more interest throughout the year.
And the best part is that all these plants can thrive in containers, so you can plant whatever plant you like.
6. Layer Up Plants In Your Doorscape
It’s all about first impressions, and a porch or patio decorated with potted plants and shrubs all the way to your doorstep will certainly leave a positive one.
And the good news is that there are numerous ways you can accomplish this: layering plants up to the doorstep, using shrubs and smaller perennials for more depth and structure, lighting it up, and picking a monochromatic or multicolor scheme.
If you’re just getting into “doorscaping” now, try some winter-flowering shrubs you can plant in fall.
Plants on both sides of the porch or patio will make your entrance seem bigger. Combine perennials, annuals, bushes, and trailing plants to get more interest and create an illusion of a larger space.
Another thing you can do is change the color of your house and its front to a more neutral shade. This will make it more open and provide an amazing contrast to the natural greenery.
7. Add A Focal Point
Adding a statement piece to your front yard may not seem like a lot, but it can make it stand out and look bigger than it actually is if you make the right choice.
You can use any material and design you like, from a uniquely shaped ornamental tree to topiary, statues, a feature wall, or even a small bird bath.
And just so you know, in these situations, less is more. Don’t go for bold and huge statues like Michelangelo’s David. You can simply choose a large flower pot with handles and fill it with cascading plants or add more of them and just lay them around.
If you want your focal point to be modern, go easy with the materials, color palette, and plant choices. Spherical statues contrasting with a dark green lawn and plant pattern with a creamy pathway is all it takes to make your front yard look larger and more attractive.
P.S. Adding statues, vases and pots, and bird baths as focal points will make your garden easier to maintain.
8. Introduce A Water Feature
Water is a powerful way to draw someone’s attention and make your garden seem a lot larger than it actually is.
A small pool, fountain, trough, rill, or even a birdbath can create more interest, especially if you turn them into a focal point. And if you want to go the extra mile, you can grow some plants for around pools and turn your garden into a fairy tale space.
Build a small slope with a pond and fill it with koi fish, or plant a tree near your pool to enjoy its reflection in the glinting sunlight.
And if you want to block traffic or neighborhood noise, get a running water feature to induce peace and calm. These emotions can alter your perception of space and give you a sense of a deeper and more spacious garden.
9. Use Lights To Add Depth
There are numerous modern front yard landscaping ideas, and playing with lighting is definitely on the list.
It can introduce more structure, create a cozier space, and deepen your garden, making it appear larger than it actually is.
Layer up the lighting and lamp posts at different heights to alter the perception of space and make it feel as if there were multiple zones in your tiny garden.
Overhead lamps will give a dramatic effect and frame your entire garden, tucking in tiny lights in potted plants will show them off, while wrapping trees in string lights or turning them into lamp posts will give your garden more depth and dimension.
Finally, choose soft lights instead of bright ones to make your garden more welcoming and cozy.
10. Get A Seating Area
The good news is that there are plenty of low-budget ideas for making a gorgeous garden, and getting a seating area is one of them.
You can use old logs, tree stumps, upcycle tires, etc.
Or you can get two garden chairs and a small table, frame them with potted trees, and use an outdoor curtain to get some coverage from the hot summer sunlight.
You can even place a rocking chair in your favorite spot in the garden, or stretch a hammock between poles or trees to create a relaxing space and use every inch of your garden without overcrowding it.
Strategically place some privacy screens so that they enhance your garden rather than enclose it and make it seem even smaller. A lattice fence is perfect for these situations, especially when combined with metal or wood materials.
Bonus Idea: Making Your Small Garden Look Larger With Mirrors
If you’ve ever had a small room in your home, then you know that a great way to make it appear larger is using mirrors. And you can do the same in your garden!
Place some mirror panels on walls surrounded by plants and hide the edges with climbers or taller shrubs.
The reflection will make your space seem deeper and wider and, at the same time, allow you to enjoy the greenery rather than traffic and your neighbors passing by.
Finally, all these ideas are simply inspiration to get your imagination started and encourage you to try some new things. And don’t forget about potted plants; nothing screams an easy fix like they do!