The best design for small backyard landscaping will typically be one that takes advantage of the space available and creates an area in which you will be happy to live. Different people will typically prefer different designs, both for aesthetic reasons and simply due to the different natures of people’s yards, though certain principles are often universally applicable. You will want to find a type of small backyard landscaping that does not make the yard feel small and takes advantage of what is already present in the yard to enhance the overall appeal of the space.
Small backyard landscaping should first and foremost not make the yard feel smaller, and there are a number of ways in which this can be achieved. One way is to use the space within the yard effectively, while also not placing too much within the space. Overuse of the space in the backyard can ultimately make the area feel cramped, and that typically makes an area seem even smaller.
In specific terms, some of the best designs for small backyard landscaping take advantage of minimalism and fewer attractive elements than a large yard. Where a large yard may have several ornately shaped or placed bushes, a smaller space would likely only have one or two such pieces. Small backyard landscaping should allow the space to still feel open and usable by those viewing the yard and those within it. For example, if you already have a fence around the property line of your backyard, you might consider ivy or similar creeping plants to add color and visual appeal to the yard without adding anything that will make it feel smaller.
This can be especially useful if you have lush grass or bushes in the yard as well, since the entire area will take on a single aesthetic sensibility. You should then try to create one or two strong focal points. For example, if you have a rose bush or small flower garden, then the rest of the landscaping should serve to enhance this focal point, not hide or detract from it.
If such a focal point is not against your house, then you might create a small path running to the feature. This would encourage guests to get closer to the focal point and visually draw someone’s eye along the path to the feature. You will likely also want to keep the small backyard landscaping to a minimum because too many large plants could easily overwhelm the yard and make it impossible for you or your guests to move around and enjoy the space.