Give the Side Yard New Purpose

By Kimberly Toscano

Not sure what to do with that narrow space alongside the house? Find inspiration for putting that overlooked real estate to good use.

Create an Inviting Transitional Space

Functionally the side yard often serves as a connection between the front and back yards, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Create a passageway that says “Come on in!” by formalizing the walkway with pavers or gravel and planting along the path’s edges. Define space with Baby Gem™ Boxwood and add color through compact flowering plants like Ever Sapphire™ Agapanthus. And just because the space is narrow doesn’t mean the path has to be straight.

Functionally the side yard often serves as a connection between the front and back yards, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Create a passageway that says “Come on in!” by formalizing the walkway with pavers or gravel and planting along the path’s edges. Define space with Baby Gem™Boxwood and add color through compact flowering plants like Ever Sapphire™Agapanthus. And just because the space is narrow doesn’t mean the path has to be straight. 

Room with a View

There are no rules stating window boxes need be reserved only for publicly-viewed locations in the landscape.

There are no rules stating window boxes need be reserved only for publicly-viewed locations in the landscape. Why not hang one outside that window overlooking the alley or driveway and wake up to lush foliage and flowers each day? Or perhaps you are tired of looking at the boring fence outside your bedroom window. What better place to plant a ‘Taiga’ Clematis or Yellow Lady Banks Climbing Rose

Carve Out Space to Work

What better place than the side yard for setting up a work station?

Small gardens often suffer from lack of work space. As gardeners, we want to fill every available inch with plants leaving little room for composting or storing tools. What better place than the side yard for setting up a work station? Water is often easily accessible and the site is centrally located between the front and back yard. No more potting plants on the patio.

Dress Up the Driveway

Goodbye drab walls and fences, hello color! Sometimes the side yard serves as little more than a driveway or parking space. This concrete jungle provides the perfect “blank slate” for creating a garden oasis to welcome you home at the end of a long day.

Goodbye drab walls and fences, hello color! Sometimes the side yard serves as little more than a driveway or parking space. This concrete jungle provides the perfect “blank slate” for creating a garden oasis to welcome you home at the end of a long day. Even the smallest patch of earth lends opportunity for planting, whether in the ground or in containers. 

Make the Most of Limited Living Space

Side yards are often disconnected from busier areas of the landscape, offering an ideal place to add a quiet sitting area or meditation garden.

Side yards are often disconnected from busier areas of the landscape, offering an ideal place to add a quiet sitting area or meditation garden. The narrow space provides a sense of intimacy and seclusion to help you unwind or enjoy quiet conversation. Grab a cozy chair and your favorite container to start building your side yard hideaway today.  

Divide and Conquer

Long linear spaces often feel a bit disorienting, so go ahead – break the side yard up into even smaller rooms.

Long linear spaces often feel a bit disorienting, so go ahead – break the side yard up into even smaller rooms. Yes, smaller. Treat the area like you would a living room and designate spaces for different uses such as sitting, working, or storage. Then put tall plants like ‘Angyo Star’ Fatshedera to use in providing separation between active and restful spaces.

Grow Up!

Make the most of vertical space in your side yard garden by incorporating plants with a slim profile and plenty of height.

When space is limited, every surface matters. Make the most of vertical space in your side yard garden by incorporating plants with a slim profile and plenty of height. ‘Scarlet’s Peak’ Holly fits the bill, adding year-round color to the tightest of gardens. Click here to discover additional Tall and Slender Shrubs for Tight Spaces.

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