Give your boring side yard a makeover
It’s easy to forget about side yards, those tricky strips of land between the house and property line like the one you see above. For many of us, these skinny spaces are challenging to landscape. It’s tempting to use them merely as passageways or an area to avoid altogether, where garbage and recycling bins are stowed and compost is piled out of sight. But they can be turned into a pleasant way to pass from the front yard to the back like this one in zone 5 Wisconsin.
What was once a straight grassy path between well-mulched beds becomes all the more pleasant and rewarding with the addition of a flagstone pathway that snakes through beds lined with reliable shrubs, annuals and perennials. Laying flagstone in concrete is costly and difficult. Instead, lay out the path beforehand with a hose in order to get a visual sense of how it will look and install it cheaply and easily on a gravel and sand bed like you see here.
Pathway plant companions
Cheerful yellow zinnias and blue salvia, fragrant white calamint and good old ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum escort you along this path. But it’s the hard-working shrubs that carry the weight of both beds: panicle and smooth hydrangea leading to Double Knock Out® roses and dwarf panicle hydrangea. After all, isn’t the journey more important than the destination?