Special Gift Offer

Side Yard Makeover

By: James A. Baggett James A. Baggett
Everybody loves a good before & after — see one Wisconsin gardener’s smart side yard makeover that features easy-care shrubs and perennials.

Side yard makeover before photo: A no-nonsense turfgrass pathway required regular mowing and since it was edged with chunks of rock, it had to be trimmed, as well.

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.

Sideyard-before-and-after: Now this sideyard is anything but boring with a beautiful flagstone pathway with low-maintenance shrubs and perennials.

Informal pathway

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?

You Might Also Like:
Shade Garden Makeover
Low-Maintenance Garden Bed Plan
10 Low-Maintenance Perennials
How to Prune Smooth Hydrangeas in Spring

Meet the low-maintenance plants in this side yard garden

Previous Next
Published: Nov. 19, 2019
Updated: March 30, 2021

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work in the garden. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

GDT_PW Plant Giveaway_300x250_022024

Related Tags

beds borders makeover paths perennials

Also in This Newsletter

Garden Gate

GDT Ad_ItalyTour2024_720x90
Last Week’s Newsletter

April 1, 2021

Spectacular Spring Tulip Garden

Garden pro, Linda Vater, gives us a tour of her impressive spring garden in Oklahoma featuring hundreds of colorful tulips and pretty perennials.

Tabletop Planter Ideas

Spruce up your patio this season with a tabletop planter! Check out these 4 design ideas featuring colorful flowers and foliage to make a big impact in a small container.

How to Plant Potatoes

Thinking about growing potatoes this year? Here are two simple ways to plant potatoes and how to get the best harvest.