Easy Side-Yard Makeover

Calling all weekend warriors! Take that side-yard space from forgotten to functional with this simple-yet-elegant design.

We all have to store our trash and recycle bins somewhere, and most of us do this in our side yards, close to the gate. But there’s no reason why this often-boring, likely underused part of our yard can’t be attractive.

Start with a functional path using flagstones or stepping stones to the bins, add a splash of decomposed granite or pea gravel between them, and then fill up the edges of that narrow space with mass-planted Muhly grassLindheimer’s (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri), gulf coast (Muhlenbergia capillaris) or my favorite, bamboo muhly (Muhlenbergia dumosa).

side-yard makeover with stepping stones and muhly side-yard makeover with stepping stones and muhly

All require almost no supplemental water once established in a dappled shade side yard, making them a water-wise choice.

Muhly grasses gently cascade onto a path softening the edges, and providing texture and movement with the slightest breeze.

This side-yard garden project proves that designs don’t need to be complicated to be functional and beautiful. This one is a simple and fast weekend makeover!

Picture of Heather Ginsburg
Heather Ginsburg
Heather is a Texas tradeswoman through and through! With three state water licenses under her belt, she brings a unique perspective, background and expertise to the SAWS Education team. Heather’s deep understanding of and passion for sharing water knowledge makes her perfectly suited for coordinating and leading SAWS’ education tours. Prior to joining the SAWS family, Heather worked in the private sector as a landscape designer where she spent countless hours helping homeowners create beautiful, water-saving landscapes. Heather, along with her husband Brett and their two children, all strive daily to be kind humans who give back to Mother Earth.
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