Easy Side-Yard Makeover

Heather Ginsburg

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!

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