How to Create Gardening and Entertaining Space in a Small Yard
LESLIE: Jackie in Illinois is looking for some small garden-décor tips. What’s going on? Tell us about your space.
JACKIE: I just purchased my home. It’ll be a year the second of next month. And my yard is big enough for me but yet small enough for anybody else. What I would like to do is put a garden area up along the west side of my fence without having to dig the yard up and make the yard look real tacky. Do you have any hints, suggestions, ideas?
LESLIE: So, you have a fence along this one wall. You want to put a garden or a flowerbed in front of that. What is the rest of the space?
JACKIE: Well, it’s – my backyard is fenced in.
JACKIE: And from my garage, which is on the east side of the property, clean clear to the west side, I get plenty of sunlight.
LESLIE: OK. But is it grass? Is it patio?
JACKIE: The biggest portion of the yard is grass. I’ve got a small patio area right next to the garage. And if I could just put a flowerbed or a place that I can put a small garden, it’s what I would like to do. I’d kind of like to use the landscape lumber but I don’t know how much to get or how to go about putting it up.
LESLIE: Alright. Well, my first thought, since you’ve got this patio area in front of the garage and the garage is probably just a blank wall of whatever the siding material is, my first thought is to do a great, little seating area in front of there.
And you need to think about, you know, are you looking to sit at a table or do you want to sit at a small settee, a little couch area with a chair? So think about how you would like to use that space. Are you looking for eating and entertaining or more like lounging and relaxing?
JACKIE: Mainly eating and entertaining.
LESLIE: Yeah. So definitely a table, umbrella, some chairs there. That’s great and does not have to cost a ton of money. I mean you can find some at home centers, department stores that specialize in home décor, for very affordable amounts.
Now, on that back wall with the garage that’s kind of lackluster, you can either do a trellis with some potted plants on either side, with a climber, like a clematis or an ivy or a night-blooming jasmine, something that will sort of grow up and out of the pots and onto the trellis.
I did this on the side of my garage with two potted clematis and I have this beautiful, wrought-iron trellis that I found that I’ve put twinkling white Christmas lights on and the clematis sort of takes over it in the summer months and blooms and smells fantastic. And it’s just lovely to sit in front of. You can do something like that very inexpensively and very easily, as well.
Now, as far as a flowerbed on the opposite side, you’re really not going to sacrifice that much yard space if you do dig up a portion of that lawn. And that really is the best way to do it to create a flowerbed.
And what you can do is you can use either that landscaping lumber or even stones – river rock or fieldstones – stacked up to create a little wall for a flowerbed. Just remove that layer of grass, fill it in with potting soil and plant away. And that really is a great way to create a flowerbed. And if you go sort of creatively with your shape and edge it a bit, you’re not giving up that much lawn space.
JACKIE: I thank you so much for your help and I greatly appreciate it.