Try these Side Yard Ideas to Transform an Ordinary Space into an Extraordinary Garden!

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The following article is one that I wrote and submitted to Ezine Articles regarding transofrming side yards into shade gardens and cottage gardens.

After you read the article be sure to see more information below for other side yard ideas.

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How to Transform an Unused Side Yard Into a Beautiful New Cottage Garden and Shade Garden

To give you an idea of how to transform your unused side yard I will use my own yard as an example.

I enjoy landscaping and take advantage of every opportunity I can to create new flower beds and gardens in my landscape. I had an unused side yard that was just a pass through to the backyard. It was a plain, boring space that was in need of updating.

The backyard is surrounded by fencing. The fencing is needed to secure our dogs and provide privacy. We decided to move a section of the fence forward, closer to the front of the house to include the side yard as part of the backyard.

To do a project like this we had to make other adjustments including - remove an unattractive gazebo.

There had to be some fill dirt brought in and placed where the sunken gazebo had been. But the end result was even better than originally foreseen.

Once all of the obstacles were removed in order to extend the fencing, the construction began. The need for added privacy was a priority. So, to make the new area more private - a row of Rose of Sharon bushes was planted next to the new chain link fencing to add more privacy. These bushes were small seedlings that had grown in areas near established Rose of Sharon bushes in another flower garden. It is very easy to get new starts from this type of bush. Rose of Sharon's are hardy and fast growing with beautiful long lasting blooms in late summer. The cottage garden area gets partial sun.

All sod was removed from the area in order to plant the new bushes. Once the Rose of Sharon bushes were in place I seeded the remaining area with marigold, zinnia and sunflower seeds. It grew into a beautiful informal cottage garden look. And all of the plants were free, because of using transplants and seed that had been saved from the previous year.

The need for a pathway was becoming obvious because this area was turning into a high traffic area. The new garden looked so nice the space was no longer unused. So, again sod was removed to make a curved pathway. Class I sand was shoveled into the pathway and allowed to settle for several months. Later the cottage garden area was covered with large river rock and the pathway was covered in Ken Lite stone. The contrasting colors and textures of the stone materials adds interest and looks great together.

This left only a small amount of sod in the area in front of a shaded planter that was built against the house. This area is where the new shade garden would be created. Various divisions from perennials in the other flower gardens along with a few low growing evergreens provided a great start for the new shade garden. Plants included lambs ear, perennial hibiscus, various vines, black eyed Susan, juniper and others.

Some of these plants are not full shade tolerant, but the area gets just enough sun for them to thrive. The great thing about taking flowers from other gardens is that they are free! If they don't grow like they should they can always be given another home in another garden.

The planter and the space in front of it were covered in large river rock to match the other side of the pathway where the cottage garden exists. Now the back yard has a new addition filled with lots of color and interest from the various stones, plants, and outdoor decor items in the space. The shade garden and cottage garden are both favorite places among all of the flower gardens, instead of just a pass through to the backyard. And the new gardens add color and look very nice from the street too.

Use these examples to create beautiful flower gardens in your side yard today.

Visit to view photos of the project and get more ideas for your garden.

Freda K Eckel is the owner and webmaster of The website provides inspiring tips, information and suggestions on ways to make improvements and updates to your home and garden, yourself, so you save money, and express your personal style within your surroundings.

Get ideas for backyard projects, storage, basement remodeling, kitchen remodeling, creating flower beds, improving curb appeal, creating a secret garden, building a pergola and much more.

The examples featured on the website are her own personal upgrades to her home. There are also lots of money saving Specialty Stores for home decor, tools, books, garden supplies and anything related to your home.

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Additional Side Yard Ideas

While one side of most homes has shade usually the other side is more sunny.

In order to make the landscape look better if you landscape one side yard you should landscape around the other side as well. The type of garden or landscaping used does not have to be the same as the other side yard.

Here are soome more side yard ideas.

Attached one or more Wrought Iron trellis's to your house and grow vines such as morning glory or hyacinth bean vine on them. Then do this - this side yard idea works great for side yards that do not offer alot of space.

Create a flower bed that is filled with perennials and container plants. The wrought iron and the planters add interest to an otherwise straight side yard garden.

I have a color scheme of purple,yellows, appricots, golds and bronze by using hyacinth bean vine, roses, and mums on the trellis's in this side yard garden. The flower bed is covered in stone, with a stone border and only takes up 2 feet of space out into the yard. It goes the entire width of the house.

The side of the driveway is now a planter filled with verigated ivy vine that grows over the paver stone landscape wall.

This allows enough room to pass by the house with ease when moving a utility trailer into the backyard to deliver mulch, stone, or whatever is needed to work on a project.