Design ideas for your side yard

June 17, 2016

Most of us can identify an area of our garden that is underutilized. The long lost and forgotten space known as the side yard is the most commonly underutilized and sometimes the most challenging. Often it is out of sight and therefore out of mind.

Everyone wants to maximize usable space in the garden, especially for small yards.


Lynnwood side yard -Before

Lynnwood side yard -Before

This side yard was unused and a maintenance challenge for the homeowner. Even though it was the only area of the yard with good sunlight, they did not use the space. The slope made it difficult for the homeowner to imagine using. The only usable space was the back yard which is dominated by large Douglas Fir trees rendering their time spent in their yard scarce.

Side yard - creating usable space

Lynnwood side yard – After creation of usable space

Creating some level space and addressing the slope with planting beds and boulders we were able to create a great entertaining space for them to enjoy being outside. A small seating area is nestled in-between the water feature and fireplace creating a cozy retreat in the previously unusable side yard.

Don’t need to maximize your side yard to create an entertainment space? There are still more ways to put the space to good use! Here are a few:

  1. Storage area / utility space
  2. Dog run
  3. Vegetable garden- permitting the area gets enough sun
  4. Cutting garden- blooms won’t be missed in the garden if the area is not highly visible
  5. Private garden retreat area- who wouldn’t love a cozy garden area to sip wine and read a book?
  6. Kids garden area / play area
Camano Island side yard vegetable garden

Camano Island side yard vegetable garden

Mukilteo side yard vegetable bed and trellis

Mukilteo side yard vegetable bed and trellis

Woodinville side yard vegetable garden

Woodinville side yard vegetable garden

Bothell side yard utility space

Bothell side yard utility space

Side yards are often not very visible areas of the garden which makes them an ideal utility space.

What is your most underutilized space in your garden?

~ Kryssie

1 comment... (add a comment)

  1. eileen jones corey

    beautiful yards. Makes me want to do something with my back and side yard but when it rains I end up with a rice patty. Thanks for sharing your ideas and pics of what you have granny

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