Landscape Help!!

Alice78February 23, 2013

This is an under used area and I am wanting to do something with it by removing cobblestones and turn it into a grass area with a small side garden against house but unsure if I can as ground slopes towards house slightly as seen in pic, Any advice greatly appreciated

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What zone are you in? How much sun does this area get during the day? How much rain do you get? What type of gardens do you want-herb, flower, veggies? Would you consider just adding raised garden beds to the area?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 9:28PM
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Is there a concern about fixing the drainage of this area so that storm water doesn't run toward the house? Can grade be raised next to the foundation? Do you really want to bring in a lawn mower for a weekly grass mowing for such a tiny space? Why does this small space exist as such... Is there more yard on the other side of fence?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 8:33AM
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melle_sacto(Z9/Sunset 14 CA)

I kind of giggled at your question, Yardvaark, about why this small space exists. Most homes where I live have side yards like this one, or SMALLER. On the other side of the fence is the next door neighbor's side yard, of similar size, and then their house. IDK if that's the case for OP, but it appears that way to me.

OP, what about a raised planter that runs along the length, but is closer to the fence than the house (it looks like the sunny area is along the fence). I wouldn't want to grow grass in that area, either, too much work. Just take out the stones where you put the planter, but leave the rest of them down as a nice walking surface.

Or maybe a pergola along the length of the fence, and take out a few of the stones to plant some pretty vines to grow on the pergola, then maybe have a little sitting area on the stones.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 10:45AM
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With steps, and presumably a door just outside of the picture, it seems like it could be a back yard with a strange fence configuration. But for size, I could believe it a side yard. That it's not clear is why it needs clarification. Alice78, do you know how much more work turf will be to maintain in this small area? It will be inefficient because there is not room to turn a mower at the end of the run.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 1:15PM
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This just might be the perfect spot for a pot ghetto. Not a big collection of dinky containers lined up or piled up - garden centers have nice ceramics, etc., and there are places for interesting architectural salvage. Can't see it in the picture, but is there a water source handy?

I wouldn't take up the stones - nice flat surface for a small table and a chair or two. And there's privacy - something those who don't have it are always wanting.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 2:01PM
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melle_sacto(Z9/Sunset 14 CA)

Sorry I hope I didn't come across as being rude! :-) I just am so JEALOUS of some of the gorgeous acreages that I see here. Where I live that kind of lot size is very uncommon, yet other areas a person would think 1/2 acre is TINY, and here it's pretty BIG!

I want OP to come back soon, I'm curious about the side yard. We have a similarly sized side yard, also paved (paved a little differently). It's along our garage so not really used for much. We keep extra planting pots, tools, wood, garbage/recycling/green waste there. Eventually the plan is to erect a small shed or maybe make a covered outdoor weight bench/weights area.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 7:14PM
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molie(z6 CT)

I think any size yard can be made beautiful and functional with planning and an understanding of your environment. You can end up with a space there that suits your needs and warms your gardening heart, but some issues do have to be addressed.

First, all of Frankielynn's questions are important to answer so folks can offer help that's logical for your situation. And Yardvaark concern about drainage issues was also the first thing that came to my mind. Maybe it's the angle of the photo, but it does looks as if the ground slopes downward towards the house, which would make for irrigation concerns. However, these would not be too difficult to tackle with raised pots/planters placed under the window (if you want plants near the house) and drainage pans underneath them. Several folks suggested raised planters in the yard. The plants in these could be changed out over the seasons to give you a variety of colors and textures. It doesn't appear that this area is big enough for in-ground plants that will mature and spread over time.

I'm also curious about what is behind the fence at the end --- the one with a latticed top --- because that fence does not end at the edge of the house. Is there a sidewalk or other area behind that fence? Can the fence be moved back to the corner of the house? How about replacing this fencing with one done in larger horizontal boards that are slightly lighter in color than the longer fence? This could become a focal area of the garden, especially if you use unique planted pots like Duluthinbloom suggested.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 10:54AM
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garden_crazy(z5 N IL)

I'm zn 5, IL, so I don't know what specific plants would do well for you but climbing roses or clematis would be great on that fence. Some cool garden art could also dress up the view. Even if you don't want to sit out there, it would be a nice view from the window! You could just remove a couple of feet of stones on each side of the patio, I'm guessing there is sand under there that would need to be replaced with some better soil. -Against the house you could add some nice lower shade plants. a slope toward the house would bother me -unless you are on sand. Even the slightest build up of a slope away from the house would be better I would think. I see a vision there with a path between two sides of a garden and a bench at the end where you could sit and enjoy it all. Could be awesome.... I'm running out of space for new things so an empty slate is exciting to me.

Good Luck -GC

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 11:10AM
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