Redesign for long, narrow side yard with path
I'm struggling with redesigning my long, narrow side yard. This part of the yard is approximately 7' wide and 50' long running between the neighbor's 6' wooden fence and my house. It also has the main path between the front and back yards. Back in 2006, I addressed the drainage issue (house was lower than soil in this area)by removing soil and adding a french drain that runs the length from the back of the house to a rain garden in the front yard. Mostly due to lack of funds, I recreated the path (which had previously been grass) using mulch.
This year is definitely the time to redesign this area. Its current issues are:
-Constant fighting with the weeds in the mulch path
-Path is to narrow and a little too curvy
Additionally, I'd love to combine this redesign to extend all the way back to the garage. The back of this long narrow yard is at the back door of the house. Between the back door and the garage (~16') I have a grassy area with a flagstone path. This area is about 12'wide between the neighbors fence and our pond on the edges of it. Currently there's an herb garden along the fence and a bbq also by the fence at the end of the path (by the back of the house).
The issues with this area are:
-The current herb garden has a bind weed infestation that I'm tired of fighting
-The bbq grill (located next to the path near the back of the house) makes the narrow yard even narrower
-This is the part of the back yard we see the most, and it's the least pretty and inviting part.
So, things to consider at this point are
-what material to make the long path from
-where to place it in the narrow yard, and if there should be landscaping on both sides.
-where to move the bbq grill
-do we want a 2nd little patio area between the garage and house (incorporating the bbq?)
-remove the grass from this area too?
I have an alternate location for the herb garden (on either side of the back door), So I'm just as happy to open that area for something better.
Here is a link that might be useful: Current Landscaping