Transforming Side Yards into Side Gardens
Sometimes, one area that many homeowners struggle with is what to plant in their side yards. It can be an awkward place with little sun and not much room for plants to grow. Most of these narrow spaces along the side of our home are little more than “yards,” but there is potential to turn them into “gardens.” On a visit to a client’s house, I saw a great example of this, where the homeowner had created side gardens.
Symmetry and Blooms: A Closer Look at the First Side Garden
First, her first side garden was planted with upright Bougainvillea shrubs against the wall with Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) planted in between. I liked the symmetry of the alternating plants. They covered the wall so well – I’m not a fan of a view of a bare wall outside my window.
Lush Green Backdrops: The Other Side of the Side Garden
Most of the time the star jasmine produces small white fragrant flowers in spring. The bougainvillea produces vibrant blooms spring through fall. What is interesting about this plant combination. is that the base of the wall in a narrow side garden rarely gets much sun. The star jasmine does well in the shade. After all, bougainvillea does best in sunny spots. The top part of them gets just enough sun to promote blooms.
In the other side of the garden, Yellow oleander (Thevetia peruviana) trees grew along the wall toward the back. ‘Orange Jubilee’ (Tecoma x ‘Orange Jubilee’) shrubs covered the wall closer up creating a lush green backdrop.
Enhancing Your Side Garden’s Aesthetics
I did make two suggestions in regards to this side garden. Remove the ‘Orange Jubilee’ shrubs growing in-between the yellow oleander trees. Right now, they make that area look overcrowded. You cannot see the beauty and symmetry of the tree trunks against the wall.
Brightening Your View: The Importance of Plants in Side Gardens
If you never see your side garden or it serves as your utility area, you may not want to spend time and money on adding plants. However, I do recommend focusing on placing plants directly across from any windows. For the windows that face into that area, because who wants to look out onto a bare wall?
Want to add art and creativity to your desert side yard? Try these three inspiring ideas.
What do you have growing in your side garden?