How to spruce up the garden beside the walkway to the house?


So many houses are styled where the attached garage juts out from the rest of the house front. This creates a wall beside the walkway to the house that creates shade. I was thinking something pretty and well lit would be nice there. What would you suggest?Thank you :)Michele

q how to spruce up the garden beside the walkway to the house
  9 answers
  • Flipturn Flipturn on Mar 29, 2019

    You have lots going on there with many chopped up different bits of concrete and uneven levels. The first footing down from the porch is onto a piece of rectangular

    concrete. This does not appear to be a bonafide step and looks as though someone put it there just because the yard was too low.

    The land on the right of the walkway looks to me to be higher than the walkway, and the rocks on the right look like they are sliding down towards the walkway.

    This situation with the low walkway will continue to cause problems with drainage and materials sliding into it, irregardless of what you try to do to as you say, 'spruce it up.'

    My suggestion is to first address the need to have the area leveled with the concrete walkway reinforced underneath with additional crush support. Genuine steps should be installed with proper riser heights and tread depths. You may want to consider enlarging the walkway entirely so that is aligned with the front porch or steps.

    Decorating should wait until after this job is done.

    • See 4 previous
    • Flipturn Flipturn on Mar 31, 2019

      Yes, from the picture you posted, it seems that there would be adequate space to curve the sides of the walkway. It is often easier to use poured concrete rather than paving bricks for the walkway without straight sides. I personally like the look of exposed aggregate, as it looks more like rock than basic bland concrete. As well, the surface offers more grip especially when wet, and encourages improved drainage.

      However, part of the job involves constructing a frame first in the desired shape of your new walkway, and preparing the ground surface. It does require strength and a certain amount of physical agility. Although it is not an average diy project, if you are planning to reside in this home for a while, I would advise to hire out and get the job done properly. The results should give you many years of attractive low-maintenance durability.

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Mar 29, 2019

    I’m glad you don’t have bushes there, as the constant watering is not good for either the garage nor the sidewalk.

    Not seeing the rest of your house exterior, I’ve several design concepts, all of which are either arbors, trellises or pergolas. They will need to be either treated lumber or cedar or a combination.

    For example cedar posts will be easier to train wisteria to climb up because of the chemicals in treated lumber.

    I would line the gravel area with large flower pots in whatever accent color you want to introduce.

    For example, dark blue and then paint your front door that same dark blue.

    Phase II, I would put in an edging on the outside of the sidewalk and put pavers over all of the sidewalk and the gravel. The make colors that look similar to your brick.

  • Dfm Dfm on Mar 29, 2019

    Look up shade loving plants for Zip code xxxxx in a google search. Hosta love shade, and have a variety of leaf patterns.

  • Ann Ann on Mar 29, 2019

    If watering is a concern make sure any plant has a deep tray under it so that water doesn't collect on your walkway or in the garage-there are beautiful pots for purchase-then do what Cheryl said about the front door color coordinating with the color of the pots-your gray is a perfect color to enable you to add color

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Mar 29, 2019

    some tall pots/containers with trailing Vinca Vines and smaller pots between them with small Blue Mouse Ear Hostas(these will stay smaller to fit in area) to add color ; could add some battery operated outdoor lights on timer or plug in if electric is available; here are what Mouse Ear Hostas look like here are what Vinca Vine looks like both grow in full shade

  • Jan Clark Jan Clark on Mar 29, 2019

    Depending on where you live and how much heat gets reflected off the brick, you might consider two large planters to fill with a variety of upright and trailing herbs (to use in the kitchen!) or flowering/foliage plants. A lovely hanging sculpture (ie. a sun, star, welcome sign, etc.,) could go in the center of the wall. Then just light it as it suits you - solar lights, spot lights, whatever. Have fun with this area - it belongs to YOU!

  • Tere Tere on Mar 29, 2019

    Potted plants and flowers would be the easiest option. Have fun :)

  • Rymea Rymea on Mar 30, 2019

    I love the color of your brick. Hostas and or ferns would work but Coral bells (Heuchera) is my favorite plant. The foliage is the star rather than the blooms. Different varieties will grow in shade, half shade or sun. You also might want a trellis or two for height. Search for shade loving vines that grow in your area.

    Ferns in MATCHING pots might be beautiful and easier since you wouldn't have to remove the gravel, but the thing about pots is that you have to water them constantly. Also unless you live in a warm climate even perennials have a hard time surviving the winter in a pot so you would probably be replacing them every year. And since you already have those pots on the porch it might be a few too many pots.

  • Phaedra Phaedra on Mar 31, 2019

    I cant see the whole front of the house so this is just an idea. Take out all of the existing pavers, gravel , etc. Prep and level the whole area and make a new decorative grey pavestone walkway. New walkway width would go from garage wall to porch post. Replace existing step in the new width. Get rid of skinny trees by door and replace with a matching large tall black urn down on each side of the step. Don't skimp on plants. I see huge pots of pink geraniums with some purple and white flowers and some green and white vines hanging down.

    Also have the concrete porch stained so that it looks like stone and add a faux stone veneer to the concrete block base.

    JMO. When guests come up the walk you want the entrance/door will be the first thing they see. So that should be the focal point not the garage wall. I would keep the walkway etc in neutral with complementary shades of grey that go with your brick. Let the black urns be your big wow. I chose pink and grey because that's the colors I see in your bricks.