What to do with this odd yard?


Hi! Our back yard is rock and has this "upper landing". My husband is clearing out the overgrown weeds and trees... We then plan on removing the metal frame by the stairs... No clue what else to do! Is there something creative, yet inexpensive, I can do with this awkward backyard and make the space more inviting and useable? Bonus for pictures... Don't mind the pictures I have here. They were taken quickly. Thanks in advance for any ideas!

q what to do with this odd yard
q what to do with this odd yard
q what to do with this odd yard
q what to do with this odd yard
  9 answers
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jun 12, 2019

    Hello there,

    I would create a Woodland Walk garden above the steps, With Spring and Summer Bulbs that would come up and fade every year. Low maintenance!

    The lower half - I'd make into a walled garden with Lawn - Flower Beds - Fruit and Veg too. A Greenhouse and a shed for the tools. It could be formal or relaxed style to your taste! Looks a nice project to have....good luck, Enjoy the journey!!

    • Ang Ang on Jun 12, 2019

      This sounds fun! What is a woodland walk garden? Thanks so much!

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jun 12, 2019

    Hello again,

    It is literally what it says! You make a path in between the trees that leads you through the woodland and back to where you started. Use natural materials such as Bark or stones or gravel or wood slice paving stones or a combination of things. Make the path wind around to give you different views and things to look at eg: A "Stumpery" ( somewhere you pile up old stumps upside down along with Logs etc. and inbetween have soil and grow a variety of woodland plants & bulbs or make "Fernery Dell" by planting Ferns in a low damp area. You could also make a water course using something like Rainwater Gutters to take the water when it rains down to the fernery or a wildlife pool. You could also make a Fairy Grotto too. Hope that helps. Some plants I would use in the UK would be Bluebells, Snowdrops, Hellebores, Primroses etc. To be honest, I miss my woodland garden..........I really do! They can be Magical !!

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Jun 12, 2019

    I actually LOVE your yard! You've got flat areas, risers, shade - all great things!

    First, please don't remove the trellis that will lead to your future woodland path! It's vintage and wonderful! Just paint it a color that blends with the woods rather than the stark white.

    For the lower area, clean out the grass and plant new grass seed. You can delineate both an eating area and a meeting area with appropriate seating. You can do pallet furniture, etc. and collect things with time.

    For the upper area, I love the idea of a meandering path where you can "find" various treasures! Put in found furniture with plants, statuary, whatever! This too, will develop over time to become naturalized and terrific.

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Jun 12, 2019

    where do you live? climate? OMG.... I love it Too !! Yes--you should leave trellis up(painting it black will help it to blend in backdrop/woods and use it for Clematis or Wild Roses then plant upper deck in maintenance free Woodland Perennials that are local to your area it will create beautiful year round flowering area that will provide food,nesting,materials for all the local Bugs,Bees,Butterflies,Birds and Animals beneficial for healthy gardening. Tell me where you are and I'll provide plant lists for this area. also need to set up composting area so you can provide healthy compost for your garden/lawn. Composters--- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW_DVNUt7ms&t=28s one more easier https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tj_goluMKO8 let me know your area for plants to plant I did landscaping for 22yrs,  plants & dirt

  • Ron Ron on Jun 13, 2019

    Difficult to say without knowing the width and depth of the area. Pictures suggest that it is rocky which may mean that soil depth needs to be improved if planting bulbs. Plants would likely need to be shade or partial shade, depending on the orientation. There is also the question of run-off given the slop and the rock. Until established, there might be a concern over any new soil being washed away with heavy rain. Vines that will grow to hang over the rock face are a possibility. Flowers that naturalize and will fill in in another, and a good one if you can find some that bloom at different times and leave attractive foliage. What is possible depends upon a number of factors, your zone being a significant one. If there is room, the path idea is a nice one. Vegetables would appear to be a no-go.

  • Jan Clark Jan Clark on Jun 13, 2019

    So many people look at things and think "problem" not "potential"! Change your perspective. Make a little 'floor plan' sketch of the yard from your house to the retaining wall and consider the things you'll want to do there. That will help. No one mentioned painting or staining the wall, but that would have a BIG impact without too much $$. A nice earthy color would be fabulous. Then you could also decorate it with hanging 'art' that you can attach to the masonry. Remember, "potential" and have fun!

  • Janet Janet on Jun 13, 2019

    Put some trailing plants along the wall so they trail over the side and down the wall.

  • Debi53 Debi53 on Jun 14, 2019

    We also have rock in our yard. This is very hard to dig in and plant things. We used drop and go Sedum to fill in our hilly, rocky yard. We got a truckload of soil. We cut the Sedum (It comes in a woven flat.) into about 5 inch squares. (Use garden shears.)

    We put a shovel of soil on the ground and you literally place the Sedum on the soil and press it in with your foot. Spread these out about every 12-18 inches. Keep them well watered until they take root. Sedum never has to be mowed, comes back every year and spreads over time. Depending on the size of the area, it takes many flats, but it is the easiest way to "plant" a rocky area. Just check your sun/shade conditions to make sure the Sedum you purchase will work. Once established, you don't have to water it unless you have extremely dry conditions.