How do I create a liveable side yard in a small run area?

Mcs22522748
by Mcs22522748

This is our yard/dog run/pathway from the house to the cars parked Out back.

Trying our own walkway but uneven Have a patch of artificial turf for the dogs on the right to lay or do their business

narrow path downhill to bottom of the yArd/run.

Bottom section with another piece of artificial turf.

  4 answers
  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Sep 13, 2018

    25 Ideas to Perk Up Your Side Yard - Houzz

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    May 22, 2016 - This article is from our Most Popular stories file. Ah, the side yard. It's often a neglected and sad alley where you stick air-conditioning units. How To Make The Most Of Your Side Yard - Forbes

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    Upgrading the Side Yard. Before: Unused Driveway. The focal point of this side yard is an unused driveway, composed of uneven concrete slabs, that points like a runway to a rusty shed. After: Grassy Play Area. The side yard is now an enclosed grassy play area for the kids and a circular patio made out of concrete ...


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  • Twyla J Boyer Twyla J Boyer on Sep 13, 2018

    Looks like it doesn't get much light, so I would go with very few plants, if any, and the few would be shade tolerant.


    The little flagstone path is rather charming, but I would move it to the side away from the air conditioner unit and then put a turn in it toward the gate at the end.


    You need a good bit more fill to even out the area. A truckload of pea gravel spread over the area would give you a good surface to start with.


    If the items in the photo need to stay there, finding a way to store them that helps mask them would be helpful, as would masking the area for trash cans. Perhaps build a second fence partway toward the entrance to hide stuff from the part of the yard you want to make livable. It wouldn't need a gate, just an opening. Make it tall enough to be able to stand the canoe behind it without it being visible - probably on the side with the garbage bins. The pathway to the gate could turn just in front of that new fence.


    If looking at the air conditioner unit bothers you, create seating with a back on that side - an L or U shaped seating area with backs on the seats could be quite nice. A narrow table in the middle, perhaps with a fire bowl or trough, would make for a nice place to rest a wine glass and small plates of snacks in the evenings.


    On the opposite wall from the suggested seating area, hang some attractive artwork or something. Keep in mind where the walkway will be and choose pieces that won't snag clothing or cause hazards to people walking out to the cars.


    Those are the best suggestions I can offer. Hopefully others will chime in with even better ideas.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Sep 13, 2018

    Hi! Believe it or not, the house we are planning to downsize to has even less space on the side of the house. I plan to not use it to store anything, keep any plantings simple, like ferns (which I grow in a much larger, shady side yard right now), and maybe hostas, both of which are pretty low maintenance. I'm going to have a bench to sit on. I would keep that cute path!

  • Gk Gk on Sep 13, 2018

    You could add a lot more pea rock and then build a dock like sidewalk made from treated wood and make sure it is level when you install it. You could also use cement sidewalk blocks rather than the flagstone. If this is the only area your dogs can get to to do their business planting grass would mean constant maintaining because of the urine spots. I would go with the smaller pea rock.