How to - Projects

Improve your side yard

Bonnie Summerfeldt
Photography by
Roger Yip

Tips for turning your narrow side yard into a little garden of Eden.

Finishing touches
Keep the plant palette simple. We chose a few different plants and grouped them in odd numbers, which kept the look quiet and serene. We also included clusters of large landscape stones for additional interest and a couple of attractive pots planted up with annuals and perennial grasses to disguise unsightly utility meters.

What to plant
The amount of sun and rain will dictate what type of plants will be best for your needs. Here are some suggestions for dry shade:

Lady's mantle (Alchemilla mollis), Zone 3
Dwarf goatsbeard (Aruncus aethusifolius), Zone 4
Siberian bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla cvs.), Zone 3
Bleeding heart (Dicentra spp.), Zone 3
Male fern (Dryopteris filix-mas), Zone 4
Barrenwort (Epimedium spp.), Zone 5
Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum), Zone 4
Ivies (Hedera spp.), various zones
Heuchera spp., Zone 4
Deadnettle (Lamium spp.), Zone 4
Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides), Zone 3
False Solomon's seal (Smilacina racemosa syn. Maianthemum racemosum), Zone 4
Foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia), Zone 4
Periwinkle (Vinca minor), Zone 4.

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