Sprucing up: Adding some pizzazz to your customer’s side yard

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side-yard-grass-fenceSince your customer’s side yard isn’t usually at the top of the mind when it comes to creating enticing designs, these areas can sometimes fall to the wayside and be a bit uninviting, but that doesn’t always have to be the case.

Even if your customer doesn’t have what would traditionally be called a side yard, there’s always a way to take that space and turn it into something great.

When it comes to sprucing up your customer’s side yard, take a look at a few ideas that will help create a unique space that is sure to be inviting and eye-catching.

Continuity, gates and overhead architecture

One important element to keep in mind when sprucing up a side yard is the importance of continuity in the design.

While it’s fine to have more than one type of design element all throughout the landscape, keeping it simple with only one or two elements that can be repeated throughout is preferable and will help the area stay more cohesive.

Photo: Jill Odom/Total Landscape CarePhoto: Jill Odom/Total Landscape Care

Gates can also be a good addition to a side yard, as they can serve the purpose of adding in a fixture and also provide security and privacy to the area.

If your customers like the idea of having focal points that draw the eye upward, having structures like arbors and pergolas in the area can help add a little pizzazz to the area, while also providing a place for vines and lights to hang.

Since side yards are typically smaller than the front and back, having this little entryway to usher visitors through the area and into a space that opens up will make customers feel as if they are on a journey.

Trellises also offer good vertical structures to an area, while also not taking up a large amount of space. Trellises can be placed along the side of a house if there are no windows present, and they help break up the monotony of having just a blank wall spanning the house. 

Path materials, water features and contrast

Another way to add in an eye-catching element is to bring in walking paths using different types of materials.

Whether using gravel, bricks or other concrete pavers, utilizing these different materials in attractive arrangements can easily fill a small space while not looking too crowded.

To add in some tranquil sounds to the space, consider adding in a small water feature, such as a fountain or small pond. Either of these can be easily tucked away out of sight to not interrupt the flow of the space, but they will add the soothing sound of gently running water that is sure to instantly ease the mind and make visitors relax.

As an added bonus, if the water feature is installed close enough to a home’s window, the sounds can also be heard from indoors, which means customers will be able to enjoy their babbling brook sounds while indoors and outdoors.

As previously mentioned, it’s good to keep the number of elements used in the landscape to only a few key options, but when choosing those options, don’t be afraid to add in a little contrast.

Pairing softer elements displayed on one side of the space with more abrasive materials on the other can really bring more focus on each individual element and make them pop.

Lights, plants, height and depth  

Lighting will more than likely be a necessary element in the space, and if your customers have already decided on adding in pergolas or arbors, this could be the perfect time to string up lights along the pathway.

If your customers are opting out of using structures, installing path lights in between plants, grasses and along pathways can also get the job done.

Having an evenly spaced line of trees, also known as an allee, can also draw the eye forward and propel visitors down the pathways. Some tree species are able to thrive in tight spaces, so be sure to do your research before suggesting this idea to customers.

If the area doesn’t allow you to line both sides of the walkway with trees, having them line only one side will still look attractive while not taking over too much of the space.

If your customer’s side yard is very small, take care to select plants that won’t end up taking over the sides of the house or neighboring walls.

One creative method of adding layers to a landscape is to build up with a vertical garden. Vertical gardens can showcase narrow trees, arbors, climbing vines and more, and they will definitely show off height change without taking up a lot of ground space.

Regardless of what style your customer prefers, there are many options to choose from when creating the perfect side yard atmosphere.

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