12 Top Landscaping Ideas for the Side of Your House

You can spruce up the side of your house by incorporating arches, trellises, vines, and more.
Written by Talullah Blanco
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
The area to the side of the house is often overlooked and underutilized when homeowners design their landscapes. But with a dash of creativity, you can transform the side of your house into a natural habitat, private patio, nursery, or a secret garden pathway.
No matter your budget, you can landscape the narrow area to the side of your home into a space that fits your lifestyle and pleases the eye. This is more than an aesthetic move—a great side yard can increase the market value of your home if you ever decide to move.
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has created a list of 12 resourceful landscaping ideas to help you reimagine the side of your house.

1. A shady oasis

Tropical shaded oasis with string lights and patio furniture
There’s no need to fret if your side yard is shaded. It’s really a blessing in disguise. Build a pathway and rest area then plant a variety of shade-loving grasses, trees, and vines around it to create a shaded oasis. 

2. Side yard natural habitat

Research the native plants in your region and create a side yard natural habitat that supports local wildlife. You can even set up bird feeders throughout the area to attract cute chirping visitors.
Identify stormwater and erosion strategies you can implement into your side yard to protect the local rivers and streams, or create a drought-resistant landscape to conserve water in dry desert areas.
Depending on where you live, there may be urban garden programs that offer discounts on native flora and sustainable material. For instance, in Portland, Oregon, you can have your yard inspected and certified as a natural habitat if it meets eligibility requirements.
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3. Connect your front and back yards 

Use the area to the side of your home to connect your front and back yards. Mimic the design pattern from your front yard to lead visitors around the house, or add something new that complements both your front and back spaces. 

4. Make a secondary entrance

Run a pergola along the entire length of your side yard to establish an alternative and grandiose entrance for your guests. Plant flowering vines around the base that will grow up the pergola to add beauty and whimsy.

5. Test nursery

Small garden pots for young plants
Your side yard is the perfect place to create a makeshift test nursery. Build a narrow greenhouse to protect the fragile starts from the outside elements before you plant them in your garden bed. 

6. Arches, trellises, and vines

Garden arch full of vines and lush greenery
Placing arched trellises on the side of your house will provide you with space to grow vining plants such as honeysuckle, jasmine, and wisteria.
Not only will this create a Parisian dreamscape all year round, but the blooming flowers will also produce a sweet aroma to attract nectar-feeders like hummingbirds.

7. Set up a compost bin

Throwing kitchen waste into a compost bin
Your other plants and the earth will thank you for setting up a compost bin in your side yard. Composting is a great way to reduce your garbage waste and nourish the plants you already have.
Be sure to build a secure enclosure for your compost bin to avoid attracting unwanted pests and rodents.

8. Garden party patio

Cozy patio space with a table and light blue seats
You can transform the side of your house into a place to entertain guests, relax, or spend time with family by adding a patio.
Erect a fence or hedge for privacy, then build a patio with the material of your choice. Surround it with a variety of overgrown in-ground and potted plants for a lush garden party patio. 

9. Create a workspace

Claim the side area to the side of your house as your uninterrupted workspace by setting up a workbench or potting table. You can install a fence or hedge to hide the mess of soil, pots, and wood dust from your neighbors. 

10. Puppy play area

Puppy playing with rugby ball in the garden
We all love to pamper our four-legged friends—why not designate your side yard for your dog?
Install durable turfgrass and gates on either end of the run so your dog can play without tearing up your front or back landscaping. You can even install a dog door that leads to the run so your pup can come and go as they please. 

11. Secret garden pathway

A green secret garden with a stone path
Install a gate and create a secret pebble pathway lined with stones.
Surround the pebble path with an assortment of flowering bushes, potted plants, and lush perennials of all heights (variety is key!) to create a secret garden pathway straight from a fairytale.  

12. Farm-to-table garden

Grown your own seasonal fruits, vegetables, and herbs in your side yard and serve them at your dinner table. This can be a great opportunity to relax or teach your children the wonders of growing their own food. 

How to save on home and car insurance

Now that you’ve reimagined the side of your house, you’ll need to allocate some cash to make renovations happen. Why not save money by finding a cheaper
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Homeowners should plan to spend about 10% of their home’s value on landscaping. You can cut landscaping costs with DIY projects and sourcing materials from local organizations.
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