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A circle in a square is a classic design motif. Here it is expressed in a beautiful gravel garden. This side yard is wide enough to accommodate a circular focal point (with a well-proportioned urn at its center). There is ample room for Mediterranean herbs and annual bedding plants to flourish along both sides of a pathway, which parts around the center urn and ends at the garden gate.
A long border worthy of a grand main garden fits into this transition space between a brick home and its garage. The room effect is enhanced here, thanks to the connecting breezeway. It gives the broad path a destination and accommodates deep planting beds for the textural borders on either side.
This is just the sort of secondary spot that could have been paved for parking. Instead, it is a dreamy area for a stroll, still providing access for those approaching.
A gently curved flagstone path draws pedestrians from the front yard, through the spacious side garden, toward the rolling lawn in the distance. An opening in a row of trees frames the view.
Within this side garden, however, there are plenty of beautiful plant combinations that provide interest. From the flowering thyme in and around the flagstones to the repeating mounds of perennials (irises and lady's mantle) and soft shrubs (azaleas), the design is inspired and appealing.
Gotta love this tic-tac-toe design for a side garden that's completely engaging for anyone who happens upon it. This idea can adapt to most any dimension or cultural condition, because you first design the grid, then add the plants.
Starting with off-the-shelf concrete or cut-stone pavers from a home improvement center (super affordable), lay out the path. Then alternate crushed rock for easy drainage and ground covers that can tolerate a little bit of foot traffic. Your side garden will finally have a stylish attitude — and you can probably accomplish this in a weekend.
Attention, minimalists! Less is more in this side yard. Here's what makes this design a winner: 1. silhouetted plants against the perimeter wall; 2. uplighting for evening drama; 3. a flame source (fire pit); and 4. the continual ground plane in the form of decomposed granite.
Depending on where you live, the floor of a side courtyard could be poured concrete, concrete pavers, crushed rock or even turf. Just treat it like a carpet runner and you'll create an evocative side-garden destination.
Side gardens aren't just about the garden floor; they're also about the vertical plane: the walls, so to speak. That notion is expressed beautifully here. Sustainably harvested ipe boards, installed horizontally, alternate with sections of stucco to enclose and retain the side garden.
This is a well-furnished room with benches for seating, pockets for plants and even a fireplace treatment. There's a graphic rhythm to this space that makes it enjoyable both to view and to spend time visiting in.