Ideas to Landscape a Side Garden or Pathway

Use these 4 steps to landscape a side garden or pathway leading from the front to the back of a garden and turn a dirty secret into a secret garden.






More than a few homeowners have a dirty little secret in their garden and it's a side garden or a pathway that leads from the front to the back garden. This area of a garden is often left uncared for and becomes a dumping ground for anything that doesn't have a place to go. Think of an ugly garden shed that is falling apart, bags of potting soil, or even an old wheelbarrow that is rusted and useless, these are just a few of the items that tend to get hidden away in a side garden. But why let this space go unused and wasted when there are so many ways to make it a secret garden rather than a dirty secret!



If you have an old shed that is falling apart, try and fix it up so that it can be used, or rip it down and use the wood for another garden project.

upcycle a garden shed




Let's look at 4 easy steps to transform a side garden into a secret garden or hidden pathway that will add even more interest:



Step 1: Clean

There is no getting around this step. If the area is filled with junk, you need to arrange to have it taken away if you cannot do it yourself. You can hire a rubble or garden removal company for around R400 per load, and if you give the entire garden an overhaul at the same time, you will have enough to make a full load, and worth the cost.


If it is rubbish or junk that should have been tossed out years ago, do it now. If it is stuff you haven't used in a long time and are keeping 'just in case', it needs to go. If it is a garden shed that is falling apart, look to see if it can be saved and, if not, break it down for scrap reclaimed wood that you can use for a project for the garden.







Taking the time to clean out all the junk will let you look over and assess the space to see what you can do with it.

clean and landscape side garden



Step 2: Assess

For this step, you should take a look at the area that is now cleaned out. A lot will depend on the location and situation as to whether you can put the space to practical use or can only use it as a pathway. If the area receives a fair amount of sun and has privacy, you could look at transforming it into a secret garden where you can relax. An area that receives more shade than sun might be ideal for a shade garden that will bring added interest, and if you don't have a large garden to work with, this spot might be just the place to set up an outdoor space that can be landscaped as a seating or dining area.



When planning a side garden makeover, don't forget drains or sewage lines. If these are situated in this area, use temporary landscaping materials that can be moved in the event of a problem.

beward of drains and sewage lines in side garden



Step 3: Plan and Budget

With some good ideas in mind, pop into your nearest Builders store to see what items can be used in the space and how much you need to spend. If you don't have a large budget to work with, you can always make a start on the area and buy additional materials and supplies as and when you can afford to. At Builders, you can look at different options - some more affordable than others - and reach a decision as to how the design you envision will work.



Make use of Builders' delivery and have all your heavy and large materials delivered directly to the site when you need them.

landscape side garden gravel and concrete stepping stones



Step 4: Put into Action

Once the area is cleaned and you know what you want to do, it is time to put your plan into action. If you are going to be doing the job in stages as and when you can afford it, start at the bottom, and work your way upwards. Put down a gravel bed or lay a concrete slab, whatever it is that you have decided to do. However, if there are sewage pipes or electrical conduits in the area, keep any landscaping as a temporary option - one that can be moved should the need ever arise that these require repair.







When sourcing plants for your side garden landscaping, remember to buy plants for shade, semi-shade, or sun.

shade plants for side garden



Design the landscaping for your side garden using readily available materials that you can afford. Once you have laid the foundation for the walk or path, then you can focus on adding accessories and plants to finish and add decorative interest.





There are plenty of fast-growing plant species that can be used to cover or disguise an ugly feature. Bamboo is just one of many plants that will establish quickly and require little maintenance but there are others, and you can discuss this with experts at your local Garden Centre.





Several bamboo species are fast-growing and can provide texture to a blank space such as a side garden where space is limited.

bamboo adds details to side garden



If the side garden is wide enough, you may want to consider bringing in a small sofa where you can sit and relax in the garden.

seating area in side garden



Indigenous or drought-resistant plants will provide a low-maintenance solution for a side garden. Just make sure that there is plenty of morning or afternoon sunshine for these plants.

ideas for side garden landscaping




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