Tiny Side-Yard Makeover – FineGardening

My name is Kerry and I live in Portland, Oregon. When I moved into my home eight years ago, the small side yards consisted of concrete and a chain-link fence. Over time, my husband and I replaced the fence and added green. We love our small garden!

before and after of side yard gardenA world of difference in this small space!

strawberries growing in a window boxOn the north side we painted gutters and window boxes and hung them on the fence. Here the strawberries growing in the painted gutters are beginning to produce.

Catmint growing in a window box on a fenceThe catmint (Nepeta × faassenii, Zones 4–8) growing in the window boxes on the fence is beautiful, and the hummingbirds and bees enjoy it too!

purple ice plantWe planted a variety of succulents on the ground along the fence, which we divide as they grow. (This looks like it might be purple ice plant: Delosperma cooperi, Zones 5–9).

before and after of side yard that now has raised garden bedsOn the south side we built planter boxes, where we grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers. We added rain barrels for watering during Oregon’s dry summers.

raised bed and container gardenTo maximize growing space, we used hanging baskets, containers, and trellises. I enjoy all of the colors and scents as I walk by.

nasturtium flowerA nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus, annual) is in one of the hanging baskets.

Mr Lincoln rose‘Mr. Lincoln’ rose is a classic variety famous for its rich dark red color, beautiful shape, and strong fragrance.

espalier apple treeWe lined part of the fence with a small espalier apple tree. The tree is grafted so that each of the three rows is a different variety of apple. Our dog’s favorite is the Honeycrisp! (Want to learn more about making espaliers? Check out this article.)

succulents on a fenceWe painted a wooden pallet, planted it with succulents, and positioned it on the back of the fence. The succulents spread to the surrounding area as well.


Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

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