A Side Yard Makeover – plus a HUGE giveaway!

Side yard makeovers are some of the most popular posts on my blog, and for good reason. (you can see why here and here)! 

First, though, for those who aren’t quite sure what a side yard is – they’re the long and narrow sections of your garden that flank one or both sides of your home.

With a typical width of just 7-12 feet, side yards are often considered wasted space due to a wide variety of reasons.  Their narrow dimensions, uneven lighting, and competition with ‘the necessities of life’ (ie: garbage cans, composters, A/C units, etc.) often make side yards a nightmare for creating a garden.

It’s easy to adopt an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude, and before you know it, the side yard has become your garden’s wasteland.

This was the case with the side yard in my new garden.  

Even though this is still a ‘baby garden’ (only 2 years old) I still wanted to share it with you as it ties right in with today’s giveaway.

Objective #1    Take Advantage of Inside-Out Design

When we first moved in, our side yard was a huge, overgrown mess. 

Years ago (long before we moved in,) a giant old oak tree fell over, and while part of it was still alive, at least half of it had died.  

There is a photinia hedge that provides screening from our neighbors, but because it was crushed when the oak tree fell, the hedge developed an unsightly growth pattern.

As if that wasn’t enough, the only way to navigate the slope was to twist your ankles by walking on river rocks. 

We’re assuming the previous owner got a heck of a deal on river rocks because there were literally tons and TONS of them throughout the entire garden. 

And believe me, they’re no fun to remove when they’ve sunk into the soil several feet!  What did we do with them all? 

Luckily, while we were remodeling our home, our contractor had a client who wanted the rocks, so he let us fill his trailer, and he would drive them over to her garden. 

Yay for finding them a new home!

Once we cleared out the dead oak tree’s branches, we were surprised to find the side yard was much wider than we thought. 

And, after uncovering some of the large boulders, we realized we could create shallow planting pockets in between the stones. 

When it came time to remodel our family room (which looks out onto this side of the garden), we decided to replace the tiny windows with the largest windows we could find.

I wanted to take advantage of the new garden I would soon create, and focus on a concept called ‘inside-out’ design.  By using the window as the ‘frame’, vignettes can be created within the frame.  

Simply put, this means ‘don’t forget the views from inside your home!’  

Objective #2  Create a heat-loving, low water garden

 

With our newly revealed side yard, it was clear that there were a LOT of granite boulders that I would never be able to budge. 

The boulders are absolutely stunning, and with the slightest bit of moisture, the moss and lichen turn vibrant shades of green.  So clearly, they were the stars of this garden. 

However, I wanted more than boulders, so wherever I could, I created shallow pockets of soil for plants that might thrive in these spots.

This area gets blasted with intense afternoon sun, and with summer temperatures regularly in the 100’s, the plants needed to be carefully chosen.

Despite the sad fact that the remaining oak tree is on borrowed time (an arborist told me the beautiful yellow mushroom I found growing on it, is a clear indicator the tree is sick), I’m not ready to remove it quite yet.

The tree (and its fallen, but living, branches) not only provide screening, but every spring, it’s home to tons of birds and their babies. 

The area is an ideal bird sanctuary because it’s so remote and private.  I’ve had so much fun watching the fox sparrows, spotted towhees, and even the occasional oriole, owl and hawk (yikes!) hang out in this spot, hunting for insects for their babies.  

So for now, the tree stays.

 

The various boulders resulted in my loose interpretation of a crevice garden. 

Some plants would need to thrive in very little soil, while others might have a bit more room to spread their roots. 

But ALL of them needed to be low water since irrigating this area is difficult and it’s so darn HOT!   

By the way, here’s a great article on Denver Botanical Garden’s Crevice Garden, in case you’re interested.

Below, are some of the plants that have done really well in this difficult area:

Grevillea 'Ned Kelly'
Euphorbia myrsinites
Mexican Petunia (ruellia simplex)
Mangave 'Desert Dragon'
Teucrium cossonii (Fruity Germander)
Agapanthus 'Sun Stripe'
Solidago 'Little Lemon'
Sedum 'Angelina' & Cotyledon
Sempervivum tomentosum

But the focal point of this entire area is, without a doubt, my ‘Ruby Falls’ Weeping Redbud’

In fact, this container is featured in the upcoming August issue of Fine Gardening Magazine!   

My goal was to create a focal point that I could appreciate from inside my home, as well as out, and one that would look good for most of the year.

‘Ruby Falls’ does precisely that.

After profuse magenta blooms in the late winter, the new lush, heart-shaped burgundy foliage is an outstanding feature, accentuated by the dark green curtain of the Redwood trees behind it. 

 

But in the fall?  LOOK – OUT!!!  

The foliage turns vibrant shades of orange and yellow that cause everyone to see it to gasp in delight.  Seriously – it’s amazing. 

I temporarily planted a leonotis leonurus (Lion’s Tail) along with a ‘Prairie Fire’ sedge, to complement the fall foliage until the tree grew a bit larger.  

This is a slow-growing Redbud variety that will ultimately grow downwards in a waterfall-like manner, softly draping down the container and over the boulders. 

Now on to the giveaway that is perfect for side yards!!

UPDATE:  Contest is now closed.  Congratulations Carolyn J.!!!  You’re the lucky winner and the retractable hose will soon be coming your way within the few weeks.  And thanks everyone else for entering the giveaway! 

However, for those who didn’t win, Hoselink has also offered a $10 discount to my readers, good through July 31st. Just enter HARMONY10 when you check out!  

Hoselink has generously offered to give away to one lucky winner the BEST retractable hose reel I’ve ever used.   Trust me, this is quite the giveaway!

 

Hoses tend to drive me INSANE. And not in a good way.

And now that I have a much larger garden than before, my hoses all need to be at least 50-feet (some are even 100-feet!) 

My hoses are either kinking, or getting hung up on my delicate plants, or worse yet – causing my back to seize up when I try and re-wind the heavy hose back into a neat pile.  

Therefore, I end up leaving them strewn about like this, looking like a giant eyesore.

So you can imagine how excited I was when Hoselink offered to send me their retractable hose reel to trial in my garden – especially after watching Laura with Garden Answer’s glowing review (you can watch the video here).

 

Take a look at the after photo – no more unsightly hose!  

One of the features I love about this hose reel is that the unit easily swivels to either side, lying flat against the wall.  This feature makes it perfect for skinny spaces like a side yard.

My super-handy husband installed it and was very impressed by the easy-to-understand instructions and the well-made parts.  He really appreciated how well it’s made (and let me tell you – he’s picky!)

This hose is a DREAM to use and to put away.  The hose is a bit thinner and lighter than traditional hoses, so to avoid any kinking, it’s important to turn the water on BEFORE you pull it out and turn it off AFTER the hose is retracted

See how it swivels in both directions and can lie flush with the wall?  I love it!

My back appreciates the weight of this hose and the fact that retracting it is effortless and takes just a minute to do. 

The unit also comes with its own watering attachment, but the hose will fit with other manufacturer’s attachments, in case you want to use your own.

Ready to try and win one for yourself?  All you need to do is leave a comment below – it’s that easy!    I’ll choose one random winner by midnight, May 25th, 2020.

Oh, and please remember that I won’t be able to respond to your comments as it’ll mess up the random number generator I use to pick the winner (but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy reading what you all write, because I do!)  I WIILL, however, go back after the winner is chosen and respond to any questions you might have.   Thanks for understanding!  🙂

Good Luck!

 

 

The Fine Print: A random winner will be chosen by midnight May 25th, 2020, and contacted within 24 hours. If the proposed winner forfeits or does not claim the prize by May 29th, the prize will be re-awarded based on the sponsor’s sole discretion. All prizes will be awarded.

Please provide your first and last name to enter this contest so I can immediately contact you if you win. The winner agrees to allow his/her first name to be mentioned in conjunction with this giveaway. This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only, who are over the age of 18 years old. No purchase necessary to win. This sweepstake is also void where prohibited by law (wherever that is, I’d sure hate to live there!) and by entering this giveaway, you agree to these conditions.

Affiliate Links: Over the years, I’ve tried tons of garden-related products and only recommend those I truly believe in and those that have held up well in my garden.

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124 Comments

  • I’m only starting to gardening now, but I’ve always enjoyed reading your blog ever since I saw your gardening tutorial somewhere three or four years ago. I love your work!

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  • Your side yard is ingenious! I love it and I just happen to be working on my side yard today. Great ideas. Thanks!

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  • You are very talented, Rebecca. It looks like you painted your outdoor view with an artist’s brush. Thank you for sharing. I am learning a lot about garden design from you!

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  • So many inspiring thoughts and pictures!!! I will soon be on the lookout for a Ruby Fall Weeping Redbud. I have a perfect place for this spectacular plant.

    And, boy, could I make use of this wonderful hose.

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  • This hose sounds like a gardener’s dream. I especially like that it pulls in 2 directions. I have to water around a corner on a very large lot in hot, dry sunny, sandy, drainage no problem, eastern Oregon so I do a lot of dragging and my 82 year old body resents that I have to drag my hose a distance in one direction in order to get it stretched out enough to go around the corner in the other direction.. That hose would definately make my life easier!
    I have heard you speak at the NW garden show more than once and have been quite inspired by your presentations as well as your blog even though I live in zone 7. The use of a color wheel when choosing plants is one of your suggestions that I use the most and has really improved my garden over the last few years.

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  • Garden hoses have always been a pain and I usually end up leaving my hoses on the ground. There all too heavy, awkward, or a fall hazard, but this hose reel looks like it’s taken all the problems of a loose garden hose away.

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  • Enjoy reading your blog because it’s always full of useful information and ideas.

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  • Gives me all sorts of ideas as to what to try and especially encouragement to think outside the box. This year I planted gladiolus in a big container, the focal point of which is a patio size soft blue Salvia. The glads are planted in the back. What a great combination it is turning out to be. My husband has given up on inground irrigation systems, says they are always breaking. True enough, but OMG the hoses to yank and pull and place!

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  • Can’t get enough of your advice! You are so talented! The hose fiasco is always a problem, so thanks for introducing this new hose to us!

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  • LOVE your wonderful garden ideas. I’m an “older gardener” – 85 yrs old!
    And appreciate all your suggestions that make my gardening easier. It’s always special
    To find ways to make my gardening safer – helpfully no tripping and falling. Thanks‼️‼️

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  • This hose system looks like it solves so many problems. Thanks for letting us know about it!

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  • Love how your side yard turned out. I’d love this hose in my yard.

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  • Thank you for each and every one of your posts. I always always learn something.
    So nice to have a product recommended. My experience has been there is NO kink less
    hose. I may have to try one of these.

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  • Oh the hose drama!! I feel your pain. Looks all to familiar!! I’ve given up on my non functioning reel and the hose stays a mess, strewn about on the ground!

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  • I love the weeping red bud. we had one in our last yard and was a really beautiful specimen. I didn’t know they would do well in a large pot.
    I appreciate all your sage design advise.

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  • Thank you for the great side yard article. Lots of good ideas and plant choices for a location that gets some hot sun in a narrow space. I don’t have the beautiful boulders but I can still make it work.
    The hose retraction device is a super good idea as I tend to leave my hoses out without rolling them up like you do. Ha., it’s just easier. Love to get one of those hose retraction devices.

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  • Boy do I need a side yard hose reel like this! Love your post!

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  • Im in love with this hose … My husband and I have to put two hoses together just to reach our garden. That is a headache.. Thanks so much for running this competition and giving me a chance to win such a great prize.

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    • Im so greatfull i won thanks so much. Im so excited. So is my husband.

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  • If your side yard is so beautiful, how cool will be your main garden. Love the boulders and the the way you have used them. Amazing!

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  • Your side yard is stunning and inspirational. I love the step by step pictures. And it’s hard to believe how hot it gets because it looks so very lush.
    On a side note, I have a half a dozen 100 foot hoses. I have lots of large garden beds and pulling hoses around becomes my greatest frustration (well, maybe the voles drive me a bit more crazy, and the turkeys do too…).

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  • Love this side yard makeover! I’ve seen lots of images of front and back yard, not so many side yard idea. Our side yard is empty at this moment but it makes me think starting side yard makeovers!

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  • That Euphorbia myrsinites plant is so unusual. It adds a lot of interest to the garden. Well done!

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  • Love what has been done. This gives me a ton of ideas on how to fix my unsightly small space. And the hose would be a welcome win!

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  • Golly, Rebecca, I don’t know where to begin! Fabulous – love boulders, the list of heat, drought tolerant plants And most of all the Weeping Redbud!! I didn’t know there was such variety in redbuds. It will be added to our garden in the future. And we certainly can use a hose system like that you have presented!

    Thank you for your wonderful garden communications from a Garden Club of Los Altos member.

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  • I go through hoses like crazy. They are always getting hung up on lemon bushes, cacti, etc. I hate winding them up. Your garden looks fabulous, as usual.

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  • I get frequent complements for the front and backyard gardens you designed for us. With this article. perhaps the side yard is next!

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  • Wow! What a wonderful blog. I’m not alone thinking so. It took me forever to get to the bottom of the comments.
    I have an extra large pot that I made a water garden last year. It was lovely but with our area in a drought I’m going to find your Redbud tree to plant in it.
    My husband bought an expensive huge hose caddy. What an eye sore and it leaks. It is part of his plan for spraying the house if we have a wildfire. I want to order your hose reel! My probability of winning one is very slim. I do enjoy reading the fan club comments.

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  • This side yard landscape is gorgeous. I have been working on my own, thanks for all the ideas, are you just,using the hose to irrigate or Do you have any drip or sprinklers installed. What type are they q

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  • I’m loving all the texture in the garden! Pleasing to the eye and relaxing! The hose looks like a great tool in the gardening arsenal!

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  • Your new side garden is magical! I loved the pictures of your Bay Area garden, but this new space is a whole new level of magic. Thanks for doing the giveaway!

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  • Such a unique side yard. Beautiful to wander through. So glad you gave priority to framing a focal point from inside your house. Windows are simply picture frames for our landscapes.

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  • Love love love your side yard with the boulders and moss and pleasing lines. I never knew there were hoses like this! How nice it would be to not have 75 ft of hose showing in a pile!

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful didn’t yard and the giveaway!

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  • Beautiful weeping Redbud- will be on the lookout for one. The Hoselink looks nice and sturdy. Im going to look into getting one for my Mom.

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  • Love your side yard garden and all the large rocks. Know what you mean about your back pulling around hoses as I have same problem. Thanks for your article

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  • Been following you for years. I love the the relationship you have with the garden.

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  • Wow, is this timely! I was just trying to wrestle with our hose and vowed to get some sort of hose reel very soon. I would love to have the hoselink reel. Will check out their website right now, just in case.

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  • I’m so jealous of the boulders! I must love hoses because I have them on all sides of my home plus 4 more out away from the house. I love the reminder to pay attention to the view when planning an planting.

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  • Love the look of your side yard but mine is wider and has a couple of lemon trees planted on the north side of th house. No…I didn’t plant citrus trees on the north side.; they were here when we moved here 20years ago. I have two storage sheds and a border of amaranthus along the house. Again, I didn’t plan them but they aren’t too bad.
    As for the hose…..I HATE all my five hoses.in the backyard. Of the five two of them are coiled hoses I purchaed at the San Francisco Flower show about 15 years ago. They were NEVER supposed to be difficult to untwist but that is a joke. I dislike these coiled hoses intensely and would replace at least one of them if I win.

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  • I always look forward to your emails – they are SO inspiring! I’m looking into the Ruby Falls Weeping Redbud as I have a very large container I didn’t know what to do with. The hose is very intriguing. My hose is constantly kinking so I’m on the hunt for a solution!

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  • My hoses are my nemesis so I would love to have one 9f these! Your yard looks so wonderful.

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  • Hello Rebecca,
    I love your blog and Im glad you are doing well. Your side yard looks incredibly serene. We are trying to figure out our side yards also, I really love imagining and researching ideas after all there is joy in the journey I love the process of creating its a blessing for sure

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  • I LOVE how you pulled your side yard together using existing rocks to create such a lovely natural looking area. Inspirational!

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  • Always look forward to and am inspired by you writing – thank you! Love the hose – mine are laying all around too tired to wind up….

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  • Oh Rebecca, your side yard looks beautiful! You have such a gift!! Thank you for sharing. My family is talking about the possibility of moving to Granite Bay. All I can say is, “It’s too hot. I can’t garden there” – with a suitable amount of whining. You’re proving me wrong!!

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  • Another unbelievable transformation! You are a magician with plants and gardens.

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  • OMG!! I’m in need of a good garden hose !
    Your posts are always enlightening and educational.

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  • My goodness, you performed another miracle with your side yard, Rebecca! It looks fabulous.

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  • Your blog is wonderful, Rebecca! It always gets me dreaming about what “could be” in my yard. This new hose sounds great and I would certainly put it to good use.

    I was lucky to be able to visit your beautiful garden in Los Altos. After that visit, I introduced some chartreuse plants into my garden for the “pop”. What a great suggestion.

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  • Rebecca, I envy you your moss and lichen covered boulders. They are stunning!

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  • I think side yards are the perfect subject for more design articles – they are like the new frontier for gardening, much more interesting than the hell strips out front that seem to receive more press. What a beautiful job you did with yours!

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  • Thank you for the inspiration. Beautiful side yard and I love that you opened up that side of the house so that you could enjoy it from the inside. I am thrilled to hear about the Hose reel.. My husband and I have tried everything but our hoses are hard to handle. This looks like a great solution on our terrace. Thank you .

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  • Rebecca,

    Congratulations on your ‘new’ side garden. It looks beautiful. Very inspiring. We have some boulders also which our new grandson (14 mos) has just recently discovered. :-).
    The hose seems remarkable. I do struggle with our hoses; the kinks and the weight is always a problem. Also, where in the Bay Area do you think I could order the Ruby Falls Weeping Red Bud tree.. It’s beautiful!

    PS I love the garden gloves you recommended last December. I wear them all the time.

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  • Thanks for sharing the process of renovating your side yard. The spaces between the moss-covered boulders are a beautiful spot for a “crevice garden”. How wonderful you can enjoy the view from inside your home too! Srunning!

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  • Thanks to your inspiration, I was able to create a new and very private side garden in a space that was only four to five feet wide.

    Thanks,

    Bobbi

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  • UGH, hoses! Sign me up please… I love the look of your new side garden, the boulders with moss are spectacular and the plantings look great. Thanks for another great gardening article Rebecca.

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  • Love your side yard.
    The retractable hose looks amazing. I am 76 with multiple myeloma. So my energy level is lousy. The hoses are driving me crazy. Would rather deadhead than fight with the hoses. Hope you pick me.
    PS Love your work

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  • Yes!!! My mother always sends your articles to me – I am building out a new garden and parts are narrow as we’re pinched in between two houses. I love your ideas. I lugg our hose out from the garage but the next step would be a retractable so we can actually have it in the yard. Hilarious. Thank you!

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  • I saw that video on Garden Answer and have had hose-reel-envy ever since!

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  • Ooooo… thank you for the side-yard inspo! The inside-outside prompt is just what I need—a great starting point.

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  • Love your side yard and a retractable hose is a great idea. I herniated the disc in my back trying to pull the heavy hose.

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  • It’s nice to read about gardeners still using a hose to water! Plus having such en efficient design is a real bonus! Thank you

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  • Rebecca, I love your side yard! Those boulders are stunning with all the moss. I like that yellow mushroom too!

    Thanks for your informative blog.

    Best, Trudi

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  • I’ve always enjoyed your blog, Rebecca, but even more now that you live in my same zone (I’m south of you in the foothills). It’s great to see the transformation of your new garden in an area with perhaps more gardening challenges than the bay area. Euphorbia myrsinites is also one of my favorite Euphorbias, although I just removed a whole lotta volunteers as they were taking over one of my California poppy fields! Still a stunning architectural plant.
    That hose reel looks amazing! I haven’t found one to my liking at the big boxes hardware stores but the Hoselink could really work.

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  • OMG! Perfect timing. I need two new hose reels and am working on a side yard plan. As usual Rebecca, you are an inspirational magician.

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  • Kinked up, snarled hoses are the bane of my existence in the garden! Thanks for sharing this solution.

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  • What a wonderful before/after. Stunning!! And “green” to boot.
    Would love the hose for these reasons. Thanks for the offer.

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  • Love your transformed side yard. I have been eyeing a Ruby Falls and a Merlot redbud at the nursery. I never considered either one would flourish in a pot and seeing yours has gotten me excited. How big of a pot did you use?
    As for the hose, i can’t stand trying to rewind it and avoid using it. The HoseLink is very appealing.

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  • As an older gardener, it is a challenge carrying, dragging and untangling a hose from one corner to another in my garden. A retractable hose reel would be a welcome addition so thank you for the opportunity to enter the drawing. Before moving to Chico, CA, I gardened in the Southeast. Your book and blog have been invaluable in transitioning to my new garden zone!

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  • Beautiful side yard rework! Those are always a challenge. I’m glad you have more to work with than the usual 5 feet these days!

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  • Such a beautiful transformation. I definitely need a “hose link “. My third hose replacement just sprang a leak.

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  • Oh my I need one of these! My garden hoses have become permanent garden ornaments. I think I need more than one actually. I hope I win!

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  • Your side yard looks like it belongs up here in the Pacific NW. just beautiful. My husband always buys heavy duty hoses because they last longer but they are so frustrating to move around. Hose real looks like it would be the answer.

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    • Wow, the Ruby Falls Redbud looks like a great variety for a smaller space than other redbuds. Does it remain fairly narrow as it grows into a weeping shape? Can it take some direct, hot afternnon sun like we have here on the SF peninsula (not as hot as where your garden is)? Will it have fall color in this milder climate? Sorry – so many questions that you can’t answer!! I’ll follow your link to find out more about it. Your blog always has so many interesting plant varieties!

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  • I agree with everyone about the gorgeous moss covered rocks – what a score! But that must mean you have little/dappled light in that back area? I am really trying to grow our modest moss sprawl.

    And I love the seasonal color story as well. Like everyone else, I appreciate having a beautiful view!

    As an elementary teacher, sometimes just coming outside to “catch my breath“ and regroup during my schedule of remote classroom lesson instruction – to hear the birds, feel the sun or a breeze, or watch a hummingbird, hawk or simply enjoy the trees swaying in the wind – is such a recharge and boost in my day. I feel such gratitude for it.

    Although I’ve always loved and tended my home (especially now, as a first-time home owner!), I have never appreciated my garden as much as when we went to Shelter in Place.

    That’s why your work and blog bring so much value, beauty and inspiration to everyone. ❤️ Please keep it up!

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  • I love your blog and all your posts… thank you for sharing so generously! I also would love the hose reel… I have tried many and not ever found one that lasted past one session or worked that well. Thanks for the opportunity.

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  • I am working clearing and cleaning up my side yard this weekend, so this post was exactly the inspiration I needed. Love those. boulders and the plants tucked in the crevices really enhances them. (Excited about the hose giveaway opportunity!)

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  • I am the only one that puts my 4 garden hoses away properly….it would be so nice to have this beauty so maybe my husband AND gardener could use and put it away properly. Of course I admire all your wonderful ideas and beautiful gardens you put together. Thank you and stay well‼️

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  • I am not sure which was most appealing, the lovely redo of the side garden or the solution to a messy hose all over the place. The side garden must have a relaxing meditative effect. The hose solution, on the other hand, is a means to avoid frustration. The two go hand in hand perfectly!
    I am new to this inspirational place to go to which, in this messy world, I find refreshingly inspirational and gives me a dose of peace of mind.

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  • Hi Reecca – I use a siphon to fertilize my pots etc. There has to be enough pressure in the hose to make it work. I have a “metal” hose that I love because it is light weight and doesn’t kink, but it won’t allow enough pressure for the siphon. How does the “Hoselink” measure up to this requirement? The reel is certainly nice looking.. thanks, Nan Ray

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  • As usual, your makeover is stunning! And what a cool hose! I definitely could use one of those. 😎

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  • Great!! I am working on my side yard right now and it is a massive amount of work .A large hedge was removed so I had a lot more space to work with. You were lucky to have “the bones”–I just happen to love rocks and you had the huge ones to work with.. I have been using a lot of my own plant material which has helped with the expense .My next job is putting in a cedar path–which I have researched online –totally wonderful info and very helpful’
    I have also found out that companies don’t want small jobs –won’t even phone back when you contact them
    Does anyone know of a “Small Jobs Guy” who likes to work?? Would love to have a referral.
    Loved the hose info too.

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    • I’ve had great success with using TaskRabbit To find people for small jobs.

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  • The transformation of your side yard is downright dreamy, Rebecca. I’m drooling over the moss covered boulders, what an unbelievable gift to be able to design around. The movement with your Euphorbia myrsinites is excellent. It is a plant that grows well in our low desert, but I have never seen one as intriguing. It’s especially fun that we are ‘next door neighbors’ in the Fine Gardening article!!!

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  • Is there really such a thing as the perfect hose? I’d love to find out!

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  • I loved this post. I loved the transformation of the sideyard with boukders become a canvas for low water, succulent plants–what enticing plant selections!

    I’ve done something similar with a Redbud ‘Burgundy Hearts’, standard form, in a bronze container for a sitting area in my front yard.

    The retractable hose is right up my alley as my previous retractable hose contraption was destroyed by subcontractors. This one looks much more streamlined and compact.

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  • Rebecca, you’ve created such a magical space in your side yard! It’s like a fairytale woodland garden, but with using drought tolerant plants. Love what you’ve done.
    I’m going to look up the redbud for my area – I’m in Placerville – not far, but I know we get colder winters.

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  • I love your side yard. My back patio is very narrow and I’ve spent the last week cleaning it up and hating my hose. So glad I found your sit.

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  • I am inspired by your blog, and can’t wait to get moving on a side garden project!

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  • AWSOME article on side yard makeover. I have been thinking about doing my side yard. The article gave me some good ideas.

    Reply
  • Our summer project is to reclaim our side yard to include a potting and propagation area. We live in SoCal so your ideas fit our low water hot area perfectly. The end result you accomplished was restful
    – an oasis. Thanks. I’ll send some pics when we are done. We are MasterGardeners. So this info will be shared. Thanks. Gardening is not closed as we say here.

    Reply
  • Your side yard transformation is awe inspiring! I agree that the side yards can become ignored dumping grounds. I’m working on mine, as it can be seen from the street AND from my living room! The hose reel solves so many issues – would love to have it! I so look forward to your postings – they always give me ideas and food for thought…

    Reply
  • Beautiful side yard transformation!
    I drag hoses around all summer and fall- this hose reel could make my watering chores a cinch!

    Reply
  • My hoses drive me crazy! I think I really, really need this.

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  • I really appreciate how you walked us through the process of redesigning your side yard. I’ll take your advice (framing the mini-gardens) and designing for inside-outside features. I live in a midcentury home in northern California and my walls facing the back garden are floor-to-ceiling windows. Thank you for your inspiration!

    Reply
  • A glorious side yard to enjoy for many years to come. Thank you for showing seasonal pictures of the Ruby Falls Redbud. I’m not familiar with this tree. Now I would like to have one in my garden. This hose reel looks promising. If I had one of these installed maybe other family members would put the hose away. Wouldn’t that be a novel concept.

    Reply
  • Laura Goldman

    I love your side yard after pictures. Very inspiring, especially the moss-covered boulders. A knockout! Thanks.

    Reply
  • Really great “before and after” transformation! Existing boulders on a landscape project are like “finding gold” for me! I love to be creative with boulders in a planting scheme. Thanks for sharing your amazing design talent and insights!
    Best always,
    Sabrina Tanner

    Reply
  • Always love your ideas and great pictures. The Redbud is amazing!

    Reply
  • I love your blog!I have a funny corner that is sloped with Boulders, and you’ve given me some great inspiration! Also, the hoses! Bain of my existence-haha!

    Reply
  • Thank you for sharing the beautiful transformation of your side yard. I love all the shapes, colors and textures that nature has provided through the boulders and moss backdrop and you additional planting- very inspiring.

    Reply
  • What a great idea to embrace your boulders. I’m trying to design something like this on a much smaller scale and these are great ideas. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Love seeing the progress of your new garden! I’ve got your same hot climate so it’s helpful to see what plants you’ve chosen to add.

    Reply
  • Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden with us. Love the before and after pictures.

    Reply
  • Your side yard is stunning and I look forward to see your work in other areas of your yard as the years go by. And that redbud is gorgeous!

    Reply
  • Incredible boulders that you inherited and an even more incredible garden space you created. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  • Your side yard is beautiful Even though I live in a desert climate I find your blog helpful. I, too, hate rewinding hoses and more than not leave them all over the back yard.

    Reply
  • Love your blog about our area (I live in Elk Grove) and the plants you talk about will actually grow in our area.

    Reply
  • Those boulders are fantastic, and redbud is my favorite tree;

    Reply
  • Your blog is wonderful. I ordered the Mozart rosemary because of you. Thank you.

    Reply
  • Love the side yard makeover! I’m adding raised beds to our weird side space this year. It’s completely shaded, so I hope to raise lettuce and other “cold” crops through the summer. Thanks for the tips on crevice plants, too!

    Reply
  • I get inspired by your posts!!! Plus it helps that my side garden actually looks like yours!!! My neighbors will love you when it’s done!

    Reply
  • I love your boulders. You are lucky that they ‘bloom’ with all that heat. I put a redbud (Kates Hope) into my garden this year for my newest granddaughter. The heart shaped leaves and bright blooms gives us hope that spring will come.

    Reply
  • Oh my gosh, I love your side yard since I’m a big fan of moss and woodland gardens.

    Reply
  • Love your blog…even though I live in Wisconsin and my zone is much different than yours I always am able to get a take away from the information provided!

    Reply
  • I would love this hose for all the reasons that you mentioned!. The picture of the hose on the ground is exactly what my hose looks like all of the time.

    Reply

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