Most people don’t bother doing anything special with their side yard or they just forget about it. Side yards are typically narrow and shady. These are not ideal conditions for growing plants, flowers, or grass.

Take the time to utilize your side walkway and convert it into something visually pleasing and useful. Design a path that is relaxing for you and your guests to walk through.

Today I’m going to discuss 5 landscaping ideas that will help you transform your side walkway into a place of beauty and ambiance.

Stone Pavers

Path with pavers.

Putting down pavers is a very popular way to create a walkway. They are durable, budget-friendly, and low-maintenance.

Pavers come in many shapes and sizes. There are options available to compliment all design styles from modern to coastal.

You can lay down gravel first and place the pavers on top. This creates a welcoming, rustic feel. Red, brick pavers with lots of bright, green plants is always a winning color combination.


Walkway lights.

Side yard pathways get dark and creepy at night. Increase visibility for safety and elevate the atmosphere by adding lighting.

If your path is lined with trees, uplights at the base of the tree trunks will highlight the foliage. If your side pathway has a fence, consider adding a string of LED lights along the top of the fence to create a party vibe.

There are a multitude of choices for low-lighting. From shiny silver to hammered copper, or modern stone; the options are endless.

Lining a walkway with lanterns in an easy way to provide light and create an enchanting space. The lanterns can be filled with LED candles so there is zero risk of fire.

Stagger lights on each side of the path and make sure they are no more than 6 inches from the edge of the path. The lights should be functional and pleasing to the eye.

Go Vertical

Side yard trellis.

Incorporate a trellis or a pergola for a dramatic feel. If you don’t have room for a trellis or pergola, hang lattices along the fence or on the side of the house.

Moonflower vines bloom at night and will help to illuminate your walkway. Passionflower vines have gorgeous purple flowers and are easy to care for. Check out this closely related article titled, “Plants for Walkway Landscaping.”

Tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans are all vining plants. You could beautify your space and grow your own food at the same time.

Add Seating

Walkway with a bench.

Spruce up your walkway by adding seating of some kind. Depending on your space, you may only have room for a bench or small chair. Brightly colored Adirondack chairs are welcoming and make good use of a small space.

Some side yards are big enough for a lounge or dining area. Comfy chairs on either side of a small table will be the perfect place to relax after a long day at work.

Any type of seating will encourage your guests to stay and linger. With a little imagination you can construct an inviting and intimate space.


Side yard fountain.

Install a water feature to soothe your soul and relax your guests. Running water attracts many types of wildlife. Fountains and ponds are both visually and aesthetically pleasing.

Add a decorative gate. A gate will protect your property and add style to your yard. There are lattice style gates, barn gates, arched gates, iron gates, etc. The choices are ample.

Set out some potted plants. Potted plants will accent the walkway and help to create a unified border. Choosing fun, colorful pots will welcome guests and give hints about your personality.

Go Green

Oakleaf Hydrangeas.

There are many easy-to-maintain border plants that you can use to define your walkway. Some popular border plants are monkey grass, ferns and hostas. Evergreen Lawn & Landscapes specializes in seasonal planting.

Looking to establish some privacy for yourself and your neighbors? Privacy hedges are the answer. Choose evergreen shrubs for year-round privacy and color.

Holly, Chinese photina, and aucuba japonica are evergreen shrubs that grow well in North Texas. When planting, zigzag these shrubs for a fuller effect.

Many side walkways are not exposed to sunlight because they’re between two houses. If this is true in your situation, choose shade-tolerant plants like fatsia japonica, aspidistra, leatherleaf mahonia, or oakleaf hydrangeas.

Final Thoughts

Side walkways are easy to neglect because of their size and position. Out of sight, out of mind, as the saying goes. This does not have to be true for your side pathway.

Incorporate some of these innovative landscaping ideas and transform your forgotten strip of land into something charming and functional. Evergreen Lawn & Landscape are the best people to call for all your landscaping needs.