Landscaping the corner of your yard

Published 11:06 am Friday, December 29, 2023

Using fresh plantings to replace a section of lawn seldom fails to provide a refreshing new look. But what about those corners in the yard that look awkward and are difficult to mow or care for? Many city lots have one or more corners that are challenging to beautify. From the utility box to the view of the neighbors dog house or outbuilding, corners of the yard often are the neglected ugly duckling when it comes to landscaping a home. Let us consider a few possibilities to remedy this problem.

If you or your neighbor has installed a good fence that provides a visual barrier, there are more options, but a bad corner to a yard can be made to look more interesting in all cases with some creative designs.

Planting a flowering tree and surrounding it with evergreen shrubbery is one way to make a curved corner or one with an additional set of angles. Putting some bulbs or annuals just in front of the other plants can give color highlights much of the entire year to that useless corner you may have.

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A shed or pergola are possible structures to add, or a gazebo could be worked into a corner and plants installed around its foundation. If there’s a fence already, a private nook or patio could be placed in a back corner, and fronted with some lovely shrubs to turn it into a private little retreat area.

Along that same theme is a secret garden. This is an area that you create in such a way it is not visible except when you go behind the curtain, so to speak. Behind a literal wall or a wall of plants or vines on a lattice.

An elevated corner lookout, or perhaps a treehouse–as in a small deck on stilts and a tree planted in front of it–are also good options. The opposite route would be a sunken, excavated area, like with stairs of stone descending into an area with seating and a firepit, perhaps.

A trellis or lattice can support a barrier of plants. Such could be in the middle of the yard even–blocking out the corner from primary viewing locations. A garden or mini-orchard combination could go in a corner, making for a more interesting and useful area.

A seating structure with a back and a roof–even a place to lounge with a book–could be placed in a back corner, and the back of this structure would be the ‘fence’ to block folks next door from observing you as you relax.

Does making a corner interesting have to pertain only to a back corner? Of course not. The corner in front could have a couple sections of rail fence or picket fence and a big boulder, and a couple plants could be placed inside for interest. Even a low stone wall could add some solid structure and lovely looks to a front corner.

Consider fancying up a corner of your yard this coming year.

The author is a landscaper. Contact him at rockcastles@gmail.com