Not everyone has the land available to create a grand entrance to their back garden.
If you live in a suburban community, it is very likely that there are two narrow alleyways that lie between your home and that of your nearest neighbours. These awkward strips of property present the gardener with a number of challenges. With high walls on either side, they can feel down right claustrophobic. Lack of sunlight can limit plant choices and there are often things like downspouts and air conditioning units that need to be disguised.
Still, these seemingly small and inauspicious alleyways, are in fact areas worthy of some careful consideration, because they also serve as gateways in and out of the back garden.
These homeowners in Mississauga, Ontario have created a beautiful entrance to their back garden with a pathway that has a casual, woodland feel to it.
Fine cedar mulch was used to create the central path that lies between the two homes.
Here is a closer look. Hosta, Ostrich fern and Spirea add some height to the plantings. Periwinkle (purple flowers) and Lamium serve as groundcovers.
This is the alleyway on the other side of the same property that leads back around to the front of the house.
This is second home, also in Mississauga, with more formal approach to their backyard entrance.
The plantings included hosta, euonymus, heuchera, and this variegated Solmon's Seal above (Polgonatum odoratum 'Variegatum').
The pathway curves around the side of the house and passes under a large arbor.
The arbor creates a doorway to the backyard patio. (This view is from the patio looking back toward the alleyway. I believe that the vine on the arbor is a Wisteria.)
Yet another creative homeowner has made a small courtyard with a winding path of flagstones.
The plantings includes ferns and a nice mix of hosta.
Private garden, Mississauga Ontario
Not all spaces between suburban homes are narrow and poorly lit. In this final example, these homeowners have taken advantage of lots of sunlight to make a small formal kitchen garden.