Rising land costs make narrow lots the norm in many locations. Unfortunately, landscaping problems can increase in intensity with such closeness.
One wall of the house may rest nearly on the lot line, leaving a narrow, hard-to-plant space on the opposite side. Privacy, though harder to achieve, is more essential than ever. Access and traffic flow within the yard are concerns, too. Every inch of yard on the narrow lot must be used wisely.
To create the illusion of more space, try some visual trickery. Expand the entry as it adjoins the drive to make the space feel larger. Set low-level plantings along the drive and walk to lead the eye to the front door and soften the harshness of one house on top of another.
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For outdoor living, build a patio or deck, or a combination. You'll gain a needed sanctuary while retaining an open feel. To provide privacy in the backyard and help absorb neighbors' noise, plant trees and shrubs, and build a fence.
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The smaller the space, the more important it is to define zones within the site. Here a streetscaping zone and an outdoor living zone are developed with a concern for detail that brings as much beauty and usefulness as many large yards offer.
The rock garden, with a low fence in front, is a fine focal point and makes the small space seem larger. A taller fence behind it screens an area where equipment can be stored.
Along the property lines, easy-care plants that won't grow out of bounds solve the problem of mowing in narrow places, and add a sense of seclusion.