Small Garden Design Tips from Landscape Designer Shirly Bovshow

Learn how to cultivate big style in a small garden with these small garden design tips from landscape designer Shirley Bovshow, who transformed this narrow side yard into a charming passageway.

| March/April 2012

As co-host of the Discovery Home Channel’s makeover show Garden Police, Shirley Bovshow sees a lot of lackluster yards. But when she first laid eyes on this formerly barren 10-foot-wide side yard in Los Angeles, she knew she was in for a challenge. A discarded dishwasher took center stage amid several trash cans and storage boxes. Eager to bring functionality and beauty to the wasted space, the new homeowner enlisted Bovshow’s help to revamp it with sustainability and space saving in mind, transforming the underused stretch of land into a charming passageway.

What inspired the small garden design for this space? 

This narrow side yard is part of a landscape project that includes the front and back yards, and its function as a thoroughfare between the two shaped my vision. The design was inspired by my client’s love of natural style, the decomposed granite hiking trails of the Santa Monica Mountains and a timeless, old-world look. I also wanted to deliver a multisensory garden with year-round color, sound, fragrance and movement, along with edible plants.

What are the stepping stones made of? 

They are repurposed pieces of an old patio “curated” from a Dumpster. We mortared smaller pieces together when we ran out of large ones and ordered the rest from a landscape yard at a very affordable price. We planted creeping ‘Elfin’ thyme between each stone, which forms a fragrant carpet on the pathway.

What are some of the site’s other sustainable features? 

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on natural health, organic gardening, real food and more!


Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds

Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265