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Small triangle of lawn to side of house - wildlife gardening?

Hi all - I have a small triangle of lawn to the side of my house between it and the pavement. It’s about 12 meters by 4 and not somewhere we use at all given it’s position. It gets the morning sun but is largely shady for the afternoon. Being next to the pavement I don’t want it to be too scruffy but also don’t want it to just be an unused, pointless lawn area.

An easy option would be to put down some gravel but that’s not very good for wildlife. Does anyone have any thoughts on what I could do with it to turn it into a wildlife friendly area but without scaring the neighbours?


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,262
    Do you need access down the side of the house?

    What sort of soil is it? Acid? Chalk? Clay? Sand?

    What sort of neighbours do you have? Ones that would lob a bottle into a bush without a second thought?

    I was thinking that you could fill it full of flowering shrubs. They need very little attention. But it all depends on the answers to the above.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 11,021
    Any chance of a photo @siden1 ? Do people tend to use it as a shortcut if it's in that position? 
    Sorry, I'm just having trouble visualising it  :)
  • siden1siden1 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the reply. I like the idea of some shrubs.

    No access required - it’s a triangle of space between the brick wall of my back garden and the pavement.

    Soil is clay - with a top layer of ‘new build estate’!

    A small number of items occasionally end up in the area now - but not too bad, really.

    Would you suggest I leave the lawn and then plant the shrubs into it, or clear the turf?
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,262
    edited May 2019
    I would cut circles out of the turf and let them fight it out.

    If it’s clay, anything in the rose family will grow, including roses. Hawthorn. Rowan. Firethorn. Apple. Pear etc etc.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,391
    Also evergreen Euonymous come in a range of colours and variegations, don't need any attention and can be dotted around other shrubs, such as those pansyface mentions.  Max. 1x1m after 10 years, a bomb-proof naturally bush-shaped bush.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • siden1siden1 Posts: 4
    Picture now attached.  I'm probably going to remove (or move further into the grass area) the little bushes alongside the pavement because they cause a nuisance if I don't cut them often.
  • siden1siden1 Posts: 4
    I have seen a planning application where they have had their boundary extended to include such a grassy area, but it was much smaller than yours! The house next door had already done the same thing. Not an easy option but something to consider. That would make your garden much larger! You could always leave a small strip between the extended wall and the pavement and plant some small holly shrubs or something to stop people climbing your wall.
    Hi - it's already within my boundary, so I could do this but I think the cost would be prohibitive versus the benefit.  Haven't had any wall climbers yet, but some kind of prickly defence may form part of the plan, just in case :smile:  

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,288
    You might need to check whether there’s any height restriction in order to maintain a clear visibility splay at the junction. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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