One Room Challenge Fall 2021: Week One – Planting a Lush Garden in our Side Yard


The Fall 2021 One Room Challenge has officially started! During the ORC, featured designers and guest participants (that’s me!) make over a room or space in just eight weeks.

This time around, I’ll be transforming my side yard from blank slate to lush garden. Earlier this year, I set a goal to become a better steward of the land that we live on. The half acre that we call home is a gift and responsibility to care for, and I can’t wait to get started on this project.


Currently, the side yard is mostly clover and crabgrass. It’s quite large and south-facing, so there’s plenty of sunshine throughout the day. Lots of birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and bunnies frequent the space, and this part of our yard is highly visible from the street.


There have been SO many iterations of the plan for the side yard, but I try to always come back to the big picture and the following goals:

With that in mind, here’s what I have in the works:

Definite Action Items

I definitely will be tackling these items during the ORC:

  • Remove 14′ x 14′ area of turf
  • Plant 4′ garden bed with pollinator-friendly native plants along the side of the house
  • Build 4′ x 8′ raised bed for veggies and cut flowers
  • Install 3′ pea gravel path on all sides of the raised bed
  • Add a seating area to enjoy a morning coffee

Potential Action Items

These items may or may not happen depending on time and budget:

  • Install a rain barrel
  • Use vermiculture (aka worm composting!) to build soil
  • Create path from the driveway to the side door
  • Add an element of fun for our neighbors


In addition to function, I very much want the side yard to be beautiful. I’d love to make our neighbors feel happy when they see our yard, and it would be such a joy to be in a lovely space while tending the garden or enjoying company outside.

The overall ~*ViBE*~ I’m going for is organic, natural, and textural. I 100% realize that statement is vague, so I suppose you could sum it up as cottage garden meets Italian coast meets the south. Here are some inspiration images:

Source: Amber Interiors, Landscape Design by GSLA STUDIO, Photographed by Jess Isaac
Source: Half-Mile Farm, Photo by Hannah Beerman

There will certainly be lots of learning happening over here during the next eight weeks. Thanks for following along, and I look forward to cheering on everyone participating in the ORC!

If you’d like to see more behind the scenes, join me on Instagram. You can also subscribe to the blog to receive email updates on the ORC and beyond.

Want even more design goodness? You can spread some love to the Fall 2021 ORC featured designers and fellow guest designers here.

  1. […] turf into a lush garden. If you’re just joining us, welcome! Here are my previous posts from week one and week four if you’d like to catch up on the […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

join the tribe