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Ideas for a small backyard with dogs in the Pacific Northwest

5 years ago
last modified: 5 years ago

I'm looking for some ideas to improve our small backyard (20' wide) in Oregon. It has a southern exposer, but due to two large trees and a short retaining wall with a privacy fence it gets limited sunlight. I have attached a photo of the yard before we moved in...that is about the most light the yard will see on a very sunny day.

The yard has been sloped to move water past the house, but the ground gets very soggy because it is mostly clay. Between the lack of sunlight, poor drainage, and two large dogs, the grass has been replaced twice now with no luck. It is currently a muddy mess.

We are building a 12x36 deck across the back to cover the patio and some of the worse drainage areas. It will cover a lot of the grassy area (now mud pit).

We also need some sort of privacy along the privacy fence/retaining wall because the neighbor (right side of pic) sits up high and looks down into our yard.

I was thinking that a pacific northwest style might be the way to go (mulch, maybe some larger rocks/boulders, bushes, evergreens, ect.), but not sure how to lay it out and what types of plants to use. I'm really having a hard time visually what it would all look like put together so I'm hoping for some help!

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