consider black rock for the side of the house (between patio and back yard)
For the garden
Bare side yard becomes area for childs swing on arbor and easy clean up dog potty area in the gravel. - Gretchen Bauer Design
Dream Home - Yard
Fantastic design for narrow patio
Outdoor Screens for Yards - Bing Images
Zero lot lines. VERY narrow spaces between houses. You could build a pergola from your house – reaching almost to the brick wall. This would leave space for a bed where you could plant vines and box.
Patios, Gardens, and Exteriors
ideas for small side yards - Google Search
I nominate "side yards" as some of the most under-exploited areas in the landscape! What a shame, especially when every square foot of real estate is valuable, even in a down …
Paisagismo sem grama. Uso de arbustos, vasos, trepadeiras, placas cerâmicas (ou de pedras) e pedriscos. Banco em madeira fechando o desenho em curva que dá mais beleza ao jardim! landscaping without grass
Easy little side yard. Great for those tiny yards you get when you buy a condo. Which is something justin and I are highly considering.
SQUEEZE PLAY: Landscape architect Rita Hodge added tall black bamboo and lower-growing perennials to soften this narrow, vertical entry. Photo: Ralph Smith Photography / handout