What’s The Difference? Yard Vs Garden Vs Lawn


Taking care of your home’s landscaping is easier when you know the difference between your yard, garden, and lawn.

While all can be part of a single property, many people use the terms garden, yard, and lawn interchangeably, which can lead to confusion.

It’s easy to remember that lawns are grassy, gardens are areas full of crop-producing or decorative plants and structures, and a yard is any land outside of a home, even if the ground has driveways, walkways, or patios over the soil.

What Is A Yard?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a yard is the grounds of a building or group of buildings.

In other words, a yard is all the property outside of a house on a single parcel of land. This area can include:

  • Grassy areas
  • Concrete patios or walkways
  • Driveways
  • Planter beds
  • Play areas
  • Ponds, pools, or other water features
  • Natural areas with native plants and trees

Of course, some people may think of only the grassy area when talking about their yard, especially when it’s time to mow or apply fertilizer.

Most homeowners reference their yard by its location to the house.

For example, the “front yard” includes all the land between the front of the house and the property line or a sidewalk or street, while the “back yard” will be the land behind the home, often enclosed by a fence.

The “side yard” will be any land on either end of the house up to the property line of the adjoining neighbors.

Sheds, garages, and other outbuildings will also be in your yard.

What Tools Do You Need to Maintain a Yard?

Most homeowners keep these basic tools on hand to maintain their yard:

  • Shovels
  • Brooms
  • Powerwasher
  • Hoses
  • Weed eater
  • Pruning shears
  • Chainsaw

What Is A Garden?

A garden can mean two different things depending on who you ask.

The first description for a garden is a section of your yard set aside to grow crops. Some people also refer to this space as a “vegetable garden.”

However, a person’s actual crops can be fruits, vegetables, herbs, or flowers. As a crop grows, matures, and is harvested, the owner will till the land and prepare the soil to grow a new plant crop.

The second description for a garden is any space in your yard with decorative plantings, whether it’s flower beds, hedges, or ornamental trees. This type of garden can also display statuary, bird baths, fountains, arbors, or other focal points that are visually appealing.

Most people plant “garden beds,” which are areas around the perimeter of a home, spots within or bordering a grassy area, or to delineate the property lines. These areas will hold flowers and shrubs and increase the home’s and property’s curb appeal.

What Tools or Supplies Do You Need to Maintain a Garden?

Most gardeners keep these items on hand for seasonal upkeep:

  • Rototiller
  • Shovels, hoes, and rakes
  • Hoses – standard and soaker
  • Fertilizers and compost
  • Wheelbarrow and buckets
  • Wood stakes
  • Shade cloth
  • Weed, pest, and disease control sprays

What Is A Lawn?

A lawn is the area of your property or yard with a relatively flat section of grass. Most people only refer to the grassy sections they maintain by mowing, fertilizing, and raking as the “lawn.”

The lawn is a place for kids and pets to play, for families to engage in sports, to use as a place to set up a pool, or just an area to set up chairs to hang out.

Homeowners love an excellent lawn because the grass is soft under the feet when walking or running, and the land is typically flat and free of obstacles like rocks, so you don’t have to watch your step when moving across the area.

Landscape experts do not consider other areas of a yard that are left more natural as a lawn, only the actively used and maintained grassy sections typically in the front and back of a residential home.

People appreciate a good lawn with a healthy expanse of rich green grass without weeds or bare or brown patches. A great lawn improves a home’s value.

What Tools And Products Do You Need To Maintain a Lawn?

Homeowners with the best-looking lawns have these items in their garage or shed:

  • Lawn mower
  • Weed eater
  • Hoses and sprinklers
  • Weed killer spray
  • Fertilizers for grass with a spreader
  • Dethatcher
  • Aerator
  • Grass seed

In Summary

You can find a lawn or garden in the yard of a residential or commercial property.

It’s easy to remember that lawns are grassy, gardens are areas full of crop-producing or decorative plants and structures, and a yard is any land outside of a home, even if the ground has driveways, walkways, or patios over the soil.

Taking care of your garden, lawn, and yard will require different tools and supplies. So, knowing the lingo will help you buy the right products to maintain each area correctly, so your entire property always looks amazing!

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