I live within the city, in an old neighborhood where the rooflines of the houses almost overlap. The front garden is small - so small that my several years ago, my husband dug up the entire front yard, creating two planting areas on either side of the front walk. One side now has a raised bed, which we jokingly refer to as the "Front 35" - at 5 ft x 7 ft, the raised bed is a herb garden. The front yard has a steep slope down to the sidewalk, which is planted with English ivy. A neatly trimmed hedge of China Girl hollies froms a barrier between the yard and the sidewalk.
The back garden consists of two levels of irregularly shaped deck, leading down to a brick-edged patio with a pergola over part of it. The walk to the back gate to the alley is also brick-edged, and bisects the backyard at an angle. The yard is deeply shaded from the property line volunteer trees along the fenceline. Every spring, I call my favorite tree trimmer to come over and give me $300 worth of trimming on the trees that overhang my yard. On my side, the fence is edged with a bed of hostas along the side and back fence. The other fenceline has overgrown Rose of Sharon bushes. A small triangular patch of grass completes the back garden and is a constant struggle to keep green and weed-free.