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There’s a nasty little fact of city life that no one wants to talk about, and it has beady eyes and a long, wriggly tail.

How do you create an inviting urban garden where your family will want to hang out…but pesky rodents will not? There may not be a sure-fire way to keep all pests out of your yard, but you can certainly make the space less enticing for them. In this design for a backyard city garden, our Home Outside designer enclosed the space with corrugated metal fencing (here’s a great example with an edgy, urban vibe). Trash is stored in secure containers in a built-in shed, to which a trellis can be attached for training vines or other vertical plant elements. The industrial appearance of the fencing is softened by a row of custom-built planters containing bamboo on one side of the property. Rats like to burrow in fresh soil to dig their nests, and they appreciate the shelter provided by thick foliage, so in-ground garden beds tend to attract them. Putting plants in containers and using pebbles as mulch will go a long way toward making your city garden less hospitable for them…and more enjoyable for you!