Consider there are four rows of houses, A to D. A and B stand face-to-face and a road runs between them. C and D face each other as well, with a road in between.

The rows B and C hence stand back-to-back, and between the two rows there is a kind of green area covered in grass along with several flowering shrubs, trees and vines. This is a public area - it doesn't belong to any of the houses in rows B and C. Is there a single word I can use to describe this?

Some words that crossed my mind -
ground - seems too broad in meaning to convey what I want to
garden - seems to be either a piece of personal land, or a public garden (which doesn't fit this context according to the definition here)
meadow - more suited to a larger area, possibly referring to a farmland
backyard - will almost always be assumed to be personal property

Any suggestions will be appreciated. If any of the four above words seem suitable and I'm being unnecessarily fastidious, some example sentences/contexts with the word would be helpful

  • I (BrE) might call it a communal or shared garden, if the houses don't have their own individual gardens (AmE yards) and it is planted up with ornamental shrubs for the occupants to enjoy. A meadow is a field where grass is grown as a crop. Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 16:46
  • a common-area sward with flowering shrubs and trees
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 17:10
  • Can you tell use 1) the word in your language for this. and 2) the result of a dictionary translation of that word.
    – James K
    Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 21:20
  • @JamesK I don't think there exists a suitable word for this context specifically, in the two other languages I know. The closest words all translated to 'garden'.
    – TRC
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 3:41
  • @KateBunting How about making it an answer? Seems to be a better fit than the two existing answers.
    – TRC
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 3:42

3 Answers 3


If the houses don't have their own private gardens (backyards to Americans) and the area is planted up with ornamental shrubs for the occupants to enjoy, I (as a British English speaker) would probably call it a communal or shared garden.


'Green space' sounds good to me, it's descriptive, understandable, and sounds like a shared space. An architect may have a better word.


It is sometimes called a play area or play park as a safe place for young children to play near their homes and interact.

When the area has a hard surface, it is usually called a playground.

It is certainly not a meadow, which is a broad expanse of farm or common land used for agriculture, nor a backyard, which is usually for the residents of a particular property (unless being used figuratively).

  • Thanks for the suggestion (+1) but since there's an actual park nearby, children don't play in the space I mentioned. Thank you also for confirming my belief that meadow and backyard wouldn't fit.
    – TRC
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 3:45

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