Creating a Courtyard Garden

The challenge

Mrs Delves - Before (13)The narrow garden of this mid-terrace house was deceptively spacious. What it lacked was any kind of style.

A straight path divided two strips of lawn, leading to an old shed. The paving and patio area had seen better days, and the stones and concrete path needed to be dug up and replaced.

Our client wanted us to turn the garden into an elegant courtyard-style setting that would be easy to maintain.

The concept

garden design finalised 2Our designer started to sketch out a plan. We knew straight away that we wanted to put a raised bed in to add some dynamics to the flat landscape. Using Abbey walling in mellow stone, we created an unusual semi-circular shaped raised flower bed along one side of the garden.

To complement the mellow stone of the raised bed, we laid Marshalls Saxon paving in buff to make the garden look cleaner and lighter. The paving made a massive difference to the perceived dimensions of the space. Of course, the garden hadn’t changed in size, but our design made it look much wider and more open.

On the opposite side, facing the raised bed, we constructed an arbour containing a small bench. In between the raised bed and arbour, we laid a new levelled lawn with quirky u-shaped contours. The freshly laid turf looked wonderfully green against the pale buff coloured stonework.

Grey rumble setts were used to form an easy maintenance block edging strip around the lawn. The same grey setts were employed to create a one-off circular feature in front of the arbour. We also utilised the grey stones to highlight the single kerb step we built outside the client’s back door.

Because the area was actually quite spacious, though narrow, we were able to build and install a shed and summerhouse towards the back of the garden, facing the house. We then painted both structures in elderflower and willow to match the arbour.

This once bare garden now had everything; a fresh lawn, raised flower bed, and a new patio area. Plus, a beautifully painted matching arbour, summerhouse and shed that stood out as attractive additions to the courtyard.

On a practical note, we also incorporated gravel drainage strips and a new Aco channel drainage system. These are simple devices that allow water to drain away rather than collecting in puddles on paving and concreted surfaces.

The conclusion

Mrs Delves - After (11)Our client loved the courtyard feel to her new garden. Before, the garden had felt narrow and confined. Now, although it was very much styled to be a courtyard setting, it felt much less enclosed than it had previously.

The design and colours we used made a huge impact on the whole outlook of the garden. It was interesting to note that while the garden contained more features and structures than it had before, it seemed larger and more open and uncluttered. It just goes to show what you can do with clever garden design.

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