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Courtyard Gardens

The Sensory Garden

5_Courtyard_GardensFor smaller spaces and where low maintenance is a priority, Courtyard Gardens really come into their own. 

After a  listed barn had been converted into a luxury home, the builders appeared to have forgotten to `finish' this tiny `back yard' and it had become just a place to leave the bins. 

But it had potential! 

The yard was stripped of its poor quality shingle (rather like cat litter!) and the rickety wooden banister rail which ran alongside the few steps down to the gate.  The bins were moved to a newly built bin-store outside the `yard' and the space was cleared of the old garden furniture and pots which had accumulated by the back door. 

Being only 7 square metres, maximising every centimetre was of paramount importance.  The design was for a `sensory' garden filled with sound and scent, colour, texture and even taste! 

In the completed garden, a central water feature with water splashing from a large tipped pot onto pebbles is surrounded by a herb border planted with applemint, purple sage, marjoram, thyme and rosemary all enclosed by a low ring of box hedging.  

A pebble path with sandstone stepping stones runs around the herb border and incorporates a small dining space just big enough for a small coffee table and two chairs.  Behind this seating area a lilac tree provides perfume in early summer before the highly scented climbing roses compete for praise against the south facing wall until the first frosts.  

3_Courtyard_GardensA low brick wall (built at just the right height to sit on!), retains a raised border planted with old fashioned geraniums, choisya, jasmine, clematis and even a lemon-scented conifer.  Low growing phlox hugs the border and trails softly over the wall.

With its easterly aspect enclosed by walls on all sides, the finished Courtyard Garden offers a warm and inviting area for breakfast or morning coffee and a quiet shady spot for reading a good book on a summers afternoon.

Courtyard Gardens 2

The Monochrome Garden

CourtyardGardens1Simplicity, sustainability and low maintenance was the brief which inspired the contemporary theme for this elegant town house garden.  The plants echo the monochrome landscaping with all the flowers being either pure white or as black as nature allows. 

A paved seating area in front of the summerhouse catches the morning sun for a romantic al-fresco breakfast whilst overlooking a small, still, lily pool.  Stepping stones `float' on the reflective water and lead to a slate shale terrace edged with a low clipped box hedge and borders planted with white and black flowering evergreen shrubs, perennials and climbers.  
A day bed placed for afternoon shade is backed by white clematis, lilies, dark leaved heuchera and swathes of tiny black flowered violas.  Shallow steps trace through lushly planted raised beds up to a smart black-stained decked dining area across the rear of the house where, in the summer, the last rays of the sun can be enjoyed - A peaceful haven amongst the hustle and bustle of city life.