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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.