Contemporary Courtyard Landscaping Ideas - 9 imaginative ways to re-style your outdoor space

Courtyard gardens on the small side often try to be all things to all people but in fact achieve very little. They can look dishevelled and lack style.

Here are some landscaping ideas to re-style your Courtyard:

Diminish the Long Garden Effect

If your Courtyard is a long thin rectangle, creating a sense of narrow enclosure, it can sometimes encourages you to move on. Have you ever noticed that when a pathway narrows, you tend to walk faster, only to slow down and gaze around when you come to the open field or space. Similarly in a thin garden, you brain wants to place your focus elsewhere. Not ideal if you want to linger and enjoy the space. To reduce the impact of a long garden, install the plants and other items towards the long ends in a layered style, bringing the those long ends back into the garden.

  Tall plants at the end of this garden visually bring it towards the centre of the space

Tall plants at the end of this garden visually bring it towards the centre of the space

Exercise Restraint in Color

  Neutral colors around the Courtyard - Simplicity at its best

Neutral colors around the Courtyard - Simplicity at its best

Try and tie the Courtyard to the home, using the same colors on the Courtyard walls as you have used in the adjoining room. I will assist the flow on effect and integration of the two zones.. If that is not possible, see if you can do it with the floors extending out of the adjoining room into the Courtyard, either with same color and / the same material.

Create a Sensory Experience

An aromatic plant or flower, or maybe the sound of running water will draw your senses into your garden as you escape from the pressures of modern life.

Restraint in the Plant Palette

Mass planting creates a great contemporary effect, even in a Courtyard. Reducing the plant palette is hard if you love your plants, but if you can resist the temptation, you will find the less is more.

Use Large Pots

Perhaps 3 but never 2. Odd numbers look great unless you are wanting a very formal garden where a pot is placed either side of a door for window. Using large pots will ensure you make bold statements and actually use less of them.

  Large pots, limited plant palette

Large pots, limited plant palette

Plant up the Wall

  Note the use of a green creeper growing up the end wall. The wall on which it grows maintains it presence within the space, and the plants on the wall are themselves a focal point. In this case the placement of the mat brings the two spaces together.

Note the use of a green creeper growing up the end wall. The wall on which it grows maintains it presence within the space, and the plants on the wall are themselves a focal point. In this case the placement of the mat brings the two spaces together.

Rather than create a vertical garden that is a “solid block” of green plants on a full wall, plant a creeper or climber without allowing it to completely hide that wall. It is much better to see part of the wall behind, so that if maintains a continuity relationship with the other walls to the garden.

Bring the Outside Inside

Consider using the same colors on walls to the Courtyard as you have used within the adjoining room. You may also want to place some complementary plants inside, collectively providing a seamless flow from one space to the other.

Beyond the Courtyard

With every vista, there is the foreground, the middle ground and hopefully a panorama. Unless you are at the top of a hill, the latter will not be available to most courtyards. It is important not to obstruct the view on other side of the fence or wall, it provides perspective to your space.

Connect to the Outside

Use sustainable natural products like natural stone, wood and water in your garden. It stimulates a connection with longevity and the world outside. .

All pics courtesy Pinterest

For further advice and assistance contact Brian, he would love to help.

  The tree tops on the other side of t his g arden wall add scale, depth and complementary plans to this garden

The tree tops on the other side of this garden wall add scale, depth and complementary plans to this garden