Some courtyards are a little tight for room, so when planning a new garden it is important to do some research into how to make the most from small spaces.
If you are not sure where to start, grab some magazines or look on Pinterest etc and you will soon come up with some new and refreshing ideas. You might even want to create a Mood Board to help you visualise the personality of the design. As you look for ideas, you will no doubt be thinking about how you want to use the courtyard, be it for entertaining, a children's play zone, or a gardener's garden to enjoy. Sometimes it is all of the above, and so the design becomes a greater, and hopefully more rewarding challenge. More about courtyard garden design.
A Mood Board and a basic mud map that will allow you to visualise the flow of the garden. If you know the dominant elements that are to become the focal points (perhaps to enhance the view from inside), they will quickly form the basis for the garden structure. You may also want to start considering the use of color so as to provide a complementary aesthetic to the building etc.
Of course it needs to be functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. Where to put the refuse area and other unslightly's, without overcrowding?
With good design it is possible to make a courtyard seem larger, so effective space planning is the key. The trick is to create focal points that draw the eye to them, creating an illusion of space as the eye 'diminishes' those objects it chooses not to pay attention to.
Only then can you make some decisions about the hard surfaces and plants
Your choice of paving and furnishings will be influenced by color and how you will use the courtyard.
It is essential not to clutter with lots of smaller items. In the case of garden pots, make them larger, but have less.
Larger pots make a statement that a mass of smaller pots could never make.
Without clutter, a garden is at its best, tranquil, relaxing, peaceful, maybe your resort at home.
Plants will enhance the real personality of the garden, and once you have decided on a theme viz tropical, it is a matter of selecting plants that will suit the microclimate of the site, the size of the courtyard (viz no super sized trees) and the level of care you are prepared to give.
There is no maintenance free garden, but there are certainly some that require more ongoing care than others.
Contact Brian, he would love to guide you further.