Contemporary Courtyard Garden Design
Sometimes a small space can seem the most challenging to design. However, this is the size you really can treat like an outdoor room and if you apply the same principles the results can be wonderful. This small garden measures only 3.4m wide by 6.5m long and is surrounded on three sides by large windows which open into the rooms of the house. It was therefore very important that the garden was good to look at all year around from the windows of the house
and that it really does function like an outdoor room.
The courtyard was divided into two areas, a small deck and an adjacent lawn which were pulled together by surrounding them in sandstone cobbles in a lovely warm colour called camel dust. As the couple have a small child they still wanted to have a lawn but they did not want the work associated with grass so we opted for artificial grass. We paired this with a composite deck in a lovely soft grey tone.
Some planting is always needed in even the smallest garden to soften the surrounding hard
Courtyard Garden Design
landscaping, so we positioned two raised beds against the boundary fence flanking an area where a special piece of sculpture or small water feature could be positioned at a later date. To add height and a feeling of enclosure to this space we built a single flying pergola adjacent to the fence and planted climbers which will eventually climb up the pergola and drape down creating a green canopy along this boundary.
The fence and raised borders was painted off white to match the walls of the house and the pergola was painted a lovely soft blue shade to match the doors. This combination of colours
Courtyard Before Garden Design
which compliments the house beautifully pulls the whole design together creating a wonderful outdoor space which will truly become an outdoor room for this family.
Formal Parterre Front Garden
Design Plan for Parterre
A lot of people would think that formal parterre gardens are a thing of the past or something for only very large gardens on country estates. Think again, as you can make a lovely statement in any garden front or back garden if you wish with a formal parterre. In this case we were asked to re design the front garden of a period style home in south Dublin and totally transformed the garden into a formal parterre which beautifully compliments the house. We used soft red bricks in a basket weave pattern to create a straight path to the front door and then continued the brick around the parterre to create a formal arrangement of borders surrounded by paths of gravel.
Garden Before Transformation
A central feature standard laurel was used as a gorgeous focal point in the centre of the parterre under planting it with two circles of low growing hedges in varying colours and textures which will eventually grow and be maintained at two different heights. Box balls were used on the corners of the parterre for added formality and structure, off setting the more informal plantings of mixed perennials in the other borders to soften the effect. A range of plants and bulbs were used to give colour from spring to autumn, but we used mostly only white flowering plants with a touch of purple.
Whilst planting this garden we received an unexpected number of queries, compliments and questions from passer bys and neighbours as they were all looking forward to see how it would turn out. I can’t wait to see it in flower next year and I am sure it will not disappoint the neighbourhood!
Rectangular Garden Design
Sometimes the simplest design option is the best. The secret is to know when this is the case. In this garden design, the garden was basically rectangular with a narrow section of the garden adjacent to an extension jutting out of the house.
The existing garden had two positive aspects which had to be embraced and made into features in themself. The garden was surrounded by wonderful old stone walls, unfortunately some parts were not in great condition but still they were going to make a gorgeous back drop to the new garden.
There was a slope upwards in the garden. A slope is always something I love to see as one often has to create height in a garden, whereas, when it already exists, you just have to exploit it and make it into a feature in its own right.
A patio finished in kota blue limestone was created in the narrow section of the garden adjacent to the extension to the house. This was backed up by a low wall and steps leading to the rest of the garden. The patio was softened by corner beds filled with plants and the wall was made from narrow slithers of the patio slabs which gave a nice textural contrast to the paving slabs.
Back Garden Design
The upper garden is basically rectangular in shape with borders of flowering plants around the sides nicely wrapping around the garden shed tucked into the corner. A small section of paving was positioned against the stone wall in the upper garden to provide space for a bench set to enjoy the sunshine. A path was required to the end of the garden, however, in order to ensure that this did not interfere with the lawn space itself stepping stones hugging the edge lead down the garden through the lawn to the rear gate and shed and provide a nice feature to finish this garden design.
Kerb Appeal for Front Garden Design
A good front garden design can greatly improve the overall appearance of your home and can add to its value too. Front Gardens can often be neglected spaces with large areas of the garden taken over for car parking at the expensive of lawns and plants which soften the outside of houses and settle them into their environment. Getting an attractive front garden to give your house Kerb Appeal is not as difficult or as expensive as it may at first appear.
Kerb Appeal for Front Garden Design
Gardens have been getting smaller and front gardens are often only the depth of one car to allow for off street parking. With this size garden, it is not necessary to have a lawn, however, to have an attractive front garden it is essential to add some borders and attractive plants.
If you don’t want a lawn then the surface area can be broken up by using other materials which contrast with the hard landscaping used in the parking areas. In this example, the front garden was effectively shared between two houses. We transformed this area by creating staggered borders, edged in blocks whose colour complimented the brick used in the house and the front wall. Paths of beach pebble surround the borders, creating a design which nicely breaks up the area, allows for borders filled with softening plants and yet is very simple, not expensive but is effective in giving this garden real Kerb Appeal.