Project 1: Mum’s Courtyard Garden Redesign

Project 1: Mum's Courtyard

A year of change and time for a Courtyard Garden Redesign


She moved into her bungalow a year ago and now that we’ve seen a few changes of season it’s time to roll up the sleeves and start improving things.

At the moment the space has narrow borders next to some awfully dated crazy paving. The walls are exposed breeze blocks. There is a lovels mix of clematis and roses climbing valiantly to disguise the wall and a good cooking apple.


The first thing we had to assess was what does mum want from this space. It’s tucked around behind the house, not visible from the main living room, and could just become a bland walkway if we let it. She would like it to be a space to sit as it does get some evening light. She loves whites and greens so we’re taking that for our planting inspiration. A small waterfeature to link with the small pond that sits at the bottom of the stairs would be nice.


We’ve gathered together some images as source inspiration to help explain what the plan is. This was there’ll be no surprises for mum when I reveal the finished project.


Every garden and site have their own challenges and ours is no different.

Space: This is only a small corner of a modestly sized back garden and so we’re not going to be able to create rolling hills or expansive¬†vistas. However, we can make the most of it. It’s currently the weakest part of the garden.

Shade: Not always a negative but it does impact on planting choices and we’re going to have to work hard that this space doesn’t feel too dark.

Levels: The garden already has too many levels and we’re hoping to rationalise some of these level changes.

Budget: The budget is small – luckily it’s only a small space and a lot of the plants have already been purchased.

Walkway: The first corner is the main route from the back door to the greenhouse and is only one of two ways to reach the lower level. There is also a small doorway in the top right corner that accesses the side of the house and the strawberry planters. This means that I have to be mindful of how people pass through the space.


Project 1: Mum's Courtyard
First view of the courtyard from the top terrace

The white box on the right is a useless and ugly storage cupboard. The black railings are new for safety.

Project 1: Mum's Courtyard
Planting along the side wall.

Terrible crazy paving but some nice climbers.

Project 1: Mum's Courtyard
View of the courtyard. Redundant storage cupboard visible on the right

Grey walls and floor sap the light making it a dark space.

Project 1: Mum's Courtyard
Looking back towards top terrace

This turn is the main route to the greenhouse seen in the top right. Notice the change of levels.

Project 1: Mum's Courtyard
Looking back towards the greenhouse down 2 steps.

The planting on the lower level on the right is better with a wider bed.

Project 1: Mum's Courtyard
View of the courtyard from greenhouse

This is the vista we’re hoping to improve.

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