Courtyard garden ideas – 10 ways to create a hidden paradise

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.

  • Courtyard garden ideas are often a hidden gem when it comes to garden design. Yes, they might be small, but they can be beautiful suntraps and places  in which to escape.

    A courtyard garden is often described as ‘a flat space, with walls around it’, which already doesn’t sound like the most inspiring small garden idea to work with. But while your space might be overlooked by neighbouring walls, it can be a space where shady-loving plants thrive, and you can be creative with your choice of landscaping, furniture, and decorative touches when considering courtyard garden ideas.

    There are other pros too. Stone and brick walls absorb and retain heat from the sun, slowly releasing it – your courtyard could be a haven at the end of the working day. Similarly, the walls around your courtyard can provide a barrier to rainfall, so you’ll need to think more carefully about plants, perhaps choosing ones that don’t need much watering, while frosts might not be as harsh, so fruit trees might fare better.

    Interior and garden stylist and author Selina Lake loves a courtyard garden. ‘I’m always inspired by the courtyard gardens you find tucked away in the centre of Paris,’ she shares. ‘I love their whimsical, secret-garden appeal and classic styling.’

    So perhaps it’s time to think small and creatively, turning your courtyard garden into your own hidden paradise.

    Courtyard garden ideas

    1. Clad your courtyard’s walls

    Image credit: Future Plc

    Update tired brick with wooden cladding, giving your courtyard garden a contemporary feel. Place large planters in front, which can be filled with perennials for colour. If your courtyard feels gloomy in the evenings, then simple spots will create an ambient glow.

    Space-saving bistro furniture is the best garden furniture choice for a courtyard. Choose compact chairs that are comfortable enough to double as loungers, adding a cushion or two if needed.

    2. Build a sofa area

    Brick wall with build in sofa in courtyard

    Image credit: Future Plc

    It is important to be smart about space when considering how to plan a small garden space like a courtyard. A good place to start is thinking about built in seating.

    Use the same brick as the walls surrounding your courtyard to build a corner sofa which can be dressed in cushions. Build such a sofa slightly higher than normal, allowing you to move a garden table and chairs in to create an informal dining space. Use overhanging trees as a natural sunshade, while clematis will add pops of colour once in bloom.

    3. Add a classic bench

    Brick wall with wooden bench and pink cushions

    Image credit: Future Plc

    Even the smallest of courtyards or side-returns can become a welcoming retreat. Try a traditional bench, which you can style with fun outdoor cushions, echoing your planting scheme for a coherent look.

    Make use of the walls with trellis and hanging baskets – they are the perfect planting solution for small patio ideas as you won’t lose valuable floor space. A large lantern will give your courtyard a cosy glow, just turn off any internal lights to appreciate it fully come sundown.

    4. Bring interest to the centre with a hero tree

    Palm tree in a courtyard with bistro set

    Image credit: Future Plc

    Plant a hero tree in the middle of your courtyard garden, creating a beautiful feature. Choose a palm, which will love the shady environment – you might also find that you don’t need to protect it come winter, thanks to your own mini microclimate of your courtyard garden.
    Trees can also be used to zone a small space, dividing a courtyard into dining and relaxing areas, even making a small garden look bigger.

    5. Add a feature wall

    Black panelled wall in courtyard garden

    Image credit: Future Plc

    Bring one of our favourite interior tricks outside into your courtyard garden – the feature wall. It’s a great way of breaking up a corner of the same brick work. If you don’t want to paint old brick, then fix a painted slatted panel in front (think of those slatted wall designs behind TVs that are so on-trend for inspiration).

    Paint your feature wall black, which can be echoed in your choice of bistro furniture, lending a Scandinavian feel, while a fern, either potted or planted in a raised bed, will thrive and create dappled shade over your table area.

    6. Render for a contemporary setting

    White render wall in a courtyard garden

    Image credit: Future Plc

    White walls will instantly make a courtyard garden feel bright and contemporary – think of a courtyard at a boutique hotel for inspiration, adding chic black rattan-effect furniture with white cushions. Introduce some garden lighting ideas into the space, downlighters will help create a welcoming mood for an evening glass of wine, while potted bay trees and a planter of seasonal bedding plants soften the monochrome feel.

    7. Double the sense of space with a mirror

    Mirror in a courtyard garden with panelling

    Image credit: Future Plc

    Hang an outdoor mirror to reflect your courtyard garden, increasing the sense of space. There are plenty of garden mirror ideas to choose from, a mirror hung horizontally will act all most like a garden window. Alternatively, consider a full length window mirror that will make a statement. This effect will also give the illusion of doubling the amount of planting you have too.

    To complement the space-enhancing trick think how furniture can double up, with a bench that can be pulled nearer a bistro set when entertaining more than two. Make a small courtyard feel like a natural extension of a kitchen-dining space by continuing the flooring from one to another – slate-effect porcelain is a great choice.

    8. Fill with plants and gardenalia

    Courtyard with laundry press and plants

    Image credit: Future Plc

    Be inspired by courtyard gardens of country homes, where gravel and brick-laid paths are home to an eclectic mix of planting and collectables. When choosing plants opt for a mix of evergreen and showstoppers that thrive in partially shade areas.

    ‘The Ilex Dome is great for adding evergreen structure to your outside space. It has small, dark green glossy leaves and produces small white flowers in the summer. The domes are evergreen meaning they are always green. The domes like full sun but can do well in partially shade areas,’ recommends Will Williams, co-founder and creative director at Soto Gardens.

    ‘The Dwarf Mountain Pine, also known as Pinus mugo ‘Mops’, offers colour, structure and texture to your outside space throughout the year. This pine is almost indestructible and doesn’t require much pruning.’

    Will also suggests including Astrantia Shaggy is an absolute showstopper. ‘It has small jewel like white flowers reminiscent of pin cushions, surrounded by long greenish-white ruff. It is a perennial, meaning it flowers every year.’

    Arrange your plants between crates, terracotta pots and galvanised tubs. Even an old washing mangle add interest to this shady corner, while climbers, herbs, box and mini conifers provide year-round green.

    9. Treat as an outdoor living room

    courtyard with blue wall and bench

    Image credit: Future Plc

    Plan a courtyard like a living room, adding an outdoor fireplace and sofa. Choose a rendered fireplace wall design that can be painted a feature colour, even adding niches for display. For flooring, use paving to create a pattern, mimicking a rug, while planting provides the ‘fourth’ wall to this newly created cosy outdoor room.

    10. Go tropical in a side return courtyard

    Side return courtyard with ferns

    Image credit: Future Plc

    If you’ve extended at the back and are now left with a side return courtyard, create a visual foliage feast with some shade-loving ferns – you’ll love seeing the splash of green through sliding doors or French windows. Add downlighters to illuminate at night – planting will feel much more dramatic thanks to the shadows they create.

    Lead the eye further away from the house with a palm or fern planted against your back wall or fence.

    What do you put in a courtyard?

    This depends on the size, but furniture will create an instant outdoor room vibe. ‘It needs to invite you into the space,’ says Selina. ‘I love an outdoor sofa, which you can style with cushions and throws.’

    No space for a table, then Selina says to go for a bistro set. ‘You can create a romantic alfresco dining setting adding a few candles, lanterns and vases of freshly picked scented flowers.’

    Pots and planters will also help soften the harsh edges from the walls of your courtyard; try varying the height to add depth to a corner, while climbers can create a beautiful feature wall. ‘I use plants with beautiful flowers and lovely scents, along those that can be trained to grow up the walls, freeing up ground space for furniture and living. My favourites would be roses, jasmine, and wisteria,’ says Selina.

    The trick is to think of your courtyard as a room, decorating its walls and floor, before adding plants, furniture, and accessories.

    How do you brighten a courtyard garden?

    ‘Paint new walls white,’ says Selina Lake. ‘It’s a classic trick but that works so well. Remember to use exterior masonry paint. If you’re lucky to have aged brick or stone walls celebrate their heritage and instead choose white flowering plants to grow across them.’

    You can also use lighting, creating a mini outdoor room come dusk. ‘Just string-up festoon lighting or attached hooks to the walls to hang lanterns from for ambient evening light,’ says Selina.

    Source link

    Show all Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating Add your review
    1. of course like your website but you have to check the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very troublesome to inform the reality on the other hand I’ll surely come again again.

    2. Seriously loads of beneficial data.
      college application essay thesis writing service uk essay writing service reviews

    3. Superb info, Many thanks! writing an essay for college admission

    4. You said it perfectly.! best online essay writer how to write an argument essay online dissertation

    5. Truly quite a lot of amazing material. paper writing service prompts for college essays

    6. You said that superbly.
      essay revision service essays writers writing essay website

    7. You suggested this exceptionally well.
      discount canadian drugs prescription online best online canadian pharcharmy

    8. You have made your point!
      writing good essays going to college essay cheap writing service

    9. Amazing a good deal of valuable tips!
      navarro pharmacy miami prescription drugs without doctor approval mexican border pharmacies

    10. Thanks a lot! I like it!
      how to write a analysis essay essay paper writing service

    11. Very good facts, Cheers.
      websites for essays in english phd writing service

    12. Wonderful info. Cheers.
      pharmacy northwest canada canadian online pharmacy canada pharmacy no prescription

    13. You suggested it fantastically!
      writing essays for money how to write biography essay seo writing services

    14. You stated this adequately.
      500 word college essay essay writing service essays writer

    15. Many thanks! Awesome stuff.
      how to write a killer college essay essay rewriter custom academic writing services

    16. You actually reported that wonderfully!
      canadian pharmacies online fda approved canadian online pharmacies online pharmacy canada

    17. Seriously all kinds of helpful information!
      write a comparison essay writing my essay thesis writing help

    18. Very good tips. Kudos.
      canada prescription plus pharmacy trust pharmacy canada canadian online pharmacy reviews

    19. Thanks. I appreciate this.
      writing synthesis essay essay writing service scams online custom writing services

    20. Many thanks! Numerous information.
      write a good essay essay writing service usa

    21. Nicely put. Thank you!
      best canadian pharmacies canadian pharmaceuticals online reviews canadian pharmacy online

    22. Wow many of amazing facts.
      effective college essays how to write an argument essay a website that writes essays for you

    23. Thanks a lot! Ample facts.
      trust pharmacy canada canadian drugstore top rated canadian pharmacies online

    24. Thanks a lot! Numerous write ups!
      steps to writing a college essay college essay quality writing services

    25. Nicely put. Kudos!
      famous essay writers essay websites that write essays

    26. You actually reported that exceptionally well.
      canada drugs online ed meds online without doctor prescription canadian pharmacy

    27. Very good write ups, Thanks!
      essays on college education how to write evaluation essay custom essay writing services

    28. Excellent postings. Many thanks.
      canadian pharmacy online best canadian online pharmacy viagra generic canadian pharmacy

    29. Seriously quite a lot of very good information!
      college essay hook christian ghostwriting services

    30. You actually expressed it perfectly.
      buy an essay essaytyper best resume writing services for teachers

    31. Kudos! Lots of posts.
      cvs pharmacy online 24 hour pharmacy mexican online pharmacies

    32. Regards. Plenty of tips!
      writing a good college application essay how to write good college application essays book report writers

    33. You made your position extremely well..
      pharmacy uk meds online best online canadian pharmacy

    34. Awesome advice. Kudos!
      online canadian pharcharmy pharmacies discount canadian drugs

    35. Thanks a lot! Numerous write ups.
      should college essays be double spaced essays writing service i need help writing a thesis statement

    36. Many thanks, Terrific information!
      well written college essays essays website

    37. You reported that very well!
      canadian pharmacy viagra brand national pharmacies canadian online pharmacies

    38. You actually mentioned that well!
      college supplement essay essay writing services review

    39. Fine postings. Thanks.
      pharmacy near me canadian pharmaceuticals online reviews canada pharmacies without script

    40. Incredible a good deal of superb facts!
      essay on service essay writing service help write personal statement

    41. You actually suggested it adequately!
      how to write an essay for scholarship argumentative essay writings services

    42. Regards. I enjoy it!
      canadian drugstore online discount prescription drug medication costs

    43. Cheers! A good amount of content.
      college essay introduction write my essays writing services for students

    44. top gay chat rooms
      gay chat colombia
      chat ave gay chat

    45. You revealed this very well!
      canada drugs online best online pharmacies no prescription meds online

    46. Beneficial forum posts. Thanks.
      persuasive writing essays write my essay generator best custom essay writing service

    47. Nicely put, Thank you!
      canadian pharmaceuticals online reviews fda approved canadian online pharmacies pharmacy drug store

    48. With thanks, Lots of stuff!
      essay writing services legal online essay service best essay writing services

    49. Helpful info. Cheers.
      essay writing service canada how to write a good introduction for an essay college admission essay writing service

    50. Appreciate it. Loads of information!
      college essay guidelines essay online custom writing services

    51. Helpful tips. Thanks a lot.
      canadian pharmacy generic viagra aarp approved canadian online pharmacies discount pharmacies

    52. Thanks! Fantastic information.
      professional college application essay writers top ghostwriters

    53. Seriously a lot of superb data!
      how to write the perfect essay ghostwriting service

    54. Appreciate it! Plenty of forum posts.
      drugs for sale walgreens pharmacy online canadia online pharmacy

    55. zoom cams gay sex chat
      chat gay granada
      gay sex video chat

    56. You stated this effectively.
      how to write classification essay good books to write essays on website for essay writing

    57. You actually revealed this really well.
      internet pharmacy prescription drug pharmacy online cheap

    58. Kudos, An abundance of tips.
      writing history essays academic writers needed

    59. Perfectly expressed certainly. .
      canada prescriptions drugs canada pharmacy online reviews rx price comparison

    60. Reliable knowledge. Many thanks.
      help on essays help writing a speech

    61. Cheers! A good amount of data!
      personal essays for college applications us writing services

    62. You actually mentioned this really well.
      canada pharmacies/account cialis online drugs from canada online

    63. Truly quite a lot of excellent knowledge.
      learning how to write essays writing an expository essay help with english writing

    64. Great content, Thank you!
      best online pharmacy stores online pharmacy without prescription mexican pharmacy online medications

    65. Really a good deal of valuable facts!
      write a persuasive essay how to write biography essay writing helps

    66. Helpful data. Thank you.
      learning to write an essay i need help writing a personal statement

    67. Nicely put, Regards.
      discount pharmaceuticals buy prescription drugs canada medication costs

    68. Thanks! A lot of stuff!
      cheapest essay writing service college essay community service custom coursework writing

    69. Fine content. Thank you!
      online pet pharmacy online discount pharmacy buying drugs canada

    70. Awesome stuff. Appreciate it!
      custom college essays writing websites

    71. Kudos, Awesome stuff.
      steps to writing a good essay write my essay custom thesis writing services

    72. With thanks. Loads of posts.
      price pro pharmacy canada buying prescription drugs canada meds online

    73. Nicely put. Regards!
      scholarships for writing essays creative writing service

    74. Amazing posts. Thanks a lot!
      canadian viagra generic pharmacy canada pharmaceuticals online generic canada rx

    75. Nicely put, With thanks.
      essay on helping poor people writing quotes in an essay custom writing companies

    76. Amazing lots of great facts.
      best essay web writing services

    77. Amazing all kinds of amazing facts.
      no 1 canadian pharcharmy online mexican pharmacy online medications canadian pharmacy online viagra

    78. You actually explained it well.
      easy essay writing essay rewriter need essay written

    79. Kudos! I value it.
      canadian pharmacies shipping to usa best price prescription drugs canadian pharmacies without prescriptions

    80. Whoa a lot of awesome knowledge!
      college essay review writing my essay write my lab report for me

    81. With thanks. Awesome stuff.
      how to write a comparing and contrasting essay how to write a college transfer essay scholarship essay writing service

    82. Incredible plenty of good knowledge.
      cheap drugs visit poster’s website canadian pharcharmy online fda approved

    83. Nicely put. Thank you!
      essay writer helper letter writing help online

    84. You actually suggested this wonderfully!
      how to write an essay response thesis writers

    85. Valuable postings. Cheers.
      rx online legitimate online pharmacies canadian pharmacy king

    86. You actually suggested this wonderfully.
      persuasive essay writing prompts write my essay writing help online

    87. You actually revealed this wonderfully!
      pharmacy online online pharmacy usa canadian pharmacy online viagra

    88. You said it very well.!
      how can i write essay essays writer business plan writers nyc

    89. Awesome advice. Thanks!
      help with essays assignments the best essay writing service

    90. You made your position very clearly!.
      canada pharmacy online orders canadian pharmacy certified canada pharmacy online no prescription pharmacy

    91. Very well voiced of course. !
      college essay help nyc essay writing service toronto thesis writers services

    92. can someone write my essay
      cheap essay papers
      top ten essay writing services

    93. You have made your position quite well.!
      essay service review coursework writer

    94. Nicely put. Regards!
      drugs from canada online rx online canada prescription plus pharmacy

    95. Regards! Awesome stuff!
      how to write a comparison essay essay writing service essay writing services review

    96. Lovely postings, Many thanks!
      cialis pharmacy online cialis online pharmacy buy prescription drugs without doctor

    97. Wonderful material. Kudos.
      website analysis essay research and writing services

    98. You have made the point!
      how to write the introduction of an essay essay writing services blog writing services packages

    99. Fantastic posts. Regards!
      best online international pharmacies canadian pharmacies online drugstore online

    100. college essay writing services
      help writing an essay
      research essay help

    101. You’ve made the point!
      website for essays customer writing

    102. You suggested this fantastically!
      rx price comparison canada drugs canadian drug store

    103. You actually expressed this very well!
      essay about college education urgent essay help online writing services

    104. Cheers! Numerous information!
      professional college application essay writers essay typer business plan writers nyc

    105. Point nicely utilized.!
      discount prescription drug online medicine shopping buy online prescription drugs

    106. Very good facts. Regards!
      how to write an introduction for an essay thesis writing help

    107. Regards! I like it!
      trust pharmacy canada us pharmacy no prior prescription canada pharmacy

    108. Tips clearly utilized..
      write my essay for me no plagiarism write my report online

    109. online custom essays
      good essay writing company
      essay custom

    110. Reliable advice. Regards.
      how to write an essay on a movie write a essay essay writer website

    111. Whoa plenty of excellent info!
      price prescription drugs canada pharmacies online pharmacy canadian rx pharmacy online

    112. You made the point!
      common college essays essay typer business letter writing help

    113. You revealed that effectively.
      buy prescription drugs without doctor pain meds online without doctor prescription medicine online order

    114. Nicely put, Thanks!
      write a essay online content writing services company

    115. Great content. Thanks!
      stanford college essay write my essays best dissertation writing service

    116. You actually suggested this effectively.
      international drug mart canadian pharmacy online store canadian pharmacy viagra brand overseas pharmacy forum

    117. Factor clearly utilized.!
      college essay help nyc how to write essays quickly best essay writing website

    118. custom essay meister
      student essay help
      help with scholarship essays

    119. Tips well applied!.
      online discount pharmacy canadian pharcharmy online canadian online pharmacies legitimate by aarp

    120. Thank you. I value it!
      how to write a graduate school essay executive resume writing services chicago

    121. You have made your position very effectively.!
      how to write persuasive essay help with writing an essay write my report online

    122. Kudos. I enjoy it!
      walgreens online pharmacy best online pharmacies canada best online pharmacies no prescription

    123. With thanks! Lots of info.
      college application essay editing services essay writing services customer writing

    124. This is nicely said. !
      mail order pharmacy navarro pharmacy miami canada pharma limited llc

    125. cheap custom essay writing service
      cheapest essays writing services
      custom essay services

    126. Nicely put. Kudos.
      custom essay service custom dissertation writing

    127. You stated that exceptionally well!
      canada online pharmacies drug stores near me no 1 canadian pharcharmy online

    128. Reliable material. Thanks a lot.
      how can write essay essaytyper essays writing service

    129. You said it very well.!
      medical information online pharmacies shipping to usa canadian drugstore reviews

    130. Really a lot of superb information.
      help with argumentative essay essay writing formats professional writing company

    131. Thank you, Excellent information.
      canadian pharmaceuticals best price prescription drugs canadian drug stores online

    132. Superb postings. With thanks!
      writing a descriptive essay best college essay ever custom thesis writing service

    133. Many thanks. Great stuff!
      pharmacie online pharmacy without scripts humana online pharmacy

    134. Thanks a lot. Valuable information.
      what should i write my essay on how to write an argument essay professional personal statement writers

    135. Truly a good deal of helpful information!
      cheap essay writing service usa writing my essay writing services rates

    136. You actually reported this perfectly!
      generic viagra online buy online prescription drugs canadian discount pharmacy

    137. Terrific knowledge. Cheers!
      how to write a creative essay essay writings custom writings plagiarism

    138. Whoa loads of fantastic knowledge.
      online pharmacy online pharmacies uk best online canadian pharmacy

    139. essays on community service
      college admission essay writing service
      essay writing service

    140. Kudos. Lots of knowledge!
      good college essay prompts best writing services online

    141. This is nicely expressed! !
      essay writer review us writing services

    142. KeyWord
      essay writing service law school
      buy custom essays online

    143. college essay writing company
      helping others essays
      extended essay help

    144. help with essay
      essay writer funny
      top 10 essay writing services

    145. admission essay editing services
      essay community service
      help with writing essays

    146. service to others essay
      essay writing service cheap
      essay custom writing

    147. online essay help
      help write essay
      cheap essay writing services

    Leave a reply

    Enable registration in settings - general
    Shopping cart