A Chic Modern Court Yard.
Brief: To create a space that can be enjoyed all year round as it is at the heart of family life being next to the kitchen and dinning room, with peaks of plant interest through all the seasons. A space to be both seen from the house but to ‘spill out into’ and enjoyed.
Aspect: This wedge shaped, semi-shade courtyard can be seen through glass doors on two sides from both the kitchen and breakfast room, the longest boundary is dominated by the roof line of the next door neighbours. The courtyard had an existing falling down trellis and fence with an over powering Clematis montana on it. With a set of raised beds planted with box. The existing decking was rotting.
Design solution: The clients owned a set of bright orange garden chairs, so orange was the ascent colour. This courtyard had to look stunning all the year round, So a strong use of evergreen planting with good foliage textures. With colour splashes of orange provided by herbaceous planting and bulbs, through out the seasons. The existing decking area was reduced to give more planting room, but still allowing space for outside dinning for all the family.
Landscaping: The unruly clematis was to go and a new fence with green oak slatted trellis was used to give a harmonious boundary which acted a a foil for the new planting. The decking was removed and an extra step put in to bring the finish level below the DPC. The courtyard was paved in a sawn cream buff sandstone from turkey with crisp narrow joints that were grouted. The existing render planters and box were to stay they were painted with a dusky slate blue to act as a strong contrast to the new paving and to act as a dramatic back drop for the new containers.
Planting: The trellis was planted with Trachelosperum on the sunniest side for it’s strong scent and Actindia for it’s wonderful foliage, a multi-stemed Amelanchier adds height and interest to the middle of the courtyard. A small tree was chosen, Malus x robusta ‘Red Sential’ to add a focal point at all times of year, with it’s spring blossom, autumn tints and small glossy red fruits which will last through out the winter. Nandina domestic’ Fire Power’ gives a big red autumnal winter punch, and the foliage of Heuchera ‘Can-Can’, Bergenia rotblum and Polystichum setiferum add colour and texture to the planting. Hellabores give mid winter flower and Tulipa ‘Ballerina’ and Fritillaria imperialis ‘April Flame’ add blasts of orange bulb colour late spring. Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘Emily Mckenzie’ gives mid to late summer orange splashes.
Finishing touches: 5 tall elegant brilliant orange containers with orange red ripples are planted with Phormium cookianum ‘Flamingo’ to give a dramatic visual impact against the new slate blue walls. A line of outside fairy lights is going to play along the trellis through the climbers it give points of light though the long winter evenings.