Debby Lockey's Blog

Small is definitely beautiful

A small courtyard garden offers a real challenge to a designer.  Everything is this garden has to work for its keep.  There can be no superflous extras as this will only lead to a cluttered, unrestful atmosphere.  Unity and harmony should be paramount.

To achieve this I have to know exactly how the garden is to function and what the client would like in the garden.  I can then plan how to create and produce such a garden.  This is easiest if you keep your choices simple.  If you know exactly what you require you are less likely to be side tracked into choosing something you like, rather than need, for the garden.

Getting to know the site can help with your initial decisions.  A sunny courtyard may lend itself to al fresco eating.  You then need to decide do you want the table and chairs to be on grass or hard landscaping?  If it is the latter, what kind of hard landscaping do you want?  Should it match the house or compliment it?  Just remember not to have too many different materials in the garden, as this can feel fussy and unsettling.

Alternatively you may want shade.   Could this be produced through planting a tree or using a feature such as a pergola, arbour or awning?  If you want a tree, which is best suited to the site?  If you'd prefer a feature, what material should it be made from?

The brief for the courtyard in the photo was to have somewhere to sit and something to look at.  This was the result;  a restful garden, with subdued planting, but enough interest to stop the eye wandering aimlessly around the garden.

Posted 9:35, Wednesday 2nd March

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About Debby's blog

Every month I will give you some tips on what to do in your garden and allotment for that time of the year.  Because I am a designer there will be elements of design thrown in along with gardening advice.

I’ll also let you know about any projects I am working on;  the ideas behind the design, how we will implement it and what the outcome was like. 

If any one would like to contribute I would be pleased to hear from you.  I am always pleased to hear other people’s experiences especially since I have found that the more I learn about gardening the less I seem to know.

Recent posts

Growing sweet peas, Lathyrus odoratus, for summer fragrance

How to create a lovely spring planting combination using the colour yellow.

Posters to help you make your street hedgehog friendly

Winter plants for winter insects.

The spring garden

A vegetable plot for lazy people

Some design thoughts

Achieving balance in the garden

Sculptures in the garden

Small is definitely beautiful