4 Courtyard Landscaping Ideas

Lead Image

Courtyard landscaping is all about creating beauty in a small space. Paying attention to detail is very important in a courtyard garden because every choice you make has a big impact on the overall look of the space.  

The purpose of courtyard landscaping is to produce a vista that makes the area look larger. It focuses the visitor's attention on the details, rather than the big picture. The benefit of working in a small area is that you are forced to plan ahead and put a lot of thought into the look you want to create.

Here are some ideas for creating your own courtyard landscape:

Platform Landscape

One option is to create a courtyard landscape with a platform that allows visitors to enjoy the area without having to move through it. This is a good choice if you have a lot of plants and features that you want to show off to visitors, rather than pathways.  
If you want people to move through the courtyard, you can create a system of paths that lead the visitors through the garden, allowing them to observe and explore the area.

A Shady Retreat

Because courtyard landscapes are so small, they often suffer from a lack of light. High walls and roofs are notorious for blocking sunlight from the garden, and make it difficult to include a variety of plants. Some people prefer to build on the natural shade of a courtyard area by planting large trees. Keep in mind that a shady garden has problems such as too much moisture, fungi, and a higher population of snails and slugs.

Small Plants

Do you want large plants in the courtyard or smaller ones? Due to space limitations, courtyards tend to contain smaller plants. One option is to grow a large number of plants in smaller containers. This adds dimension to a courtyard landscape through color, shape, width, and height.  

Easy Maintenance

How much work do you want to put into maintaining your garden? Most homeowners agree that less maintenance is ideal. Choose plants that don't require a lot of upkeep after they have been planted.

Some Tips

Why are you creating a courtyard landscape? Do you want to use it to entertain guests, or for your own enjoyment? Knowing why you want to create the landscape is the key to planning the design. If you want to use the space to entertain, consider adding a barbecue or outside pizza oven. You may also want to include a deck and area for socializing for or dancing.

Courtyard landscaping can also contain elements such as accent lighting and other details that normally aren't included in a garden.

Whatever design you choose for your courtyard landscape, be sure to plan ahead and source materials for affordable prices. Organizing the project and speaking to professionals will make the process that much easier. A courtyard landscape is a beautiful addition to any home, and you can customize it to reflect your style and personality.