Small Courtyard – Big Effect

Fountain close-up

Opposite end of courtyard with limbed up old dahoon hollies and a small concrete accent piece and ferns

Horizontal view of the courtyard renovation with strips of dwarf mondo betweeen the stepping stones

Courtyard entry from parking space

Courtyard homes, garden homes, and some zero-lot line homes have tight spaces. Many times they jam up to the parking space. Such was the case in this rear parking space couryard home. The change resulted from large tree like wax myrtle dying. Once removed, the parking space and courtyard looked like one, and there was just too much solid surface. The solution was to think simple and add an accent fountain. The double gated fence was a smart addition for two reasons; it divided the parking and courtyard space, and the double gate is pratical because it allows entry for big items that may have to be moved in and out of the house. One of the smartest things they did was to soften the paving with strips of dwaf mondo running parallel to the entry, which helps the space feel bigger by emphasizing its longest part. On the opposite end of the fountain there were large existing dahoon hollies. Ferns and a small accent piece of statuary was added to fill the space below the neighbor’s wall and pull the eye downward.
All the plantings are simple. Using boxwoods and hollies inside the courtyard with podocarpus and slash pines planted outside the fence between it and the parking court for additional screen and the pines for eventual skinny height. A good solution for a small space where, if desired, color can be added in pots.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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