For this project, I was asked to design a courtyard and garden that would adjoin a bathroom and bedroom remodel for my good friend George Cleary. The new courtyard would act as a private garden adjoining the house. The garden needed to create privacy but still let light in and give a sense of connection to the outside. The client wanted something very peaceful and green, but also simple and modern. The garden also needed to be interesting throughout the year.
After working through a number of possible layouts for the courtyard, we settled on and L-shaped courtyard. A deck at the level of the bedroom juts out into the courtyard and then steps down into a gravel patio. The corner of the courtyard wall opposite the house is covered in a concrete cladding that was salvaged from another part of the house and houses two fountains that pour down into the courtyard. A beam extending from the house holds a porch swing that creates an ideal seat to enjoy the courtyard and holds a rain chain that connects to the gutter above.
A shower is mounted on the wall at once end of the courtyard for George and his golden retriever.
The plantings are intentionally sparse, but emphasize deep greens to contrast the stucco and stone. Two climbing hydrangeas on the walls provide green in the summer, but lose their leaves in the winter to expose the light colored stucco and brighten the courtyard in the winter months. Two existing trees extend over the courtyard and create a roof. I especially love the twisting branches of the crabapples. Three pots of autumn fern ‘brilliance’ provide a finer texture and provide green through the winter. Three smaller containers planted with annuals provide color and change through the summer