Small spaces lend themselves nicely to courtyard garden design. When enclosed on all sides by high walls or buildings there are certain aspects that determine how the garden is used. The space can be shady and planting needs consideration if it is to thrive. Privacy can also be an issue. Below we have identified the main ways to create a successful courtyard garden.

courtyard garden designStructure

A structure can define a small space. Keep it open to avoid creating a claustrophobic atmosphere. If the space is overlooked, an open perglola can be used periodically to support a shade sail. In this garden we used semi-opaque perpex panels to partially cover the roof to aid privacy without compromising light levels.


Use your boundary walls and think big and bold. Plants, tall pots and outdoor canvases all help to break up the horizontal lines and add extra interest. Don’t paint fences even if they are in a poor condition as it will draw attention to them.


Make it deep and luxurious. Oversize it if you can. Dress it well with cushions and throws and you have cracked it. If you add occasional chairs make them sculptural – remember you will spend as much time staring out of your window at them as sitting on them. The ones in this garden are ideal – nice and airy.



Be bold if you like but try to stick to one or two colours to avoid your garden becoming overwhelmingly gaudy. Go for harmonious hues rather than contrasting clashes.


This always adds interest. This garden combines industrial chain curtain with polished stainless steel, shiny pebbles with leafy ferns, reflective and matt surfaces.


Repeating themes or colours adds harmony to a space. The brain processes order better than chaos and a series of shapes, plants, colours or patterns makes the eye and brain communicate more quickly. In our feature garden a circular theme is repeated with the lighting inside the pergola and the stainless steel sphere water feature. Colour and texture is also repeated throughout the design.