Small Courtyard Garden

About This Project

Small Courtyard Garden

The Client Brief

Our clients wanted to be able to use their small courtyard garden more effectively. They were particularly keen to improve the views from their windows. But also wanted to eat breakfast outdoors and enjoy an early evening drink on the terrace. Plants are important to them but to date they have struggled to grow exciting species as the garden is quite shaded. Although, in summer time, the plot becomes a heat trap when the sun is high in the sky.


Type Of Property

This home is a relatively newly built, three storey townhouse.



Colchester, Essex



Tapestry Design Studios, Colchester.


Before Landscaping

The garden was not meeting our clients needs as well as it could.  The space felt dated and, at times, uninviting.  In winter it is particularly dreary and in summer, it quickly becomes very warm indeed. The garden walls are necessarily tall in order to retain the ground from the adjoining (higher) properties and also to protect garden users from being overlooked by neighbours.  The space is wonderfully private and feels very safe and secluded. However the high walls do cast deep shadows for most of the day.

The surfacing was a buff coloured concrete slab paving with a linear drain running full width.


The Garden Design

Katie Moyes, of Tapestry Design Studios quite rightly pointed out that an area filled with plants does tend to feel cooler in summer. And, with careful plant choices can be interesting all year round.  Katie’s design includes sleek planters that take up a minimal amount of floor space and, to maximise the planting, a wonderful, living green wall and garden lighting to highlight the wonderful features of this new garden.

Landscaping The Small Courtyard Garden

We removed the concrete slabs and replaced them with stylish porcelain paving in soft colour which feels warm in winter and cool in summer.

Our team painted the back and side fences in a bold black matt paint and installed a series of slimline planters. Mild steel was used to create bespoke planters and beautifully coloured corten steel planters are used to bring a pop of all year round colour into the garden.  To one side, a mirrored panel helps to bounce light around the space. Whilst two laser cut corten steel screens provide an interesting colour contrast.

The planting scheme is low maintenance and offers all year round interest. Vibrant foliage, climbing plants and shade tolerant species in a range of heights offers colour and texture and gives this small courtyard garden a tropical feel.

Our favourite feature however is the lighting. By illuminating the corten steel screens and highlighting certain plants the lighting plan gives the space a new lease of life after dusk. Perfect for outdoor dining, entertaining and maybe a little bit of star gazing too.


Need inspiration for your own garden? Take a look at our portfolio pages

Back Garden, Between £20k - £30k, Build Cost, Garden Design, Landscaping, Patios, Paving, Planting
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