Order in the court

Overlapping design styles on a small site make a big impact on this Neo-Georgian townhouse

View of the courtyard area, many concrete slabs courtyard, estate, facade, garden, home, house, landscaping, neighbourhood, property, real estate, residential area, walkway, window, orange
View of the courtyard area, many concrete slabs surrounded by white pebbles, surrounding a stsue/pot plant, small hedges and tree's, small glass and wooden doors and windows, small balcolnies from windows with wrought iron railing.

Limited garden space doesn't mean your outdoor options are reduced. An attentive eye and a clear design intent can create an urban Garden of Eden on the tightest of sites.

A common error amateurs make when working with small sections is trying to cram too many concepts into a confined space, says Scott Brown of Scott Brown Landscape Design.

"It's preferable to consider the desired result and avoid visual noise."

The courtyards featured here are intended to be low-maintenance sculptural elements, which complement the formal Neo-Georgian terraced townhouse design of this home.

View of the living area, cream coloured sofa, ceiling, curtain, home, interior design, living room, real estate, room, window, window covering, window treatment, orange, brown
View of the living area, cream coloured sofa, cushions and curtains, large sliding doors to exterior garden, white walls, wooden storage unit, pot plant mirror, floral ottoman, rug, wooden and glass coffee table.

At the front of the house is an established Queensland Box tree. Although it is an aesthetically pleasing evergreen, it drops a lot of nuts, leaves and bark, while its extensive root system robs neighbouring foliage of essential soil nutrients. To counteract this, the front lawn was replaced with fine white aggregate pebbles, which allows the owners to sweep away tree debris.

"The chequerboard pavers, in this front courtyard act as a precursor to the orderly nature of what lies ahead," says Brown.

The aggregate warms the soil, improving the growing climate for the plants, which is further enhanced by an above-ground irrigation system.

Upon entering the home, two more courtyards adjoin the living area. The first, to the left of the front door, is a fully enclosed area. Its position causes problems with changing shadow lines, light and a northern sun, which bounces heat off large glass doors. A lack of wind further compounds difficulties.

View of the outddor pond with two metal backyard, garden, outdoor structure, water, water feature, yard, orange
View of the outddor pond with two metal birds in it and a small water fountain, black tiles surrounding the pond, cream walls and pond base, pot plants, concrete pavers, fence.

"The problem with an area like this is that selecting the wrong plants will cause fungi and insect problems," says Scott.

The solution was to design the courtyard around an existing agave attenuata, which is a tall cultivated spiky succulent. Other hardy plants were selected to comply with a philosophy of order a common theme throughout the landscaping.

Diagonal to the lounge, a twin garden features a bronze crane water feature. As the front courtyard relates to the presentation of this home, the internal courtyards correlate with the interior decor.

The internal courtyards are visible from various vantage points throughout the home. Different viewing angles deliver individual aesthetics.

Credit list

Courtyard and paving
Cement sheeting screens on timber stud framing between timber posts
Custom built
Megabay 12 volt

Story by: Trendsideas

19 Apr, 2005

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