Simplicity implicit

Restraint is called for when landscaping a small area, as illustrated by this designer's own garden
A view of this out door entertainment area backyard, courtyard, deck, estate, home, house, landscaping, outdoor structure, patio, property, real estate, yard
A view of this out door entertainment area featuring stained timber deak, magnolia and rosemary plants, outdoor dining tables and chairs, timber screen, water feature

Small courtyards don't have to compromise good landscape design. With the right approach it's possible to provide an attractive outlook and an inviting outdoor living area.

Landscape designer Scott Brown opted for a simple, understated design for his own outdoor space an approach he says is essential for any small area.

"People are often inclined to put too much into a courtyard," he says. "They see so many good ideas to copy, they try to use them all. They need to edit those ideas and provide some form of unification. This may be subliminal rather than obvious the secret is to treat the space as an outdoor room and furnish it accordingly."


A view of this out door entertainment area backyard, courtyard, deck, estate, home, house, landscaping, outdoor structure, patio, property, real estate, yard
A view of this out door entertainment area featuring stained timber deak, magnolia and rosemary plants, outdoor dining tables and chairs, timber screen, water feature

For his own room, Brown provided decking, which is level with the doors to the interior, and a freestanding, panelled timber screen made from treated New Zealand pine.

"We already had the advantage of a sunny, north-facing site, and large trees on the neighbouring property," he says. "The screen provides privacy and disguises a paling fence on the boundary. By making it higher than the fence, it meets the tree canopy, which helps soften the look. Being able to glimpse a little of the foliage behind the top half of the screen creates a transitional effect."

Brown says the screen was designed as an architectural statement, lit by downlights, and will not be covered by creepers or other plants.

A view of this out door entertainment area backyard, courtyard, deck, estate, home, house, landscaping, outdoor structure, patio, property, real estate, yard
A view of this out door entertainment area featuring stained timber deak, magnolia and rosemary plants, outdoor dining tables and chairs, timber screen, water feature

Keeping the planting simple helps create uniformity. Beneath the screen, white-flowering Mrs Kint azaleas are bordered by Dutch box. These plants have shallow root systems, so won't be affected by the thirsty neighbouring trees.

Verticality is provided by yucca potted plants, and a water feature made from steel that has been treated to provide a rusty patina. This has a gentle water flow, ensuring the sound is not invasive.

Mar 31, 2007

Credit list

Construction
Scott Brown Landscape Design
Furniture
Powdercoated aluminium with glass table top
Barbecue
Lifestyle
Screen
Treated New Zealand pine from Vision Panels
Water feature
Entanglements
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