In Perth, there are a growing number of townhouses and properties where the house takes up the vast majority of the block, leaving only a small courtyard and/or front garden. Most of the time, these areas are filled in an uncreative, unattractive way; I think we all have all seen a courtyard that is fully paved with no garden beds or features of any kind! We know that this is the cost efficient way of filling these spaces, however, there are much more attractive ways of designing and constructing small-area landscapes.

To begin, we always recommend our client to pick some kind of theme for the area. Common themes include: tropical (Balinese etc.), Australian Native, European, Wooden and etc. From here, the next question is what the space is going to be used for, whether its intended use is a small entertaining area, an area outside for the dog and etc. We also discuss with our clients if they would like plants, reticulation, pavers, decking and all sorts of other options (as well as discussing a target budget) and with all of this information we are able to design a landscape that is not only beautiful to the eye, but also creates an area that can be utilised by the owner.

The extent of our creativity is only restricted by budget. However, there are simple ways to beautify a small area that are cost effective. One is to have a garden bed border the boundaries. This is a very common technique that is also used to hide unattractive fences. Depending on its purpose, the beds can be filled with either easy-maintenance plants, or plants that will hedge or ‘screen’ the unwanted sights of the fence.

Another simple technique is to have some kind of feature. The most common features are water features and pot plants. Pot plants are very cost effective because there is no need to set up any kind of reticulation (although it is an option), the downside being you have to manually water it often.

Below is an example of a small courtyard we constructed where the budget allowed us to be creative. There is a bamboo screen along the fence to hide the ugly Colourbond fence with a selection of easy-care plants in front of it. There is a basic deck layout that matches the wooden appearance of the garden as well as two large planter boxes with ‘Mother in laws’ tongue’ to add a bit more privacy. This design has successfully created the subtle Indonesian look with the area for entertaining guests. A Frangipani was planted at a later date.

This is just one example of how a small area doesn’t necessarily have to stop you from having a beautiful outdoor area. Please feel free to get your free quote today if you have a plan in mind, or if you would like us to design the area for you, please get in contact with James on 0416 913 299.
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