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New Hampshire Landscaping Blog

02Mar

Creating Courtyards

When considering how to design your landscaping, a wonderful way to create a sense of “PLACE” is to create a COURTYARD.

A courtyard is an unroofed area that is completely or at least mostly surrounded by walls .It is an enclosed or mostly enclosed space. Here are some tips when designing a courtyard.

• Be dramatic in using one large feature rather than many smaller ones.

• Draw the eye to the main feature•All spots should be usable or planted

• Containers are great in courtyards

• Access to the courtyard is important

• Make it feel comfortable and unique

Since a courtyard can usually be seen from inside the house, or even used as an “entry room” for the house, a courtyard is often seen as an extension of the living space of the home. If you add lighting, and interesting features such as a statue, water feature or fire feature, the courtyard will automatically become very interesting.

Think about incorporating “Living Walls” by growing climbing plants. Also, try a small specimen tree or an arbor. There are so many ways to make a great courtyard.

In the photo for this blog, you will see a plan that has both a front yard courtyard and a back yard courtyard. Both courtyards have “freestanding” walls that create some of the enclosure for the space. The remaining walls are the walls of the house. 

The freestanding walls are walls that are not retaining any soil. They are finished on both sides and are ‘capped. Each of these walls shows ‘pillars’ in the walls for added interest. These freestanding walls can be made out of a number of materials and should be coordinated with the style of the home and the paving materials.

In the front yard courtyard, the main entrance walk comes through an opening in the walls. You enter what could be considered an “entry room”to the house. There is a statue as the main feature. This courtyard creates a nice, unique feeling upon entering the home.

The back yard courtyard has the freestanding walls on 2 sides of the area. The wall of the home acts as the 3rd wall for the space. Int his instance, the entire rear of the area is open to the back yard. This courtyard is great because it helps to create privacy from the neighbors for the patio and hot tub activities.

Courtyards are great ways to create a special ambiance.

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