shaded courtyard garden 43m²
Designing shade gardens isn't easy at times, yet here, alongside a distinct European essence Infused by our Belgian clients, we utilised classic techniques in a contemporary courtyard setting. To balance tall townhouse brick facades, we designed and built a Cedar screen with Ivy forming a green wall, where this minimalist garden elevation is layered into clipped Box hedging and synthetic grass. Varying green shades evoke a clean, effortless palette, producing an invigorating, verdant, compositional design, and define custom slanting planters which reiterate the sofas' outlines, while architectural foliage creates refined focal points. This highly detailed design approach conveys a mindset we continually develop throughout a diverse garden design portfolio of Central London locations and modern garden projects.
The garden contained dozens of small pots and an idle fountain – a mere letdown to a beautiful contemporary apartment. We cleared the entire courtyard, except a Japanese maple tree which we conserved, where this graceful deciduous specimen contrasts a predominantly evergreen, structural planting design. Four internal doors lead into this small courtyard garden space, and at its centre, a furniture set floats above square tiles, detailed in stainless steel, while a duo of sculptural Wheel trees frames the kitchen view with luxuriant foliage. Buxus plants define minimalist outlines, providing contrasting tones which invigorate the shaded patio by improving daylight quality, and through augmenting our clients' love of clean-lined simplicity, the scheme produced fresh ideas for small courtyard garden designs.
Light square tiles enhance the courtyard's spatial qualities, and bounce precious natural light across a minimalist grid. For two young boys, the artificial grass is useful and practical, while for the grown-ups, this intimate garden space forms a private zone, enjoyed further through each window and door connecting the small courtyard with its residence. We utilised the garden's tall brick elevations to mount electric heaters and stainless steel downlights, extending outdoor use when London's weather turns chilly. To balance the courtyard's lofty walls, a Box hedge design was intermediately layered into a well-fitted composition among Ivy and Western red cedar cladding.
Foliage for Shade
We planted two architectural Wheel trees – one of our favourite small plants for shade gardens, alongside topiary, hedging, Ivy and New Zealand flax – displayed in bespoke troughs which we specially design and manufacture for each project. Japanese woodland flora is optimal in sustaining glossy evergreen foliage in shade, generating a gamut of delicate nuances in contemporary family gardens. While kids run around in this compact space, the smooth textures of Sweet flags and Ferns produce vibrant definition, juxtaposed within silky troughs. Tapered square planters feature unique, slanting top edges, producing a soft colour palette in a matt powder-coated finish – their luminous patina rejuvenates this densely shaded, urban London garden.