Here are five simple and easy to do ideas to help you make the most of your courtyard garden and create a space that is both functional and beautiful. You may have a smaller area to work with, so here are some tips to make it your very own green sanctuary in the backyard.
1. Install a free-standing raised garden bed for herbs and veggies
No need to miss out on home grown veggies. Why pay $3 for a bunch of parsley when you can have it growing in a free-standing veggie box at home! There are many options available now for courtyard gardens. You can buy them as small as 1000 x 300 cms with wheels so that they can easily move about in the garden depending on where the sun is.
Even if you only ever grow a few beets and some herbs, the satisfaction of being able to pull your own veggies out of the soil and place them straight into your saucepan is satisfying for your body, mind and soul.
2. Create a vertical garden
Vertical gardens are perfect for courtyard homes. Not only are they beautiful to look at and easy enough to grow plants in, they also have some good health benefits because of their density:
- They cool the area with their humidifying effect.
- They reduce carbon dioxide and make the air cleaner for you to breathe.
- They attract good bugs such as butterflies and ladybirds.
- They capture other volatile toxic gases from the environment.
- They provide insulation and noise reduction.
Vertical gardens come in various shapes and sizes, with plastic containers or canvas pockets that have water resistant lining on horizontal shelving.
The type of plants you choose depends on where you live and what grows well in your climate. Some plants that grow well in subtropical environments are bromeliads, fuschia, ferns, anthuriums, begonia and spathiphyllum. Or, you may also choose to grow herbs, spinach or greens which also do well but need more water.
Or, if you want to do some handy work, here is a vertical garden project with instructions on how to build it in a few hours.
3. Plant your gardens in pots and growing upwards on a trellis
If you can’t go outward because of limited space, what about going upward? Put a trellis in your pots and grow creepers upwards. They provide greenery and flowers which are lifted off the ground so you can view them at eye level. Use pots to plant your garden out if you don’t have much room – big, small and medium size pots with different plants, both green and flowering. Just because you don’t have a huge green area, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an overflowing garden with a cup of tea and a biscuit!
4. Keep furniture at the edges of the garden
Finer rather than bulky outdoor furniture is better for a courtyard garden. A small table with two chairs or a bench seat is ideal and better off placed at the edges of the garden creating a sense of space to move around in.
Pay attention to how you place your pots and plants around the furniture, so try a few different configurations to see if you can create the perception of more room with the right positioning. Lighter coloured or even white furniture in a smaller courtyard also creates a sense of space.
5. Add a mini greenhouse to your courtyard garden
Greenhouses come in miniature sizes that you can buy as a kit and are perfect for courtyard gardens. They will keep the keen gardener happy and are excellent for herbs or propagating other plants as well as growing those more delicate specimens that you love.