Courtyard gardens may be small, but they can be beautiful spaces in which to relax and grow plants.


They’re often shady and overlooked by neighbouring buildings, but also warm and sheltered, allowing you to grow a wide range of interesting and more tender plants.

While tempting to cram lots of plants in, to achieve a clean, uncluttered look you need to limit the plant varieties and materials used.

What aspect is your courtyard or garden?

Because the whole of a courtyard garden can usually be seen from indoors, it often works well as an extension of the house or building and, with the addition of lighting and outdoor fires, can be used all year.

Take a look at our top tips on on designing a courtyard garden.

Be bold

Often it’s better to have one large feature than a group of small ones. It's also a great chance to get creative and come up with unique, eye-catching focal points.

Draw the eye

Draw the eye down the garden by the repetition of a key element, such as containers, paths or paving.

Make sure every spot is usable

Make sure everything is usable and suits the space; for example, lighting ensures you can see what you are doing after dark, and fires make the garden more inviting during winter.

How to make glass jar lanterns

Use containers

Include plenty of containers so you can ring the changes and grow plants that might not thrive in the ground. Discover some of our favourite container gardening projects.

Consider access to the courtyard

If you have to bring large plants, furniture and hard landscaping materials through the house, measure all of the doorways to check you can get everything through.


Large garden feature ideas