How to Create a Courtyard Garden

Create a Courtyard Garden with these Steps

Courtyard Garden-how-to-create-a-courtyard-garden
A courtyard garden

Creating a garden paradise does have its rewards where you can sit back and enjoy all that nature has to offer. It is so amazing to see the many homeowners who are not just constructing their homes but also allotting space to create their garden oasis. Many years ago I worked as a groundsman and interior plantscape designer for a private club that was upscale that attracted and catered to those whose desires were to have a dream vacation getting away from it all where there was nothing but peace and relaxation.

The gardens of this club were so amazing with tennis courts and swimming pools that made this club the vacation spot but what really stood out among the made gardens that graced this landscape was the courtyard area. Once you entered the whole atmosphere changed with breathtaking garden plants, furniture, and garden features with the sound of water trickling down as it flowed from a nearby fountain making this part of the club inviting.

Creating such gardens in your backyard can carry the same effect as you relax in this typesetting and the good part is a garden like this can become a vacation spot in your backyard as you unwind connecting with nature in such an awesome way. We will be looking at such gardens and how simple it is to construct so both you, your family, and friends can enjoy them.

How to Create a Courtyard Garden

A Courtyard Garden-how-to-create-a-courtyard-garden
A Courtyard Garden
  • Keep it simple start with a plan
  • Look at the space you have
  • Breaking up the garden
  • Going for balance
  • Enclosures
  • Soil does matters
  • Creating mysterious pathways with stepping stones or gravels
  • The right choice of plants for the grounds
  • Going with container-grown plants
  • Garden Features
  • Be bold by adding a water feature
  • Light up your world
  • Arbours

Keeping it simple

I know that you’re all excited to get started on your courtyard garden but what I want to say here is to keep it simple especially if you are new to this, because all that may be going around in your head may have you a bit confused but take a deep breathe relax and start with a plan. Don’t overthink this. There are many ways of approach but keep the basics in mind, apply and you will be on your way.

Look at the space that you have

This ties in with the plan, how big is the space you are working with along with the shape of the area plays an important part in constructing your courtyard garden.

Breaking up your courtyard garden

This is where it really gets exciting what you want is to create interest depending on the size of your garden, create a line of separation which we will be discussing a bit later.

Going for balance

Bring flavor by going for balance, some parts of your courtyard should be different other parts should mirror or have the same reflection, the end result is this kind of balance will cause your garden to flow.


Constructing a courtyard garden is all about privacy remember this is your hideaway your oasis of peace and relaxation. The use of putting up a wall will give privacy but a wall can be pretty costly so the least expensive way is by installing a wooden fence or how about a chain-link fence planting vines alongside to run covering it entirely. Some choices to choose from are creeping figs or what about bougainvilleas which will not only cover your fence but will produce beautiful flowers that are an added bonus.


Arbours are very stylish, pretty amazing, and will give that Bang, these garden structures are an added bonus that will create a garden scenery that is both restful and peaceful.

The importance of soils

What is a courtyard garden without plants right, what you don’t want is to invest your hard-earned dollar and then for your plants to become sickly and die because of the wrong soil type. Do a soil test to ensure that your soil is ideal for the plants that are chosen.

The right choice of plants

The right choice of plants is also important, parts of your garden that has partial sun to shaded areas should be planted with garden plants that meet this requirement, plants that love the full sunlight should be chosen for areas that are in the full sun. When installing plants the taller plants should be used as a backdrop and at the corners while the smaller plants of different heights should be placed to the forefront and middle areas but then again it is good to break this pattern and bring a few of the taller plants forward. Just ensure when you install these plants they flow with the overall garden design.

Going with container-grown plants

Container grown plants do have their place and create interest, by adding a few in different areas of your courtyard will work wonders, don’t place containers on a line but rather spot them around your courtyard, some containers can be placed to the sides, the middle back and front areas. For more on container-grown plants and how to have success click on the link that has been provided.

Creating mysterious pathways with stepping stones or gravels

If the space you’re working with is large enough why not use some of that space to create a mystery pathway this will really bring that flavor. What these pathways do is that creates curiosity especially for your guest. Creating several curves and installing tall garden plants along these curves will give a continuous flow and the appearance of more to see it’s like going on an adventure trail that’s filled with mystery.

Making good use of gravels

Gravels are an added bonus there are so many to choose so do your homework to see which type works for you. There are many advantages of using gravels so go for it and use them throughout your courtyard garden.

Stepping Stones

The use of stepping stones is a great way to spruce up your courtyard garden, I am just about finished with a project where both my team and I installed stepping stones and these stones are an added benefit that looks so great so consider adding steppings or how about using both stepping stones and gravel in different sections of your courtyard garden.

Garden Features

Garden features will spice up your courtyard garden, these features are at the heart or center of these types of gardens, statues, and other garden features is a real treat and will bring that WOW with such appeal.

Be Bold by adding a water feature

As was discussed earlier we look at a fountain with the sound of water trickling, can you imagine entering your backyard courtyard and hearing the sound of water tricking what a peaceful sound that’s so relaxing. Be Bold and install a fountain using it as a focal point that will help your garden to flow.

Light up your world

The use of garden lights in the cool of the night is very beautiful and can create a setting for romance. These lights will allow you to enjoy your courtyard garden at night times as you relax or maybe move dinner outdoors there are many types of garden lights so choose the one that you think best fits your garden settings.

Additional Information

1. Whatever plant material you’re using know their water requirements and water accordingly.

2. Give your plants a balanced fertilizer to keep them growing healthy. Before using fertilizers read and follow the manufacture’s directions.

3. Garden insect pests can really do a number on garden plants. For more on common garden insect pests and their control refer to the category section of this website.

4. The use of garden tools such as hand pruners and lopping shears will keep your garden plants growing at the desired height along with keeping their natural form. Your garden tools should be sharp and in good repair at all times to give you the desired results.

5. Container-grown plants should have drain holes to allow excess water to drain because if water does not have a way to escape will lead to root rot.

6. Keep your garden plants clean by regularly washing them with a spray of water from your garden hose and dusting them with the use of a feather duster.

Creating a separating line

Lines of separation can be used for aesthetics, all this simply entails is grouping plants and other garden features in their allotted areas where everything flows adding to the overall beauty of your courtyard garden.

Some plants that can be used and where to place them

1. Palms can be used as a backdrop or at the corners of the structures of the garden. Braking this pattern is also good as you bring a few palms to the forefront or installing in the middle of the garden.

2. Other plant material that is used can also be used in like manner as palm trees.

3. Smaller plants such as green island ficus which are hardy can be brought forward creating a hedge in front of taller plants.

4. A table or two can be used with either orchid placed on them in decorative pots or other table size plants. One of these tables can be placed in the center of the garden while the other is somewhat at the side.

5. Install flowering plants in clusters in different sections of your garden. Some of these flowering plants can include daylilies, hoya plants, verbena, pansy, viola, gingers, shrimp plants, canna lily, cosmos, zinnia, pentas, dianthus, geranium, begonia, African iris, celosia, petunia, marigold, periwinkle, and Ixora.

6. The use of garden plants with colors in the leaves is a great choice to add to your courtyard. The advantage of these plant types is always having a colorful garden so why not add these plant types among your flowering plants.

The final word

Constructing a courtyard garden does have its rewards, these garden types are pretty amazing and will totally transform your backyard so why not give this garden a try by following these simple steps I assure you, you will be happy that you did as you create your garden oasis of peace and relaxation that is so inviting.


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About the author

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Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

7 thoughts on “How to Create a Courtyard Garden”

  1. I love to garden, but I must admit, I have never thought through the process of adding order and structure to my garden.  I tend to turn over the soil, but a seeds and plant them.  You discussion of the steps to building a garden is fantastic.  They not only add to the order of the garden but the practicality as well.  the “additional information” section was also valuable.  I have not thought too much about the varying water needs of the different plants I grow.  Separations are a great idea as well.  Movement through the garden will improve this way.  My garden is a place of piece, but the garden itself has always been kind of chaotic.  Your article has really helped.  Thanks.

    • Hello, installing a courtyard garden is pretty amazing, these gardens bring with it a flavor like non-other. I am so happy to help and thanks so much for sharing. 

  2. I must say that you don a great job and The term ‘courtyard garden’ conjures up visions of stately containers, architectural balance and cool, shady corners. Maybe your courtyard isn’t there yet? Well, here is a sure-fire way to turn your outdoor space into a special place you’ll enjoy and want to spend time in.thnajs alot for this awesome article it would be of great help to the public

    • Hello so happy to meet you and so glad to help. These gardens are pretty amazing and very stylish, thanks again for commenting and all the best to you.

  3. Thanks for the tips you shared on how to create a courtyard garden. I learned so many things from here and I am now ready to apply them to my mom’s courtyard garden, she already has started one but it needs to be renovated or redesigned. I’d like to ask about plants who are a natural deterrent to snakes as some people have warned us to be careful and not include plants that are ideal for snakes. Can you suggest some?

  4. I would like to have some colourful plants in my courtyard garden, however it is quite enclosed and shady do you have any ideas of which plants would suit ?


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