High land prices and limited land availability has led to a trend for more townhouses in ever higher density developments. These usually come with very small courtyard sized gardens.
How can you maximise these tiny spaces?
This townhouse garden design in Cambourne by Gardner’s Gardens was given a detailed feature in ‘Modern Gardens’ magazine. They did a great job of breaking down the elements that make it a success for their readers.
Division of space.
With such limited amount of it how you use the space is more important than ever. I this example you will see clearly defined areas for the shed, a bistro table for morning coffee, a central feature area with lighting for an outdoor dining area and an area of bold statement paving for putting out the sun loungers or dancing the night away.
Strong geometric design
This is a busy design for such a small space, it has so many different divisions, angles and contrasts. This is not easy to pull off but here it works. There are triangular elements near the house and at the far end. I these the paving is laid at an angle using longer thinner units to draw the eye in the direction we want it to go.
The central area is rectangular, extending almost the full width of the garden. The boards are laid horizontally to accentuate the width even further and create a sense of more space.
The rich hardwood circle set into the white triangle at the far end creates a feature in a area which must be left empty of clutter as this is the main route from the townhouse to the car port.
Bold contrasting materials
In this design I used a bright white granite in long thin sections laid at a 45° angle, contrasted with a dark mat grey granite in blocky square units laid parallel to the house. To add warmth and richness to whole design the central decking and feature circle are constructed with ‘Ipe’ a very dense and hardwearing hardwood.
Pushing back the boundaries
One imported designer trick for small gardens is to minimise the visual impact of the boundary fences. Most homes now have fences at or over 1.8m tall and these can easily become the dominating feature if not addressed. To reduce this effect I had the fences painted black to make the light wood of the lattices and bright green of the plants really ‘pop’ in the foreground. This focuses attention on those brighter objects and makes the fences slip into a zone of inattention.
Less is more
The finishing touch is the planting. In this case it was minimised to just a few strong architectural shapes. The square Buxus is set into the rectangular planter at a 45° angle in order to reflect the angle of the white paving. The central divider planters have been planted with a compact variety of bamboo with will be trimmed to maintain a tight and low hedge. To obscure the lines of the fence a little some climbers have been planted to grow up the faux pergola plant supports, therefor these will break up both the boundary line and the line of height along the top of the fence.