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  • Writer's pictureSarah Kay

Bringing in the colour - my planting design for an E9 Contemporary Courtyard

It's been a busy few months in the studio with my latest planting design for an E9 Contemporary Courtyard near Victoria Park. My clients have recently renovated their kitchen and garden, with a garden room built at the back of their courtyard, and were looking to increase the planting, to soften the hard landscaping and provide screening and colour.

Planting Plan for a Contemporary Courtyard

The existing flower beds cut out of the clay pavers are not really adequate size or in the optimum positions to maximize the planting so my recommendation is to increase the size of the left hand and right hand flower beds and fill a bed that conflicts with the proposed seating area.

The increased left hand flower bed allows for a multi stem Amelanchier to be planted, to partially obscure the garden room doors and provide three season interest. This will be underplanted with sun loving herbaceous perennials in soft lilacs and whites, with a hit of orange from Geum 'Totally Tangerine'. This colour scheme, which informs the planting scheme, will contrast with the dark landscaping material and charred wood exterior of the garden room.

Moodboard and plant images for E9 Contemporary Courtyard

Two large cylindrical planters, in a muted yellow/orange will provide vertical visual interest, with a Wisteria 'Amethyst Falls' trained on trellis wires around the kitchen doors and window and a Fatsia Japonica to the right of the garden room doors. These will be underplanted with the soft trailing form of Erigeron kavinskianus and with Crocus tommasinanus providing early season colour.

Seating area in an E9 Contemporary Courtyard

The right hand flower bed, which is predominantly in shade will have the colourful Lonicera x tellmanniana trained along the picket fence and will be underplanted with mainly evergreen plants including Carex testacea, Ajuga 'Atropurpurea' and Geranium 'Johnson's Blue'.

A green Hay palisade bench will provide an additional seating option in the morning sun.

I look forward to planting up this garden in the Autumn. Watch this space for updates.


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