Melanie Jackson Garden Design

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Courtyard and city designs

As with all cities there are gardens and outdoor spaces squeezed in between buildings, with high walls, fences and trees. They often offer sheltered spots to grow slightly more tender plants and provide a framework for climbers and backdrop to taller shrubs.

The first example is a new build in the center of Bath, the house faces south and gets very hot, which created a Mediterranean feel. The high wall gave a good opportunity for a tiled water cascade, which added a welcome cooling effect. The evergreen olive trees and palms mixed with more traditional herbaceous planting, ensured structure and colour all year.

The second garden had an unusually high fence across the back which dominated the space, feeling dark and uninviting. Using raised planters helped disguise this and light paving, with new planting brightened the entire courtyard. In time, the climbers will scramble over the fence and the seat’s arch to soften the boundaries.

Sometimes the yard is also the only parking space, with access directly onto the gardens seating area, shown here.