barn courtyard garden in


The brief was to create an attractive courtyard for this modern barn conversion to provide a welcoming entrance.

With several doors leading from the property, the front door needed to be more clearly defined for visitors with a non slip and easily navigated path.

The existing seating and table was to be sited to create an area for privacy and relaxation, with views beyond the garden to be screened as much as possible.

The courtyard was to have plenty of planting to provide greenery, privacy and also an element of mystery on entering the garden. Being a sun-trap, the plants would have to be heat tolerant and a simple irrigation system was to be installed.

An area was to be allowed for the occasional car to draw up for loading, rather than create a permanent parking space.

Design and outcome

Grey 'Amersham' Chelmer valley pavers were favoured as the path material and the cool cotswold chippings complement the colour scheme.

In the organically shaped planting beds, multi stemmed trees give the height and structure required for screening and privacy; Malus 'Evereste', purple leaved Malus toringo 'Freya' plus a Syringa 'Madame Lemoine'.

The island borders can all be easily accessed for maintenance and they also also encourage a meander round the garden. Planting pockets were created in the gravel for extra greenery: A Eucalyptus, kept pruned for juvenile foliage is grown for flower arranging, Osmanthus burkwoodii for winter evergreen and a Viburnum carlcephalum for outstanding scent was sited near the entrance.

The light screen of Stipa gigantea catches the eye and is surrounded by sun loving sedums, salvias, stachys lanata and alliums, acidanthera, plus mounds of Lavendula officinalis, Pittosporum 'Tom Thumb', Hebe rakaiensis and Euphorbia martinii.

On the shadier side, Sesleria autumnalis and Persicaria 'Firetail thrive alongside Hellebores, Heuchera 'Palace purple' and the annual Nicotiana 'Lime green'.

The garden achieves a mix of year round structure plus a stunning summer display of flowers abuzz with bees and other pollinators.

''Nancy has helped transform my front garden from an area that was once simply walked through to reach the front door into a beautiful green and tranquil space that is now used and loved.''

Mrs K, Chipstead


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