Do you live in the city with a tiny courtyard and envy people who have a large enough yard to grow plenty of flowers or vegetables in? Not everyone in the suburbs makes full use of their gardening space, especially if both work all day and raise children as well. That is enough to take up all your time and energy whether you live in the city or the country.
However, many people with small courtyards really want to allow their inner gardener to express some creativity. It is not as hard as it may seem. Courtyards have one advantage and that is shelter from wind. The high fences or buildings give plants protection from wind and very often also from frost that can damage many plants. So city sister, get out those gardening gloves and let’s get to work.
First look down
Look down to see what is underfoot. If your courtyard is concrete or pavers that you don’t want to dig out, you will need to have most of your plants in pots. This is okay, because the pots will add even more colour and shape to your small area. Make sure you get pots that are visually appealing; not just black plastic cheapos.
Group pots together and have a unifying theme. They don’t all have to be the same size and shape, but you may want them to be the same colour. Or they could be different colours, but the same shapes. Tall ones go at the back and shorter ones to the front so that all your plants can be seen for the best effect.
Make sure you use top quality potting mix in the pots so your plants will grow well and be healthy. Choose plants that give visual interest, flower for a long time or have colourful foliage or berries after they flower. That way you get colour and interest for many more months of the year.
Now look up
Looking up will give you an idea of where you can add colour and interest apart from the ground. Climbing plants will hide an ugly wall. Or you can simply hang pot-plants from the top of the fence or stand them on a ladder or other support.
Be creative. You can make a tri-pod with three garden stakes and set a pot plant at the base of each one, then plant climbing peas or beans in each one. There are many ways to decorate the walls and air-space in your courtyard.
What about water?
Water can be for decoration as well as for plants. You may even have enough room to install a water feature of some kind, or have a half barrel as a tiny fishpond. Listening to the sound of water tinkling is a great way to relax in your new courtyard garden.