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  • Writer's pictureNick

Magical Secluded Courtyard Garden with Home Office

A magical courtyard garden by the Distinctive Gardener

"We gave Nick and Douglas the brief of an eating/meeting room as we run a business from the garden office and enjoy family dinners outdoors.

My goodness, what they created in our small garden is a wonderful space where every single detail is beautiful to look at and use. Being in it makes us happy and content. We absolutely love it.

Nick and Douglas are a very special team, talented, intuitive, with an effortless understanding of gardens and an absolute pleasure to work with." - Emma and Brian W5

Magical courtyard garden

Looking from the side return, the lush planting makes the visitor want to explore more

It was a dream for us to design this wonderful small courtyard garden – and a real challenge too! Small gardens demand a lot from a designer, as they often have to contain all the features of larger garden and every inch has to be utilized to the full.

For the owners, this garden is as much a relaxing space as it is a working space, as they run their business from an outdoor home office. The use of the garden throughout the summer would also be for informal meetings in the daytime with their clients .

Garden with office space

The Home office blends into the design, as does the attached bespoke large storage unit to the right

Privacy in any garden is always important, but in London even more so. As many city gardens are overlooked, creating a hidden oasis with clever use of structure and lush planting is often the perfect solution.

Dappled shade in the garden

The client wanted the planting to focus on foliage with pops of seasonal colour that would give year-round interest. The chairs and table are from local garden furniture makers Timshel Design

We chose solid tongue and groove fencing with integral trellis for both the left and right hand boundary to give it a uniform look, and used weathered brick pavers to give an instant mature feel to the space.

Courtyard garden design

The tongue and groove fencing form the perfect backdrop to the varied planting

To create an extra ‘layer’ of privacy, a bespoke wooden pergola was installed that, with its mature climbers, will form the perfect secluded dining and seating area within the garden. We incorporated shelving within the pergola on which we have placed a wide variety of succulents in terracotta pots. When space is limited like this, you want to ensure you can get as many plants as possible within the garden.

Courtyard garden with pergola

The inclusion of shelving in the bespoke pergola creates a wonderful area to display plants and ornaments

Terracotta pots and planters of various sizes are used throughout the garden. The beautiful existing silver birch tree helps to form a natural canopy and enabled us to create a shade loving ‘woodland’ bed underneath, using graceful tree ferns and a number of wonderful foliage plants that will look stunning throughout the year.

Shaded pergola area

Graceful tree ferns help to give the garden a real feeling of serenity

The bed opposite on the right hand side contains even more wonderful foliage and has a delicate Acer tree at its centre.

Courtard garden in London

The sunlight creates wonderful shapes and shadows on the right hand border and pergola

All the planting areas are served by an integrated watering system to ensure maintenance is kept to a minimum. The garden has a full remote controlled lighting system, which gives the garden a truly magical feel at night:

Garden lit up at night

The lighting highlights both the structure and the planting of the garden, creating a magical atmosphere

The wide side passage to the kitchen has also been utilised to the full with a stylish bench, which is a perfect place to sit and catch the morning sun.

Garden side passage

The bench provides another place from which to view the garden and the olive green of the bench looks great against the mustard tones of the wall

We solved the need for a considerable amount of storage by building a bespoke storage unit to the side of the home office. We ensured it blended into the scheme by making it out of the same material as the fences. The walk-in unit contains floor to ceiling shelving as well as a full size fridge, thus ensuring a nice ice cold bottle of bubbly is always close at hand!

Garden storage

The bespoke storage unit – complete with retro refrigerator!

Garden view from kitchen

Small terracotta pots planted with succulents add a nice touch to the kitchen windowsill as you look out into the garden

Garden side view

The finished garden, viewed to the side


So, if you would like us to create the garden of your dreams, no matter how big or small, why not get in touch……


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