Color celebration in Dallas. Landscape professionals Brianne and Trey Denton created a globally influenced destination in their backyard. Crushed limestone gravel, a mix of colorful patio furniture and a bright orange fireplace entice guests to gather while allowing for impromptu rearrangements. The couple also commissioned a local graffiti artist to paint a corrugated metal wall behind the fireplace.
Keep it from feeling like a corridor. Many courtyards are stopping places on the way to the back door or another part of the house. This garden perfectly illustrates the way in which a central feature, in this case a table and chairs, prevents the space from being a passageway and instead makes it a place to linger. There are a couple of neat tricks here. The first is the circular layout, which uses layers of raised beds and patterned paving to achieve some focus in the center. The second is that an odd number of chairs has been used to emphasize the focus in the space even more. It’s all finished off with boxwood balls and hydrangeas, which mimic the circular nature of the courtyard.
Perfect a plant paradise. Big double doors lead out onto this long, narrow courtyard packed with plants. The length of the courtyard is accentuated by “pinching” the access at certain points, so it feels as if the view goes over and under plants and trees to create a plant lover’s paradise. Larger pots containing trees are placed to the right to create some screening, but also to give a focus from the left-hand windows. The view then carries on down to the extension to create the perfect space for having a coffee. You can achieve the same effect yourself by using lots of different-size pots containing different plants to take the eye through your courtyard.
This technique, a bit counterintuitively, works well even in small gardens and narrow city lots. By interrupting how far you can see across a yard, one’s eye is tricked into thinking the space is bigger than it is. The screening itself, whether you’re using fencing, walls or hedges, provides a perfect opportunity for nestling in a seating arrangement. Here, the designer used wood slat screens running laterally across the lot to selectively interfere with how far you can see and carve out multiple nooks for seating.