Courtyard gardens are charming niches where you can dine alfresco, escape with a book or simply enjoy the surroundings. Create your own private courtyard garden by enclosing a section of landscape adjacent to your home or deep in the backyard. Do it yourselfers can install fencing and flooring for the courtyard; less handy folks can hire someone for these portions of the project. However you create the courtyard garden, fill it with plants that you can tend and furniture designed for comfortable outdoor use.
Measure and mark the outline for the courtyard floor in an area of your landscape. Place wooden stakes on each corner of the floor. Tie builder's string to the stakes so you can better see the outline.
Measure back at least two feet from the outside perimeter along one side of the floor. Stake the space for a raised bed planter. Raised bed planters along at least two walls will enhance the beauty and planting flexibility of your garden. Repeat this step for each wall of the courtyard garden where you plan to place a raised bed planter.
Excavate the marked area, removing the top layer of grass and any other planting material.
Install a privacy fence, a decorative wrought iron fence or a stone wall fence around the perimeter of the courtyard garden. Install one or two gates to the courtyard, depending on your design preference. Most local home building supply stores offer fencing installation.
Build or install pre-made raised bed planters along the designated areas around the perimeter of the courtyard. You can make your own raised bed planters by stacking slate, other stones or landscape timbers, and then filling the enclosure with potting soil.
Install cobblestone paver or flagstone paver flooring to add old world charm to the courtyard garden. Check with your local home store for experienced flooring installers, if you are not up to the task.
Plant flowering vines, climbing ivy, climbing roses and any other climbing plants that you enjoy along the back of the raised bed planters. Fill in the middle section of the planters with tea roses, azaleas, gardenias or other flowering shrubs. Add evergreen shrubs like juniper to the mix so that the planters will never be bare. Line the front of the planters with annual or perennial flowers and herbs.
Place a wrought iron dining set for two in the center of the courtyard garden. Place wrought iron or teak loungers covered with thick outdoor padding along another section of the courtyard.
Dot the courtyard with planted containers that suit your design style. Mosaic planter, terra cotta planters, colorful ceramic planters or wooden planters can be used with your courtyard design.
Add an outdoor fountain to the table top, between the loungers or in a corner of the courtyard.