Courtyard Landscaping Ideas

A curving path leading through a courtyard filled with lush plants and bright blooms makes for a soothing getaway to enjoy throughout the year. bright colors mixed with calm greens helps to unify the space for a harmonious environment to utilize as an extended living area. Add personal touches to make the courtyard landscape your very own.

Perennial Garden

Create a colorful perennial garden in the courtyard to bring vibrancy to the landscape. Perennial flowers have the ability to grow back year after year for a long-lasting design. They provide a constant source of color to the garden and with only a one-time planting are low maintenance. Choose drought-tolerant perennials for the courtyard. With their ability to withstand arid climates and limited moisture, they are the ideal plant to grow in an open courtyard where sun is constant. Hardy black-eyed Susan flowers are heat- and drought-tolerant and produce a mass of yellow blooms during the summer. Growing 18 to 30 inches tall, black-eyed Susans create a showy display and are ideal planted in the back of the bed. Low-growing flowers like Dahlberg daisies only grow 6-to-12 inches high and complement the black-eyed Susans with their equally bright yellow blooms. Their clumping form helps fill in the perennial bed and also is ideal to use as a ground cover around the perennial garden and courtyard.

Stone Path

Meandering stone paths are essential in a courtyard. They connect the courtyard to other areas of the home while creating a walking path to admire plants and flowers within the space. Stones used to make the path include, fieldstone, slate, brick, crushed granite and river rocks. Weather-resistant and easy to maintain, a stone path within a courtyard and flanking nearby flower beds invites you out for a stroll through the garden. An easy-to-maintain stone for a path is gravel. Laid around the courtyard, it provides a casual and clean look to the garden. Gravel also easily allows rain to pass through and will not flood the courtyard during storms. The natural earth colors of gravel define the area while not outshining the surrounding plants. To refresh the gravel path, add a fresh layer of rock and rake over for a smooth and level surface.

Water Feature

Trickling, cascading water surrounded by lush plants creates a relaxing feel to a courtyard. Centered within the courtyard, the sweet sound of water brings vibrancy to the garden for a harmonious design. Water features are made in a wide range of materials, including,terra cotta, concrete and metal. Some features are large with multiple tiers, while others are container fountains that provide just as much impact but without taking up space. Add a container feature to the courtyard to create a refreshing element of water to the space. Place the fountain in the center of the courtyard or along the stone path. Watch as the water skims over the surface to quench the thirst of nearby plants. Plant water-loving plants like ferns and hosta around the base of the container to give the illusion that the container is rising out from the earth.

Keywords: courtyard landscaping ideas, perennial garden, black-eyed Susan, gravel path, water feature

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer, designer and photographer in North Carolina. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate your indoor and outdoor living environment. Her articles have appeared in and and her photography has been featured in "Automotive News" magazine and