How To Garden In A Small Courtyard

Terraced houses are a common feature of many cities and towns in the UK, and in most cases, these come with a garden that is on the smaller side. Sometimes these gardens are courtyards, but this doesn’t mean you can’t flex your green thumb and get stuck in. 

How To Garden In A Small Courtyard


Before you get started, you should determine the amount of sunlight your courtyard receives. South-facing gardens get the most sun throughout the day as long as there aren’t any trees creating shade. North-facing gardens are the opposite and get the least amount of sun. In fact, they might be shaded all day. 

Some plants require different amounts of light and shade so planning your garden around the sun is important. You might want to draw a rough sketch to help you visualise where everything is going to go. 

Choosing plants

If your garden is more shaded, you may want to consider big-leaved plants as they will thrive in these conditions as long as they get enough water. One example would be Japanese aralias, otherwise known as the paperplant.

When looking to create structure in your garden, evergreen trees can be cut into shapes to help keep a strong dynamic. Evergreens can also be a haven for wildlife, so your garden will be full of life. 

Courtyards tend to be more sheltered than the average garden and this can mean that some plants that wouldn’t survive in open areas would be great. You could invest in some pittosporum or tree ferns. 

Using the space you have is important, so you may want to use climbing plants to enhance the walls in your courtyard. Star jasmine makes a beautiful addition to any garden space and the scent of the flowers in summer is heavenly. 

Use vertical space

If your courtyard walls suit, you may want to use them to hang plants on or trellises. This does require you to get some DIY done, but the effect will be worth it. If you have brick walls you should prepare the wall before doing anything else by brushing or washing any debris and dust off. There are installation methods that don’t require you to drill anything, such as brick Velcro or trellis kits. 

Gardening tools

If your outside space is too small for a shed or any kind of storage, you may want to utilise some unused space in your house. Installing some wardrobes for under the stairs gives you plenty of space to organise your tools and gardening equipment. You could even install some lights under there so you can easily see everything. 


Gardening is more than the initial installation of the plants. Instead of hoping for the best, take time to properly water and maintain them. By removing dead leaves and pruning them regularly, you are encouraging your plants to grow and be healthy. Don’t forget to repot them when they outgrow their old pots – this allows the roots to spread out properly. 

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