Gardener’s delight

This attractive side courtyard and front garden has more than 40 different plantings within its walls.

The owner of this courtyard is a knowledgeable and passionate gardener who wanted the outdoor space to be a real “gardener’s garden”; one that was botanically rich and also provided space for seating and casual relaxing. Ben Scott, from Ben Scott Garden Design, was approached to design the side courtyard and also the front garden. The design consists of a front and side garden. Neil Jackson undertook construction of both spaces.


The front garden needed to be sympathetic to the Edwardian house facade and is more of a modern cottage-style garden. Traditional herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses were used to create this look, with the addition of sawn Bluestone pavers.

The side courtyard needed more of a contemporary feel to relate to the modern renovation on the back of the house. The result is a modern garden with a woodland feel.

The circular hardwood deck area provides a casual outdoor seating space, perfect for enjoying the garden surrounds and indulging in a quiet moment. The main outdoor entertaining area is in the back garden, so the side garden provides the owner with a relaxing and private refuge.

More than 40 different plant species were used in the front and side garden. Structural plantings in the front include a pleached hornbeam hedge, a cherry laurel hedge, buxus spheres and crab apple trees. Ground covers of native violet and creeping thyme were used around the stepping stone pavers. The herbaceous perennials include such ornamental grasses as Miscanthus and Calamagrostis and traditionals Agastache, Aster, Ceratostigma, Echinops, Nepeta, Perovskia, Penstemon, Sedum, Salvia, Tulbaghia and Verbena.

The side garden has a copse of deciduous magnolias (Magnolia “Elizabeth”), a ginkgo tree and an evergreen boundary along which Acmena “Sublime” were planted. The underplanting comprises Arthropodium, Alchemila, Dianella, Helleborus, Heuchera, Hydrangea, Lysimachia, Ophiopogon and Viola.

Some of the standout features would have to be the armillary sphere sundial in the front garden and the water feature and stepping-stones framed with lush ground coverings in the side courtyard. The eye-catching circular hardwood deck works beautifully within the woodland garden setting. The construction of the striking deck was a challenge and highly-skilled steel and timber craftspeople were required — the results unquestionably speak for themselves in terms of quality and artistry.

At night the front and side gardens can still be enjoyed, with 12-volt LED lighting used throughout. Uplights were used to highlight the trees and accent plantings. An assortment of LED lights was also placed on the paths and stepping-stones, water feature and sundial.