This residential project is a prime example of what can be accomplished with small spaces. This courtyard won the Award of Excellence in Sunset Magazine’s 2003 Western Garden Design Competition and was featured in the magazine the following spring.
The Project: The courtyard was almost entirely concrete with very little shade protecting the three sides of the home that are fronted with windows. The combination of the lack of foliage in the space, the concrete, and the glass walls of the home made the summer heat unbearable.
The Solution: The challenge here was to create shade in an interesting way and to help protect the home from the sun while still allowing light into the space. This design also served to bring focus and connect with access to the backyard. Black Mexican beach pebbled dry streams create a pleasant division between walkways and help add a different element while maintaining a low profile. With a slightly Asian-inspired design, the plantings require very little water or maintenance, and the design continues looking well-kept year round.