Our team got creative with the concrete cutter to transform this Hobsonville courtyard into a modern garden retreat!

As far as high-density garden challenges go, this little courtyard had them all! It had extreme sun exposure, a lack of privacy from all sides, a large concrete slab patio, and poor-quality soil.

Our client wanted shade, privacy, low maintenance and good indoor/outdoor flow so that the family (and the cat!) could enjoy the space evenings and weekends.  They wanted a rustic, natural and modern theme and were happy to wait for the lush greenery to grow in over time, knowing that they would see the benefits of being surrounded by nature.

To work with the natural/modern theme and keep costs down, we cut the concrete slab into ten sections, leaving room for planting ground cover between each section. This creates a lovely modern patio with clean lines that are softened and contrasted by the ground cover. It also works well with the existing industrial-style table and benches. It also allowed us to continue the flow down the pathway to the backdoor to ensure visual continuity.

We installed espalier trellising along all three sides to create privacy and shade and planted a mixture of large and medium climbing jasmine. Although this will take a few seasons to grow in fully, the courtyard will be surrounded by greenery, creating a lush garden retreat.

We added soil, compost, and mulch to the garden beds and planted a variety of low-maintenance greens and textures to add interest and keep with the modern theme. White flowering plants such as Jasmines and lobelia stick to the neutral colour palette and do not overwhelm a small space.

Finally, we installed a large, high-quality umbrella over the patio area to offer ample shade over the patio.  This is a cost-effective alternative to building a permanent shade solution.