Garden courtyard 3 ways

01 Feb 2016

In each issue of habitat magazine, we ask designers to give a new look to a room in a house we have featured.

In the latest issue, we visited the small but perfectly formed garden of landscape designer Sandra Batley of Flourish Garden Concept.

We then asked landscape designers Ben Hoyle of Blue Gecko and Nichola Vague of Zones Landscaping to each come up with their own interpretation of the garden’s courtyard.

Here are the results.  

Do you have a home full of wonderful Resene paint and colour? Send us some snaps by emailing editor Sharon Newey on [email protected].

The original

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Faced with a blank canvas of a garden three years ago, Sandra Batley and partner John Eagleton set about creating a tropical oasis with a courtyard that included a generous deck for casual seating and dining, a spa pool and lush gardens. It’s enclosed by fences painted in Resene Waterborne Woodsman Crowshead with a capping in Resene Spanish White. The deck is also finished in Resene Waterborne Woodsman Crowshead. 

Nichola’s look

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This outdoor space has been developed as an extension of the indoor living area. Louvres create an all-weather outdoor room that features a breakfast bar, built-in seating and fire table. A vertical screen gives enclosure to the space and provides a backdrop for the breakfast bar. A cone-shaped hanging planter and built-in planters add interest and texture.

Inspiration for the colour palette has been drawn from current geometric trends featuring black, grey, white and yellow. The walls and louvres are painted Resene Quarter Alabaster to freshen and lighten the space. Accents of yellow are added with cushions and planting which can be switched out to change the mood of the space. A black breakfast bar, squabs, fence, pebble accents and fire table create depth.

Wide steps connect to the lower garden which features a stepping stone path. A pleached titoki hedge helps to tidy the view from the property and creates privacy.

Planting is kept simple and is used to create interest, privacy and cohesiveness. It includes mother-in-law's tongues in the seat planters, donkey’s tail in the hanging planters and wild iris under the hedge.

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A sheltering outdoor room is created with walls in Resene Quarter Alabaster, a deck in Resene Woodsman Decking Stain tinted to Resene Iroko, a built-in concrete seat protected with Resene Concrete Wax, a bar top in Resene Evolution and accents of yellow. Products featured include a Black Geo Hanging Planter and Hexagonal Wall Planter from Cheeky Raskal, an Arizona Wire Bar Stool from Cintesi and cushions from Paper Plane. The plants here are wild iris (Dietis grandiflora) and mother-in-law's tongues (Sanseveria trifisciata). 

Ben’s look

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When it comes to outdoor spaces we instinctively focus on the wider view. With courtyards the focus is inherently more inward with a desire to screen out the wider world to create privacy.

Here, a triangular deck finished in Resene Waterborne Woodsman Natural includes a floating seat at the same height, which frames the dining table. The space is slightly sunken beside stone planters and away from the living room access to reduce shading from the home and give better screening from neighbours. The courtyard feels more generous by angling the layout to 45 degrees to the house, which elongates lines and provides more variable depth gardens for plantings. Pohutukawa and magnolia trees screen neighbours while the rare native Pittosporum patulum is a great sculptural sentinel and, like Canna 'Troppicanna Black', works well where narrow height is required.

A variety of materials give texture with horizontal slats clad over sections of the existing fencing finished in Resene Woodsman Skywater, and sponge finished concrete painted in Resene Deep Grey Concrete Stain. The fireplace provides a focal point from the home and along with large corner lounger covers all bases for raucous entertaining or quiet relaxation.

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With the house on the right, this layout is at a 45-degree angle which extends the feeling of space. The deck is finished in Resene Woodsman Decking Stain tinted to Resene Natural while the fence slats are in Resene Waterborne Woodsman Skywater. The concrete is in Resene Concrete Stain Deep Grey. Other products include an outdoor sofa from Top Secret, a table from Flowing Stone, an outdoor fireplace from Escea and feature stone from Hard as Rocks. The plants are Metrosiderus ‘Vibrance’ and Canna 'Tropicanna Black'. 

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Resene Crowshead

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Resene Evolution

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Resene Quarter Alabaster

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Resene Spanish White

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Resene Evolution

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Resene Quarter Alabaster

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Resene Spanish White

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