Shady Courtyard Garden
A Haven in the City
A triangular basement garden wedged between towering town houses.
Our response to this dark and unloved space was to re-orientate the garden towards the open aspect, while enhancing the feeling of privacy, and bringing a sense of the countryside into the city.
A simple layout in pale, reflective paving was used to make the garden feel bigger and to capture the special quality of the Edinburgh light.
Linear edging pavers of crisp, contrasting charcoal-grey basalt lead the eye from the lower dining terrace up two steps to a cosy, intimate seating area for book reading or to gaze at the ever-changing skyscape.
A contemporary screen of premium western red cedar, repeated in the new gate, encloses the top terrace and adds a warm glow to the colour palette.
The light, leafy canopies of the katsura and birch trees break up the tall stone walls and frame the view to the sky.
The paving is softened by generous planting, the interesting foliage providing strong contrasts of form and texture. A restricted planting palette of greens, white, coppers, blues, pinks and mauves echo the muted tones in the natural stone paving and lighten the garden.
Considered lighting picks out the sculptural qualities of the trees at night, and provides visual highlights from the house.
The clients little cat has a special scratching post with sitting platforms and a hidden toilet under the foliage.