This year we have been working on many small spaces; here is another one we finished a couple of weeks ago. This townhome has a garage at the back. The only outside personal space is out front. It is shared with two A/C units and many green shrubs which vie for the already cramped area. The fence was rusted through in many places and once we had the design in place it was replaced with a more modern metal fence that is not quite so high and confining.Here is another before view…the green mud boots are Shawn’s. The lawn inside the fence just accentuates how small an area it is.You may have noticed overgrown shrubs flanking the doorway, making it seem tight and not a very welcoming entrance. I had more freedom in design once it was decided to move both A/C units, so they were tucked against the north fence: we then had a blank slate which meant the door-guarding ligustrum could go! We decided to utilize a man-made paver (Belgard Silex Gray) that would complement the house colors but be subdued and modern. There was a debate about saving the step by the front door but in the end we changed everything. What a difference: fresh, bright and inviting. There are newly planted Star Jasmine on the fence to add to privacy but I even like it open as it is just now. The fence to the north has a screen on it to block the view of the newly position A/C units. Having pots flank the entry instead of big bushes make it far more welcoming. There is not a big seating area but enough for four people at least and more if you spill into the entrance space, which is the plan. In small areas like this I recommend using stacking chairs and movable side tables so you have maximum flexibility. Outside the fence is a row of Dwarf Yaupon holly which are far harder in our climate than boxwoods. Past the holly is the ditch. There is talk of planting Louisiana irises in the ditch. On the other side of the ditch is the bike trail that goes up Nicholson to 28th or further. And the other way all the way to downtown. This is a walk and bike trail which is great as it makes the courtyard just that much further from the street. Along with the jasmine planted inside the fence we planted Liriope to fill in as a ground cover. A better view of how the A/C’s were hidden. A pair of climbing roses are planted on the fence at that end to hide obscure the view of the black screen. To add height and seasonal interest a single Forest Pansy Redbud is planted on the south side of the yard. It is not a big space but as it grows taller than the fence it can spread out. It is only a small tree and with minimal trimming will be fine here. It is under-planted with Green ardisia, Ardisia japonica. In the narrow channel along the house are a few Fig ivy that will be allowed to climb up the brick adding more green and texture. The owner is super happy and promised to invite us over for wine!