brick work, courtyard, Giant Apostle Plant, Giant Apostle's Iris, handmade brick, Mexico brick, Moro Blood Orange, Ravenscourt Landscaping & Design LLC, Regina Blue Walking Iris, Sarah's Favorite Crape myrtle
Living in an urban area we work on many townhouses. The space between the house and the garage is usually under 20 feet. Grass doesn’t grow, it becomes a mud pit and is not very inviting or useful. We recently finished this installation for a young family here in our neighborhood. This is Shawn measuring the space and testing the ground. Often the dirt that is used to fill is chosen based on price. The cheapest ‘dirt’ in Houston is often very spongy.The family wanted a brick courtyard with a nod to New Orleans. We used new brick that is handmade in Mexico and available at our local brickyard. Much less expensive than reclaimed brick. And has just as much character. We start by clearing the grass and digging to make a level surface to lay the brick on. After a bit of modification to the existing drainage this space was nearly a complete fill with minimal plantings. Here is a view looking down from the garage apartment’s landing. We used low maintenance easy to care for plants. The tree is a Sarah’s Favorite crape myrtle under planted with Sandi Leaf fig ivy. This ivy is an excellent ground cover and doen’t want to climb. It will spread 18″-24″.One the south fence beside the porch, and on the north side of the patio, we used welded wire attached to the fence to create trellising for Star Jasmine vines. While doing the project the wife decided to gift her husband with a fountain. I sent over a few pictures of fountains from Statue Makers here in Houston. They headed there on the next Sunday and found one that they loved. We changed the brick work to have a small curve matching the larger curve of the Crape myrtle bed. You can just see the electrical outlet that we had put in. We use a two gain box so other things can be plugged in, like a box fan to help keep away the mosquitoes. The tall plants are Giant Walking irises, Neomarica caerulea ‘Regina’ Also know as Regina Blue Walking Iris, Giant Apostle’s Iris, Giant Apostle Plant. Below you can see we planted some liriope around the fountain and Star Jasmine is planted to grow up the welded wire and create a green wall. Green walls are great in small spaces, adding lots of folage with out taking up much room. Looking from the corner near the fountain back across the yard. The plan is to keep the BBQ under the stairs. It looks a bit empty without furniture. Perhaps I will see about a follow up visit. The plant nestled in the corner of the stair is Night Blooming Jasmine, Cestrum nocturnum. I located it near the porch because it is a very fragrant plant when in bloom. The flowers give off their scent in the evening which will be very pleasant as they enjoy the porch and garden. It has a nice tight upright form that can be maintained by a bit of trimming after they flower. It does well in the ground here in zone 9a. Originally from the West Indies, the flowers are white tubular clusters. Just give it a sunny spot and enjoy. You might notice all the plants we used are common reliable plants used in southern gardens from Houston to Atlanta. This adds to the feel of a New Orleans courtyard. We also did landscaping in the front garden. It was a blank slate except for the lone lemon tree (maybe it was lime). Outside the fence we took out the grass and planted Agapanthus x ‘Ellamae’ Ellamae Lily of the Nile and smaller Northern Star agapanthus. The whole bed will be bordered with Big Blue liriope once it is available. Inside the fence we added a Moro-blood orange to balance out the lemon on the other side. I loved the curve of the stairs and so repeated a curve in the beds. It also helped with the flow when walking to get the trash cans which are kept on the south-side of the house. In the beds flanking the stairs we used a single Yuletide camellia surrounded by Variegated Shooting Star lilies and a border of Baby Gem box woods that will be keep at 1 foot tall. We have had very nice weather since finishing this project and I hope they are enjoying it all!
This review came in while writing this post!