Any tips for courtyard gardening? (m)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Any tips for courtyard gardening? (m)
5
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 7:52am
I live in a townhouse in Wisconsin. I have an entry courtyard that is approximately 5 X 6 feet and covered in brick. My "gardening area" is a small raised bed of about 2 X 4 feet. I was curious if anyone had tips on how I could make the most of this space. I would like my courtyard to feel more like a sanctuary than a cell. I'd appreciate any ideas and tips for an inexperienced gardener.

Tonya

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 10:14am
Hi Tonya - and welcome! A couple of questions for you. Is your courtyard in full sun, part sun, or shade? Also, would you like flowers, greenery, or a mixture? What are some of your favorite colors? Hope to hear back from you soon.

~ S n o w ~

~*Snow*~

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 6:25pm
Hello Snow! Thanks for the warm welcome.

To answer your questions...

Is your courtyard in full sun, part sun, or shade? --- The planter box is against the fence and does not see sunlight until noon and it lasts until about 3 to 4 in the afternoon. The little patio area gets sunlight from daybreak to mid-afternoon (this is where I would put potted plants).

Also, would you like flowers, greenery, or a mixture? --- I would like to have some greenery that lasts all year with flowers that bloom as long as possible. I could use some color in this dreary climate.

What are some of your favorite colors? --- I am especially partial to greens, blues, and purples. My mom, who also lives with me, would like to see reds and yellows.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 7:12am
Welcome aqaverian! I'm sure cl-snow will have a lot of ideas, but with plantings getting morning through early afternoon sun, your planting selections are nearly endless.

Do however remember that anything close to a wall should be tall, and as they move closer to where you walk, should be shorter. If you have room, why not have a few planters nestled close together, some planted in annuals, some in perrenials, and a couple of them anchored with slow growing shrubbery in the evergreen/yellowgreen color shade in the leaves.

Instead of going to a garden section of some store, go to a nursery, and look at what they have in pots growing for sale for shrubbery, Then sellect an annual or two to mix with that, like an ivy to plant around it in your pot, that will allow for color to blend from the soil downward to your walkway from the ivy, and from there on up with the shrub.

That would be your (anchoring plant)/Taller plants in taller planters. Next to have some perrenials a bit lower, in shorter planters,,,,have fun here snow, I give this part to you....LOL

Finally, in front of the perrenials, you can put in a mixture that changes even during the summer months into short (elongated even) planters, starting out with pansies, viola's, snap draggons, sweet peas, and such early, then as the seasons warm into summer, you can replace or plant along with them, such things as impatiens, and other warmer weather loving plants that are a mix of both your and your mother's favorite color palates together. If you are in an area that you would be able to take advantage of butterfly watching/hummingbird watching too, (((that's why I like the impatiens so much))) the reds, purples, and whites of the flowers from them are a definate draw for both.

Have fun with the colors, and on the side that gets very little sun...a wonderful plant that gives off a variety of leaf collor, yet petite flowers on thin spikes is the multitude of types of hostas. They love shade, and can set off the other side so that you can walk through the middle of a haven of plants on your way in and out of your house, or just sitting on a bench or chair in that area as well.

Mitch

 
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 6:03pm
Thanks for all the wonderful ideas. I'm sure I'll put them to good use. I'm looking forward to my next trip to the nursery.

Tonya

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 10:09am
Thank you for stopping by and posting as well agaverian. I hope you continue to come back and post both questions and how well you are doing as you work on your little place to bring in some of nature's best show into our little places. I hope to see your posts soon, and please read through my "helpful hints" lists, both within this board and in the archives to help boost your plantings to their fullest potential.

Mitch