Tiny Edinburgh courtyard garden

haven in the city

A tiny courtyard garden close to the seafront in Edinburgh designed as a secluded plant filled haven.

When we met our clients they were in the process of developing their home with an extension opening into their tiny walled garden.
The big challenge was to create intimacy and privacy along with the sense of a journey in such a small and narrow, tapering space which is overlooked by the neighbouring tenement buildings.
The design features a dynamic angled path which leads from an open paved area by the patio doors under a series of bespoke wooden pergolas to a private seating area at the top of the garden.

A small step defines the transition from the main patio to the hidden seating area.
A specimen Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' screens the lower part of the garden from the upper and is surrounded by a mix of herbaceous perennials and shrubs which provide colour and interest through the year.
The private seating area at the top of the garden features a floating bench made from western red cedar. It is underplanted with shade loving Epimedium youngianum 'Niveum' to help it nestle into the wall.

To create privacy climbing plants, such as Holboellia latifolia, Clematis armandii and Rosa 'Wollerton Old Hall' were planted up each of the pergola posts. With time this will give the effect of walking through a green tunnel.
A wire structure was added onto the walls for more climbing plants. This raises the height of the wall to create screening without adding a solid structure.

We were able to create small pockets of detail in the paving on the path which draws the eye up the garden and allows planting pockets for creeping low level plants such as Aceana inermis 'Purpurea'.