South Yarra Courtyard



Courtyards can be difficult spaces to grow – hot, cold, narrow, high – they’re highly specific environments which is why you can often find similar plant palettes from one courtyard to another – and why not, if these things are tried and true and guaranteed to succeed?


For this particular space we were approached to fit out a courtyard with a more specific palette, and a client’s desire to create a sculptural space that was low maintenance, dog & child friendly, and would also soften the courtyard walls that would often appear to dominate the small space.




This courtyard was particularly harsh – but the white rendered brick provided a clean, simple backdrop to work with, combined with a number of elements that couldn’t be removed or hidden. It then becomes necessary to create a distraction.



With a focus on succulents, all plants needed to fit a strict criteria : child-friendly, drought tolerant, heat tolerant, in some cases water-logging tolerant & low light, low maintenance, attention seeking – whilst keeping costs to a minimum. Needless to say, we love a challenge.


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The outcome was a combination of succulents, of both the low and (eventually) high variety, mixed with a combination of different sculptural native grasses to create an alternate texture throughout the smooth, geometric forms of the succulents.
















The unique nature of this space meant that due to drainage and concrete footings areas of high water retention would rest next to spaces with almost hydrophobic conditions. This presented an opportunity to combine forms and textures that would normally not be found so close to one another to create a collection of unique spaces in small pockets.


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All of these elements coupled with the addition of a few pots with edible plants created a space that is inviting, curious and in a few years will become a striking courtyard with a number of feature elements to both catch the eye and invite the interest of the children as they watch it all grow and change the shape of their playspace.




If you would like any more information on this project or would like to discuss how we can help transform your garden feel free to contact us here or via the form below.