Urban Meadow Garden Design


In this small courtyard, I tried to overcome the challenges of the limited space, and shade caused by the surrounding high walls. The garden is situated in a temperate climate, where summers are warm (average 20-25 Celsius) winters are are mild with a minimum of -5 Celsius.

It is essentially a meadow garden with outdoor seating areas, spiced with a few vertical elements like Berberis ‘Columna’  and trellises. It is easy to maintain, suits to anyone with a hectic lifestyle who wants a space to unwind and relax.

The garden is South-facing, but the surrounding fence will still give shade for various hours per day depending on the season.

The plan is quite simple: a small seating area in front, followed by a graveled meadow garden, where a simple slightly bending pathway crosses through. The back of the garden is slightly elevated, to increase the depth of space.

We start off with a small paved terrace behind the house, which is perfect for enjoying the afternoon sun. The turquoise trellis peeking in from one side separates the space a bit without blocking the view to the rest of the garden.

The lower meadow-garden feature species, which would ensure interest throughout the whole year.

Spring is time for tulips (Tulipa viridiflora group) and spurge (EuphorbiaRobbiae’) with its bright lime coloured flowers.

Early summer is brightened up by the round headed Alliums, and rusty spikes of foxglove (Digitalis ferruginea). Later in the summer purple sage (Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’) blends with the red tinged pheasant tail grass (Anemanthele lessoniana), matching with the vibrant red flowers of the bee-balm (Monarda ‘Scorpion’) and later in the summer the pink Echinacea magnus joins in the show. Mounds of the Russian sage (Phlomis russeliana)  complement all the vertical elements and softly hug the curved gravel path.

Late summer is all about purple clouds of Asters (Aster pyreneus ‘Lutetia’) and Miscanthus grasses (Miscanthus ‘Kleine Silberspinne’).

Through the winter a lot of the seedheads remain and all the grasses will perform.

Additional elements like the repeated trellis adds rhythm to the place, and a pretty birdbath acts as a focal point.

As we step up on the upper part of the garden, a different planting awaits us, but some of the previously seen plants appear here as well, to unify the space. I used clipped box hedge to strengthen the lines and divide this space from the lower level.

The turquoise colour of the trellises come back in the supporting poles of the small pergola and the small entry leading to it.

Beside the pergola the red columns of Berberis ‘Columna’   underplanted with shade loving plants gives us an extra dimension and seclusion.