Monday, September 13, 2010

Front courtyard - plans and ideas

OK so despite my (rather whiny) previous post, I do have some ideas... at least about one of the spaces I'm working with.

I was walking around my parents' neighbourhood recently and fell in love with the garden of a house around the block. It's gorgeous, modern and has that whole architectural feel. I got chatting to the neighbour and (as it turns out) the house is architect designed and the garden was landscaped by a well-renowned landscaper (just my luck right?). I took a couple of sneaky photos with my iphone, so you'll have to excuse the quality:

I think the massive row of mother in law's tongue looks amazing... with the gorgeous giant mondo grass in front *sigh*. I'm not sure what the tress are, but I adore the row of moses in the cradle around it.

Acting on inspiration, after calling about a zillion nurseries I managed to track down some mother in law's tongue (although only about 1/3 of what I need). (On that note, if anyone in Perth has some in their garden which is getting overgrown, I'd be happy to take it off your hands).

This is the gorgeous plant I'm talking about if anyone is unsure:

With this in mind, I've somewhat devised a plan for my front courtyard and would love it if anyone has any input. Here is a little sketch I've drawn up myself (using paint - it's totally not to scale, but I'm sure it will provide a general idea until I upload some photos):

Here's a picture of the courtyard to give you a better idea of things:

Front courtyard

Basically I have an L-shaped garden bed. I plan on running a couple of rows of mother in law's tongue along the back of each wall (green dots). Then I was thinking of having a row of mondo grass, or possibly moses in the cradle in front.

Where I'm running into problems is where the stars are depicted in the corners of the flower bed. I think I need to do something different there to break up the space. I was considering having 3 identical pots with a feature plant in each (and possibly cover the soil with stones).

The courtyard itself is particularly shady, so any plants that require full sun won't be suitable. Does anyone have suggestions?


  1. Look on gumtree for ads for people selling mother in law's tongue. Loads of the stuff around.

    As for shady plants, I'm not too sure... I lean heavily towards productive gardens (gardens with flowers I can cut or things I can eat), but the Yates Garden Guide is always a good bet for help.

  2. If you go with feature pots how about something striking such as a yucca or perhaps some vibrant red coloured cordalines? Hopefully in your sneaky photos next time I'll be able to see a whole pic of the cavalier doggie! lol

  3. Thanks for the gumtree suggestion lupinbunny! There seem to be lots of people selling reasonably priced plants, so I might be able to get my garden done without blowing my "Kristen really needs a holiday" fund.

    *misskitty* - I almost didn't post that picture because little miss Lola was in the way. I'm sure my Mum has about a zillion photos of her (Lola is the replacement child since I moved out of home), so I'll be sure to put a nice one up of her next time.

    Back on topic, yuccas and cordalines are good ideas. I'll have to hunt some down next time I'm at a nursery.

  4. Huh. Lola the cav-dog... we have a Lola-the-half-pug-half-cav... such a good doggie name.

  5. Try Swapmeets for succulents and Mother-in-Laws tongue- there is one once a fortnight in Wanneroo that always has heaps of both of these for sale very cheap

  6. Ooo, thanks heaps for the swap meet recommendation! I did a google search but I couldn't seem to find any details about where it's held (or which weekend). If you're able to give me any more info I'd appreciate it.

    To update on my situation, I've had a chat to some friends about the mother in law's tongue situation and a few people have said their gardens are overgrowing with it! So hopefully I'll be able to get enough for free from friends and family.

    Now I'm on the search for some cheap moses in the cradle.

  7. Oh I forgot to add, clearly we have great taste lupinbunny as Lola is a wicked dog name. Although she's my parents' dog, they stole my dog name so I get to claim all credit for the naming rights.

  8. Every fortnight at the wanneroo showgrounds, it will be on next weekend I think