Courtyard on two levels

Kingston, KT1: south-facing, hot, dry courtyard.

This tatty walled garden has been transformed into a lovely courtyard. 1000 reclaimed bricks, complete with imported moss, replaced concrete slabs. The bricks were free as long as they were lifted from another garden, hard work but worth it in the end.

Bold plants mix well with a tangle of cottage garden perennials. Vibrant pink paint on the lower patio wall brings it all together. Placing large plants in a relatively small garden allows for lots of drama. 

We wanted this garden to look old from the start. Laid on dry sand and cement onto packed-down soil, so the base was deliberately uneven, the bricks settled in, quickly looking established. Concentric circles make the enclosed space look bigger than it is.

We replaced the uneven steps and found a way to deck the lower area while allowing access to the manhole cover. The solution was floating steps, supported by invisible scaffold poles bedded into the wall, with a removable deck section beneath. Quite clever, we thought.