Shoreline Courtyard Garden – Award Winning Design

This is a Japanese style courtyard garden or tsubo-niwa designed for a Master Gardener and her family. This design was awarded Silver in the APLD International Student Landscape Design Awards.

Because they have an extensive garden in the back of their Shoreline home, she wants an easy care area in the front yard.  Three major aspects of the design proposal focus on creating a lower maintenance front yard: adding a patio; reducing the overall area of the garden by moving the wall at the street closer to the house; and using drought tolerant plants that require little or no pruning or dividing.

The design solution for this side yard needed to address several issues:

  • Move the path out of the varying drip line
  • Increase the path width to match the gate
  • Place a new planting bed where the rain reaches
  • Improve a drainage problem that caused an occasional wet basement
  • Provide privacy between one neighbors dining room and the others bedroom
  • Add interest to an existing width of lawn bordered by two straight paths

The broken concrete path was removed and reused by others.  Crushed gravel was installed over weed barrier in a curvilinear design edged with cedar bender board.  The path was designed to stay within the property line while still moving in and out from the house to allow for the planting bed, and to provide rain protection under the lower roof line.

To increase privacy matching trellises were installed for training two iridescent white Clematis ‘Huldine’  around the bedroom window, and the neighbors split the cost for an  Acer tegmentosum Manchurian Snakebark Mapletree which was planted between the two houses.