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Design

Two Takes on a Courtyard Garden

Whether you like your space simple and clean or filled to the brim, there’s a design option for you

Fine Gardening - Issue 187
Courtyard 1: Through this arbor lie more than five seating areas. The layout and traffic flow of the garden allow it to feel spacious, despite its limited footprint.

Some may say that the risks involved with designing a small space are far less than those associated with designing a big one. After all, if you mess up, you only mess up on a tiny scale. But I would argue that the opposite is true. In a small space, it’s far easier to spot a poorly sited plant or an improperly sized patio. The challenges are even greater in small urban spaces because not only do you have to get the scale and proportions exactly right, but you also need to find ways to gain privacy and hide unsightly items without the ability to simply move them slightly left or right. Two charming courtyard gardens in Newport, Rhode Island, have mastered the art of small-space design—and they have done so without a lot of sacrifice. These two spaces don’t limit the plants or give up on the idea of…

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