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Flowers for a small courtyard Garden, with pictures , photos of flowers and plants.

Updated on March 4, 2012

The variegated leaf colour of this pink phlox adds interest to the area close to the ground even when it is not in flower...

Photo: pink phlox flowers
Photo: pink phlox flowers

As with planning most types of garden often the easiest starting point is to think about the factors that exist and cannot be altered.

These may be areas of the garden that are in shade or part-shade.

The type of soil the garden has.

Structures such as sheds and paths that cannot be moved.

The space that you have for the planting area needs to be considered.

Are there already plants in your courtyard garden area that need to be kept or are you starting your courtyard garden from scratch?

Planning what plants to buy for your courtyard area.

When selecting flowers and plants to grow in a court yard garden it is important to think about the size of the plant and the space they will occupy. Remember to consider how large the plant will grow too, do not be fooled by a small plant in a samll pot. Select plants that are not invasive, plants that spread by self seeding profusely or by roots that creep and take over areas of the garden will make work for the future as you struggle to control their spreading.

Close proximity to neighbouring plants means that the plants need to be chosen with care to enhance the group rather than one overwhelming the others.

Some plants will be better suited to being planted as edging plants than others, usually these will be the shorter more densely growing plants. These types of plants are the ones to use to soften the edges of the hard paving areas with the presence of their foliage and flowers. Usually they will be selected for their compact growing habit and also colour of foliage is often important. Variegated plants can work well here.

All of these factors need to be kept in mind when selecting a planting scheme for your small courtyard. You may want to draw up a plan of the plants you want to buy and where you will be planting them. Research now into the suitablity of them for their planting locations could save you time and money in the future.

a brightly coloured foliage plant ...

Photo: 'stoplight' a bright colourful variety of Heuchera.
Photo: 'stoplight' a bright colourful variety of Heuchera.

Plants for a court-yard that is in a walk through area may be selected by a different criteria to the type of court-yard used as a place to sit out and relax.

A walk through area will need plants that do not shed their leaves onto the pathway, nor should they flop forward too much or form trip hazards. A plant like a low growing thyme could be ideal as an edging plant, the maintenance required will be just to trim and tidy it occasionally. Thyme comes in some nice varieties and colours and a mix of these may work well for a planting scheme. Thrift is another pretty and compact plant for edging.

Heuchera varieties for foliage colour in the flower border

Plant name, Heuchera,

Peach Flambe.

If you want a plant with bright coloured  leaves in your garden borders then this flaming red-orange foliage plant may be the one you are searching for. With white flowers in the summer this plant has  leaf colours that are bright when the foliage is young and it then changes to a peachy-plum later in the year at the end of the summer and into early autumn.

Heuchera Tiramisu.   This plant has attractive leaves in copper yellow and red shades. 

Heuchera Citronelle. This plant has lime green leaves and creamy white flowers.

Aubretia is a useful edging plant and will fit in to most planting schemes

photo: aubretia flowers used as an edging plant with rope edging and gravel.
photo: aubretia flowers used as an edging plant with rope edging and gravel.

Flowers for a courtyard area.

Flowers in a Courtyard Garden.

Flowers in a courtyard will often have to grow in a limited space, they may be in areas of shade or part-shade. They can be planted in raised beds or small border areas in the centre of borders or if low growing can be used where they edge the paving areas. The courtyard area of some gardens are designed to require minimal up-keep. If this is true then selecting plants that do not require constant dead heading and tidying up is probably a good idea.

All of these factors need to be kept in mind when selecting a planting scheme for your small courtyard.

low growing plants can be planted into an area with easy maintenance if necessary..

photo: court yard area with slate and low growing plants.
photo: court yard area with slate and low growing plants.

The selection of flowers in this photo are easy to care for and their colours work well against the colour of the slate and paved area.

Flowers used here are white alyssum grown from seed.

An annual that usually self-seeds after the first year.


A dark viola - that is called Bowles Black. It is easy to grow and this viola can be grown in rockeries, containers and is an interesting and useful plant in the front of borders These are perennials but will self seed readily, creating patches of dark violas to contrast with your other flowers..

The bright pink flowering plant - which grows into a mound shaped plant - is called thrift and is a good edging plant. The one in the photo is often called sea-thrift because it will grow at sea-side locations, where some other plants dislike the salt air. A perennial trouble free plant - just tidy it up after it has flowered. They are easy to grow as long as the soil is well drained and in full sun. If the soil is too fertile or too moist, the plants will start to rot in the center, which older plants frequently do anyway.

Some varieties of phlox are low growing and would look attractive in a court yard setting, but they can look untidy when the flowers are finished, so some work is need at that time to time them up by trimming off the dead flowers.

The candy-stripe varieties can look attractive when interspersed with other flowers of a similar height.

 In a courtyard garden it can sometimes be a good idea to select bright or bold colour contrasts in certain areas to draw attention to the plants.

Subtle coloured foliage plants can provide good ground cover..

Photo: a ground cover plant with variegated foliage.
Photo: a ground cover plant with variegated foliage.

Planted containers can add colour and height to this area of the garden

Containers can add diversity to the planting scheme and also height, the containers can be grouped together to make watering them simpler. Remember if people are walking close to the area with the containers fallen leaves can cause people to slip and also take care when watering, better still place them away from paths and walk-way routes.


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    • NotTooTall profile image


      9 years ago from The Land of Pleasant Living

      I enjoyed reading your Hub! Great ideas ~ thank you!

      N T T

    • 2uesday profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hello Expert Gardener and thank you it is really nice to know that you too like ideas for planting a courtyard garden in this way.

    • Expert Gardener profile image

      Expert Gardener 

      9 years ago


      I have a small courtyard on the other house of mine and I did what you just wrote here.

      Amazing hub and vote up!


    • 2uesday profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hello natures47friend, I find they are useful as well as being an attractive plant. If I am buying plants the Heucheras with their colorful foliage and variety to pick from, makes me feel like a child in a sweet shop; that is spoilt for choice. Thank you for visiting this page and for the comment.

    • natures47friend profile image


      9 years ago from Sunny Art Deco Napier, New Zealand.

      I love Heucheras. We have some in our garden, and being more cottage style it it semi hidden. What a great hub!

    • 2uesday profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hello may018, thank you pleased you liked this page and the photos.

    • may018 profile image


      9 years ago from Philippines

      I also love gardening and thanks for this inspiring hub. And also your photos are awesome!

    • infoels1 profile image


      10 years ago

      i like your sweet hub.

    • 2uesday profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      Hi I have lots of pages on plants and gardening they can be found through the links on the pages or via my profile page if you would like to read more flowerd. Thanks.

    • flowerdeliverybos profile image


      10 years ago

      Sweet articles, this is an awesome hub, I'd like to see more

    • 2uesday profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      Thank you sweetgirl for looking at this and also for leaving a comment here. Plants, flowers and gardens are very good places to relax and find peace and calm in the modern hectic world we live in. Photos in hubs work well for me as they bring color to the page and show what I am writing about. I hope you enjoy putting together you flower hub as much as I do.

    • sweetgirl profile image


      10 years ago from irbid

      Ihave some plants on my Balcony, Ilove them Imay write a hub and show you their pics

      plants make me happy

    • sweetgirl profile image


      10 years ago from irbid

      This is comforting

    • 2uesday profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      Opps, sorry Tammy I missed this - pleased you enjoyed reading this and I hope everything is going to plan for thr new home.

    • profile image

      Tammy Lochmann 

      10 years ago

      I love gardens. I got a beautiful plant for Mother's day and it died. I can't keep a plant alive. I have never been able to. Actually I shouldn't say that I had good luck planting geraniums but one of my husband's clumsy friends knocked them over and smashed the planter and I never bothered trying to grow flowers again. Maybe I will get some inspiration when we move into our new house next month.

      I really enjoyed reading this. I have to go back and read the poems you posted yesterday. (((hugs))) Tammy


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