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Precisely balanced elements ensure that this small, attractive courtyard is not only functional, but also flows smoothly from the inside of the house to the outdoors

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As anyone who has remodeled the inside of their home quickly finds out, the work doesn't stop there. Once the house is looking good, the garden needs to be brought up to the same standard.

The small garden behind this Victorian row house was an overgrown mess, and views from the house focused on the garage. To improve the space and bring light and color into the house and garden, landscape architect Kristen Martin decided to simplify the area.

"The new garden includes three level changes and characters – each one-third of the area. This provides visual depth and increases the sense of space. The Crepe Myrtle tree and sandstone water feature are balancing elements, and sandstone stepping stones are intended to help you unwind and relax as you move to, or from the garage, via the garden," she says.

Because of the small proportions, materials were minimized to make the garden feel spacious. Timber flooring inside becomes decking outside, and decks and stairs double as seats. As well as repeating the layout and materials, the designer has chosen a few species of plants massed together to create focal points in the garden.

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First published date: 23 August 2004

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Credit List

Landscape architect Kristen Martin, Kristen Martin Landscape Architects
Architect John Pickersgill
Courtyard and paving Sandstone
Water feature Sandstone carved by Chris Bennetts