A Gallery of Garden Shed Ideas

Add storage to your garden with personalized style. Our gallery of garden shed ideas shows you how.

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Gardening Tips for Renters

Want to bring more green to your house or apartment? Using a few easy, inexpensive techniques, <a href="http://www.thehorticult.com/">The Horticult</a> shows how you can garden like you own the place -- without risking your security deposit. You don't have to own your home to create a garden that reflects your personal style. Grow your favorite plants and create an inspired landscape -- or patio, interior, or balcony -- using these fun, low-commitment methods. (Although you might want to check with your landlord about the larger projects!) And if you move, you can take it all with you. These 10 tips for renters will give your garden a new lease on life.

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Editors' Picks: Top Rabbit-Resistant Plants

We've pulled together a gallery of some of our favorite plants that rabbits avoid in our gardens.

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Summer Garden Maintenance Checklist

Summer is a gardener¿s busiest season. If you¿re short on time or not sure what to do, follow this easy summer gardening checklist to keep your lawn and garden in great shape all season long.

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Throw a Garden Party

Greet the season with friends, flowers, and ice cream floats! Featuring pretty paper blooms and a blushing peach punch, this lovely garden gathering will have you celebrating summer in style.

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Add Interest to Your Yard with a Pergola

Create a landscape that looks good all year long with these creative ideas for incorporating a pergola into your yard.

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Make a Succulent Wreath

Succulent wreaths made from succulent plants require little water and are a great way to decorate your outdoor spaces.

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Planning a Comely Courtyard

A courtyard is the garden living area that comes closest to being a true outdoor room. These elegant spaces provide the ultimate in privacy.

Enhancing an Existing Courtyard

Because a courtyard is an extension of the house, it is typically furnished in much the same way.

There is much you can do with an existing courtyard. Consider the following design aspects when refurbishing an existing courtyard.

Enclosure. A distinguishing characteristic of a courtyard is having the space feel as though it has four "solid" walls. Solid is more visual than literal. A vine-covered trellis or a hedge may close in a small space (perhaps less than 10 feet square) without making it feel claustrophobic.

Click here to find even more inspiration for your patio spaces.

An open roof or canopy adds even more sense of enclosure. Whatever structure you use should allow plenty of light into the courtyard so there is no mistaking its feeling of welcome.

A retractable awning is one way to add enclosure. A temporary roof that covers the courtyard completely in winter also extends the time you can use the area and protects the plants within.


Check out our tips on making your backyard more private.

 

Styles. The style and look of the courtyard is to some extent predetermined by the walls that define it. However, these walls can be altered to create the setting you want.

A courtyard is an enclosed space, but the walls need no tbe solid. Here, a lattice fence creates a private and intimate space without completely blocking all light.

Scale. An aspect of design you do have control over is scale. The absence of a roof makes the space feel bigger than it is. A grouping of tables and chairs that feels comfortable on an open patio may look cramped in a walled courtyard. Scale also comes into play when selecting plants. In terms of both design and horticulture, it works better to have fewer, larger pots than many little pots that dry out quickly and blow over.

Views. The main concern for a courtyard is usually the view into it rather than out of it. As you design, examine views from any windows (including those overhead) and doors that enter the courtyard. Also, if you have an attractive view from the courtyard, consider cutting a window in a wall of the courtyard to frame it.

Making a Latticework Screen

Adding a New Courtyard

As you design a courtyard, keep all of the views in mind, including the one from above.

If your home is already built, plan a courtyard when adding onto the house. This may not add as much cost to the project as you might think. For example, when adding a study, extra bedroom, or even an attached garage, you can add the same structure 15 or 20 feet from the house. The additional costs you will incur are for one wall (the one that will no longer be shared with the rest of the house) and the hallway required to connect the new structure to the existing house. You can then enclose the courtyard using a fence or dense hedge. Then, of course, there is the cost of the courtyard itself.

Important Things to Consider

If you plan to add a courtyard, consider how it is oriented to the sun and how you will enter and exit from the house and garden. The more entries, the more you are likely to use the space. Be sure the courtyard paving, no matter the material used, drains away from the house. Also consider ways to provide a partial canopy by extending the rafters of the roof over the new structure.

Add on to an Existing Rennovation

If your home is already built, plan a courtyard when adding onto the house. This may not add as much cost to the project as you might think. For example, when adding a study, extra bedroom, or even an attached garage, you can add the same structure 15 or 20 feet from the house. The additional costs you will incur are for one wall (the one that will no longer be shared with the rest of the house) and the hallway required to connect the new structure to the existing house. You can then enclose the courtyard using a fence or dense hedge. Then, of course, there is the cost of the courtyard itself.

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