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Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 6:19 pm
Location: Gainesville, FL

Design for a very small courtyard garden in Florida?

Hi, I am new to the forums and new to gardening! :D I am finally moving to an apartment where I will be able to have a small courtyard garden and while I am very excited, I have no idea what to do!

I am really into the idea of container gardening and would love to incorporate a bird bath and bird feeder into the design. A sitting area would be great, but the courtyard is very small (only about 5'x7') so Im not sure if this is feasible. The area receives full sun and I am in Florida, so I want to stick with heat tolerant, hardy plants and flowers; I think that yellow/purple/blue would complement the front door nicely.

Here is a picture of the entrance to the courtyard. The 5'x7' area is to the left of the gate and has no landscaping/hardscaping whatsoever, so it truly is a blank canvas! I don't want to spend a lot of money on hardscaping/landscaping (Im a college student!); are there ways to use mulch or interspersed cobblestones appealingly?


Any design ideas or plant suggestions? I have spent hours reading up on the topic but I feel so overwhelmed! Thanks for reading!

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Definitely, tuck in one chair, what's the point of investing energy in it, if you can't sit in it and enjoy it!? Personally, I think wicker looks really nice in tropical outdoor settings. Check the second hand stores. I got a great set of wicker furniture for our screened porch really cheap at a second hand furniture store.

Think about an arbor (if you are handy with tools you could build something pretty cheap) or is there something on the other side of the courtyard (opposite the wall with numbers) so that you could string some line from one side to the other? A little shade will be nice for you and your plants. And It really increases the visual impact of your plants to have some hanging baskets, so you have color up at eye level. And of course you NEED to hang some hummingbird feeders, as well as planting a few red flowers for the hummers...

Then think about fragrant flowers. You want your little courtyard to be a hideaway nook that will please and refresh all your senses! Put a teeny little inexpensive fountain in your birdbath... the birds will like it better, it will keep it from getting mosquitos, and the sound of moving water is so peaceful.

Get to know https://www.floridata.com/ for plant suggestions for Florida gardeners.

Take advantage of being in Florida, grow lots of big-leaved lush tropicals, elephant ear, monstera, philodendron,etc. Get to know a gardener or look for a garden club. People that have been gardening for awhile, usually have plants to give away!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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