What to do with our courtyard?

The plan for our rental courtyard

While the interior of the house is more-or-less completed in terms of liveability (as far as affordability and space goes), exterior leaves plenty wanting. This includes the backyard, front yard and courtyard.

Because it’s just a rental (up to the next 2 years), we have to pace ourselves, both pocket-wise and ambition-wise. Everything has to be easy to move around.

The yards are just grass… nothing exciting. Very boring, in fact, but at least it’s neat and clean. And easy to maintain. The husband is resident-mower and he hates mowing around fountains and paths etc. So this is easy-care.

The courtyard has commanded plenty of frustrated what-if scenarios. All in all it’s a really poorly planned space.


The courtyard in our rental as is

The courtyard as is

A plain, if poorly, concreted area, with a slope down to the backyard. (in green) But where the two walls of the house meet, the courtyard dips inwards! So very little drains away in that corner. So it’s always green and slippery. Some mad architect (maybe owner builder) built is so that the only rooms facing the beautiful morning sun from the North are the bathrooms! The courtyard (and rest of house) is on the opposite side and gets almost no sun!

The walls of the courtyard aren’t really usable either, it’s very utilitarian with air conditioner split unit, dustbins, windows and doors. (see illustration above)

After almost 2 months of possibilities

I think this is the plan with the easiest layout:

The plan for our rental courtyard

The plan for our rental courtyard

Even in winter, I often love to sit out to have a short read or a tea. I think I have settled on a sandstone outdoor setting. Something like this would be great since it’s weather-proof.

Outdoor setting with pretty topiaries, via Madison Living magazine

Outdoor setting with pretty topiaries, via Madison Living magazine

I brought Sir Lancelot with me, although right now, it’s not in a good spot. We left our lovely potted gardenias and birdbath back in Melbourne for our tenants to enjoy.

I would love to have my swings.

I still want badly a swing in my garden. My mother had a gorgeous 70s wrought iron garden swing, in this style but more ornate:

The swing like mine, except mine was rounded.

The swing like mine, except mine was rounded.

Planned outdoor furniture

For furniture, I’d love to have an expansive sandstone table like the one below with some (much more) comfortable chairs:

Maybe something like this, hardwearing and rustic. This image has been foremost in my mind:

Rattan outdoor furniture in a slim outdoor courtyard

Rattan outdoor furniture in a slim outdoor courtyard

Our tenants asked us to leave my beloved yellow breakfast Colebrookdale setting in our property, so I love the fact that they enjoy it so much!

My pretty yellow Colebrookdale setting with my outdoor white cane setting.

My pretty yellow Colebrookdale setting with my outdoor white cane setting.

We still have those white wicker pieces, but since there’s no covered area here, they have to languish away in storage.

I’d love to have a courtyard filled with ferns and greenery, in a bright spot, much like Halle Berry’s beautiful pied-a-terre:

Of course it’s a smidgen larger than our previous courtyard-cum-frontyard-cum-backyard!

Keep on coming back to see how I create living spaces for me and my small family :)



  1. Reply


    24 June 2011

    Have fun landscaping! I miss it so much. I haven't planted anything in over a year. :(

  2. Reply


    6 July 2011

    Jessie, maybe a herb garden or some indoor potted plants? I love African Violets and have plenty indoors, flowering. At the moment I'm trialing out polyanthus.Are you going to move again soon, Jessie?


The Woman behind the Blog

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