Courtyard Reveal

Author:  Autumn

I have always thought that courtyards were somewhat romantic and traditional.  They reminded me of those mysterious little spaces tucked behind a beautiful big doorway in Paris.  I have often thought it would be fun to have one, never thinking that it would actually become a reality.  Since my blog partner and daughter revealed their new lawn last week, I am happy to reveal our empty-nester courtyard this week.

This charming gazebo is located in the park across from our place.

One of the great features of our new townhouse is the brick courtyard that came with it.  With a beautiful, historic park located right across the street, we can easily go play in the grass whenever the mood strikes.  The courtyard gives us the option of having an outdoor space without the maintenance that goes with a having a lawn.  Been there, done that.

Our courtyard space hadn’t seen any love from the previous owner for several years.  We bought the place in January, and it looked pretty gloomy.

Obviously, this was before the leaves came out and before we cleaned and replaced the bricks’ mortar.

When we bought the place, there was a breezeway leading from the living area to the garage.  This photo was taken during the demo stage, and we were storing things in that area.

We told the architect that we wanted to convert the breezeway into a mud room, and he drew up the plans for it.  One of our workers is taking a break.

This is what it looks like now.

We have created a border using small boxwoods, which we will keep small.  Next summer we will fill in the area behind them with something taller.  I want it to resemble a little Dutch garden that I see so often when bicycling there.

We used these wrought iron planters as window boxes at our last house.  There were some nails already in the brick wall, and I just hung them here.  It is a perfect place for them, but I don’t think the impatiens get enough light.

Our espaliered apple tree is struggling.  It has been neglected, and I am hoping to save it.  I fed it well in the spring and have made sure it gets plenty of water, but I am not sure the space is ideal for it.

I have room for an herb garden, and ironically, they grow better here than any of my herbs did at our last house.  It is important to use the vertical spaces, as well, so I planted a climbing rose here beside the trellis.

We bordered the herb garden with boxwoods, also.

This is our Mr. Murdock.  I wrote about him here.

This special container keeps the garden hose under control.

We have a nice shaded area for outdoor dining.

Our house plants are thriving in the courtyard this summer.

There is room for annuals.

You can enter the courtyard from either the mud room, or the sun porch, here.

We have a shaded place for grilling, too.

Our ferns are doing well.

I even have a place to “plant”  a bottle tree.

Since we were married, we have had a home on eight acres of property, a home on ten acres, and a home in the suburbs.  We couldn’t be more thrilled with our city living town house with a court yard.  We two empty-nesters are happy to give up the mowing.

Take care.

Linking to Between Naps On The PorchPhotobucket


  1. says

    Lovely courtyard. We were going to work on ours this summer, but the heat is unbearable! Love the mudroom, it looks like it was meant to be.

  2. says

    What a lovely courtyard. It looks like a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. We are on the threshold of empty nesters, and it sure feels a little lonely. Thanks for sharing about your beautiful reveal. Visiting from BNOTP.

  3. says

    Oh, lovey! You’re redos here look so marvelous. Love your flower beds and everything looks so healthy. I’m sure you’re enjoying it so much.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  4. says

    Love the way you closed up the breezeway for the mudroom — so smart! And it made such an elegant courtyard facade for the house. It looks great and over time all will unfold. I, too, planted shaggy round boxwood as a border and I just love the way it looks. Thanks so much for stopping by. Jane F

  5. says

    I love your courtyard! The brick is so warm and all the plants are so inviting! I’m new to gardening and LOVE it…but I could live without the mowing. You have the perfect space. 🙂

  6. Jan Smith says

    Oh my, your courtyard is lovely. Remember that you must leave at least one project at your new home undone, or poor Mike and you will be having to move again.

  7. Beth says

    This is really as lovely as it looks. A good explanation of your process adds to this blog immensely!!

  8. says

    Love the new doors and herb garden. Boxwoods are the best…love the Chicagoland–we planted some this year. Great reveal!

    We hope you will consider being a part of the Miracle Makeover blog week starting Friday… helps kids with cancer. Creativity can change things… for more on it stop by…
    Kelee @ Met Monday will feature it next week!

  9. says

    Hi Janet,

    Your empty nester courtyard is fabulous…love the addition of the mudroom and by the time all of your plants fill in you surely won;t be missing all of those byegone acres. Perfect use of your vertical space, too. Hope your first summer there has been enjoyable.


  10. says

    What an absolutely lovely space you have created! The brick is so gorgeous and I love your herb garden. You have done a fabulous job and we are so glad you shared this with us at Inspiration Friday this week!

  11. says

    Janet – your courtyard is absolutely beautiful! It’s cozy and welcoming, and I can see where it’s so easy to keep tidy! 🙂 Lovely job!

    xoxo laurie