Courtyard garden makeover essentials

Hello there

At the beginning of Autumn I shared with you the beginnings of our courtyard garden makeover. It’s now spring and the first part of the makeover is finally complete. We managed to plant the shrubs and paint the fence. We still have to paint the exterior of the house. That’s a summer project when the weather is a little warmer.

Here is a reminder of the courtyard before the makeover.

I had estimated spending no more than $500 for plants and paint. With a modest budget and hard work I wanted to see what could be achieved in this space.


  • 4 litres of fence paint in dark blue
  • 4 litres of cream paint for the house walls
  • 2 paint brushes – small and large
  • 4 bags of compost material
  • 5 Pittosporum Silver Sheen plants for along the fence
  • 5 Gardenias for along the house wall
  • 4 Bamboo plants in pot to cover the air conditioning unit.

You don’t need alot of money to create a beautiful small garden courtyard. There are a few essential ingredients to make your courtyard oasis, a place to relax with a good book and a cup of tea on a warm sunny day.

Small sweet plants

Surround yourself with small seasonal plants in pots. Pansies are ideal for courtyards and don’t need much maintenance except the occasional deadheading.  Pansies are available in Spring and Autumn. In summer try Petunias. They are very hardy, love full sun, don’t need much water and come in a multitude of colors.

Small shrubs

Small hedging plants are great for garden beds in your courtyard. Azaleas are an ideal shrub with masses of blooms. They are ideal for pots and come in white, pinks and reds. For most impact plant a row of Azaleas in the same color.

Azaleas like a sheltered location with dappled light and well drained rich soil. They are a low maintenance shrub requiring light pruning after flowering.

Gardenias are hard to resist. They have a beautiful fragrance and delicate white flowers. They are not the easiest shrubs to grow and need quite alot of watering in after planting. They need a light pruning after flowering to keep their shape.


Pittosporum are a great hedging plant. They can grow in full sun but need some shade during the day. They are frost and wind tolerant.  They also need light pruning each year to keep their shape.


You may want to consider growing Jasmine over your garden fence. Jasmine has a delicate aroma and blooms in early Spring. Jasmine does not need much watering and grows very quickly.

Take care with this plant as it can quickly grow out of control and take over your garden and grow over everything. Jasmine needs a good hard pruning after it dies off each year.

Some people are allergic to Jasmine so keep that in mind when selecting this sweet plant.

Make sure to build up the soil and water in your plants once you plant them. Plants can go into shock after they are transplated from their pots and need a few days to adjust. Feed your plants each year with a good liquid fertaliser.

If you have very dry soil consider adding a soil wetting and water in well.  New plants should be planted in late winter or very early spring. It will give them time to establish themselves before the hot summer weather arrives.


In any renovation makeover or house project its important to acknowledge those that have helped you achieve your goals.

I want to acknowledge my pug for helping and getting in the way most of the time during this project. He spent his time getting under my feet, digging in the fresh dirt, chewed the end of my hand spade and played with the dead plants. Best of all he was great company and I enjoyed our sweet little dog.

Last but not least, here is the post renovation “After”photo. The total budget for the plants and paint came in under $350 AUS which is great news.

The blue fence shows off the greens of the garden. The Pittosporum will take some time to grow but in time will grow to create a lovely green wall of leaves. I will be out there watering the garden every day for the next few weeks.

The entire family is looking forward to spending a warm and happy summer in this space.

Wishing you a relaxing week ahead and hope all your renovating projects are a success.