Small courtyards can be challenging for homeowners trying to find ways to blend in with the architecture of their neighbourhood and also add some structure and beauty to their yards. Fortunately, there’s a wealth of native Australian plants that make perfect small courtyard companions.
Other than providing welcome shade, small courtyards are an ideal spot for many plants, especially those that like cool conditions and need less light to thrive. Many native Australian plants grow naturally in this type of setting, so they’re perfect choices if you have limited space or live in an area prone to drought.
Furthermore, many small courtyard plants are also very easy to grow. For example, many houseplants that thrive indoors almost year-round can also survive outside during the warmest part of the year in a small courtyard setting – provided they get enough water and care throughout the year.
Which Australian Plants for small Courtyards?
Some of the plants that make perfect small courtyard companions include Aloe Vera, Snake Plants, and Cassia Tree.
Consider your climate and space requirements
Some plants, like the English ivy or snake plant, do well in cool conditions and can survive in low-light environments. But if you live in an area where it gets too hot during the day and too cold at night, consider other types of plants that need brighter light.
If you have a small courtyard with a minimum amount of space (less than eight feet by six feet), consider plants that are tall and don’t require much water. These include Ficus trees, which can grow to 100 feet tall!
If you have a large courtyard with plenty of space for a garden, choose plants that grow quickly but require more care and attention as they mature. For example, small-leaved agapanthus is a fast-growing plant that reaches up to four feet tall when it blooms.
It’s also very easy to care for because once it flowers, the leaves die back and new ones start growing from the stem. So if you want to keep your garden looking neat throughout the year, consider this option.
Choose drought-tolerant plants
If you live in a place prone to drought, picking plants that are naturally drought-tolerant can be a wise decision. Plants that naturally thrive in dry conditions like cacti and succulents can survive for months without any water at all. Other plants that don’t require too much water include sedums and small flowering shrubs with delicate blooms.
One way to ensure your plants stay hydrated is by using an organic mulch, as it’s made from tree leaves and twigs that absorb moisture from the ground. This also helps keep down soil erosion, which is especially important in places where clay soil is prevalent.
Match your courtyard’s colours and texture
The first step in choosing a small courtyard plant is to match it to your courtyard’s colour scheme. For example, if you have red bricks, you might want a low-light plant like a golden chamomile or an amaryllis that can thrive with less light. Or, if you have grey mortar and only one other colour in your home’s interior design, try planting a yellow-flowering eucalyptus or golden wattle.
If you want a low-maintenance Australian native plant for your small courtyard, consider the wattles. These plants grow fast and spread their branches well so they can provide shade for other plants below them. They need little water and are resistant to pests and diseases. And they’re pretty easy to care for – simply cut back the top of the stems when the flowers fade so they start out fresh again next year!
Choose flowering plants for colour and fragrance
Many small courtyards are simple, so adding some color and beauty can be a challenge. To add flowers to your yard, consider choosing flowering plants like the poinsettia, which is a perennial flower that blooms all winter long.
Another option is to choose a shrub or large tree that will provide both colour and fragrance. This could be a lovely eucalyptus (mountain ash) or flowering gum.
Combining plants to create the perfect small courtyard blend
Since small courtyards are often limited in terms of space and budget, it’s important to use plants that complement one another. That’s why it’s a good idea to consider combining native Australian plants with other types of plants that you might have in your yard.
For example, if you have roses in your yard and like the idea of having some greenery in your small courtyard, don’t worry – many native Australian plants will work well with roses. You can also combine native Australian plants with perennials like daffodils or hostas.
If you want to create a more natural feel with your planting choices, use native Australian trees such as eucalyptus or banksia instead.
Take care of your courtyard blend
It’s important to keep a small courtyard well-taken care of so that it can grow and thrive. You should be watering your plants at least twice a month, and avoid overwatering or letting them dry out. If you do need to water more frequently, use drip irrigation systems or other methods to ensure your plants don’t drown.
Small courtyards are also the perfect place to plant trees, providing shade as well as providing protection from wind and rain. As with any other type of garden, it’s important to mow your yard regularly – but not too often. Mowing too often will lead to soil erosion, which can result in poor drainage for your yard.
Finally, if you have a small courtyard with flowers, like many homes in this area, it’s important to make sure your fertilizer isn’t eating away at the soil underneath them – this will lead to poor growth and ill-defined blooms.
There are so many options when it comes to choosing plants for your small courtyard, but there are a few things to consider when you’re trying to create your perfect blend.
First, try to understand what kind of climate you have, and then find plants that will work well in the space. Next, consider the size of your courtyard and what you might need in terms of space. Consider the colour scheme and texture of your courtyard, and then choose plants that will match your style.
Finally, think about what kind of plants will bring the most beauty and fragrance to your space.
Really focus on your space and start picking the perfect plants for your small courtyard today!