Our Gravel Courtyard

The one place that I can always count on making my heart gleam is our now finished courtyard. This little space has been in progress over the last several seasons and though there's plenty more I would like to add- the courtyard is pretty well finished! Now pour me a drink and let's dive into the details.

We'll start by skipping back to March 2020: my in-laws had their screened in porch finished (to the far left below) but our decks hadn't been built and the gardens were just dreams...

That spring, we had our decks built and the planning for the courtyard gardens had begun. I knew I wanted a quaint flower garden filled with beautiful blooms and stones.

I started plotting where boxwoods and flowers would be going. I started with planting the evergreen winter interest (boxwoods and junipers) and then added in our bigger shrubs (lilacs, viburnums, roses, etc.). Whatever I had on hand that spring, I planted before laying the landscaping fabric.
I picked up many, many rolls of the landscaping fabric from our local nursery (here's a online link- Amazon Affiliate Link) and tacked it down with the staples (Amazon Affiliate Link). Since we were doing river rock/pea gravel, I wanted the weed barrier to be down so that weeds couldn't root in; thus making it easier to pull them.

Last fall (Sept '20), for my birthday, Taylor and I laid all the bigger rocks around the flowers/shrubs/trees. We left the pathways not finished until just a few weeks ago when we laid the final piece to the garden puzzle. This past spring, I added more blooms like the lavender, butterfly bushes, silver lace vine and the potted annuals around the fountain.

We finally laid the small pea gravel in the walkways almost a year later (everything is a process, right). The small trickling fountain, lavender and roses are my favorite in this area.

Back in June, I shared about our silver lace vine that's growing up our porch posts. They love the spot they're in and I even saw the first cluster of white blooms that I've waited so patiently for! Yay!

The vine is such a BIG and vigorous grower. I've had to trim it so many times already and several weeks ago, I trained more of the limbs upward. They seem very invasive but if you keep them trained and trimmed, I love the lush green curtain they offer.

 I love the two size tones of the stones. The pea gravel is softer to walk on bare foot and the bigger rock show the flower bed lines against the pea gravel. Now with both rocks all laid, I can clearly see where I want to add more perennials for next season. Eventually, the beds will fill in thicker and bigger (plus I want to add many more)!

I recently bought this aluminum edging (Amazon Affiliate Link) and I can't rave more about it! The edging allows for a nice clean edge and barrier against the lawn. The edging was easy to install and allows the grass/weeds to not grow into the gravel beds.

When the sun is setting beneath the rolling hills, our solar lights begin to kick on. I bought two different kinds of solar lights to dot around the gardens- one being more of a spotlight and the other more of a uplight. The spotlights (Amazon Affiliate Link) are nice to point at the trees and chimney to illuminate taller objects. The little disc lights (Amazon Affiliate Link) are nice for uplighting shrubs and flowers.
I sprinkled the two around the courtyard and it's so magical at dusk when the flowers are illuminated and the fountain is trickling.

I love how magical this courtyard becomes in the evening. The lights shimmering from inside pair with the dancing lights amongst the flowers. I imagine fairies flying around and making homes within the stems.
This courtyard has been years in the making and I imagine it will take many more to mature and grow. Having this finished area offers a great place to wander with my morning coffee and baby boy strapped to me. I hope this courtyard has inspired your thoughts!
Let me know what you think below!
Hugs, Alyssa 


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  • Lavelle

    It’s stunning and has really inspired me to get my plans in work for our side garden. Love all the french country details you’ve got going on!

  • Cheryl

    It’s beautiful and I am sure so pleasurable and peaceful to be in.
    I bet there is a lot of work to keep it up as well.

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