Shady Courtyard, Kent
The clients live in a beautiful renovation of a Convent in Kent and have a quadrant of the communal courtyard with their property. Complete with cloister arches, the small courtyard gets almost no direct sunlight all year round but the owners wanted to be able to use their outside space when they could. They asked for a green space to sit and enjoy the beautiful quad, with plants in pots and in keeping with the building. They also stipulated quirky, simple and chic.
I sourced some large and antique-looking pots from Gardenesque, two with a salt-glaze which fitted really well with the soft stone of the building. I filled 5 large pots and several medium terracotta ones with all manor of shade loving plants - amongst them ferns, hydrangeas, ivies, astrantia, sarcococca for winter scent and a white quince for the wall as I didn't want to put any fixings into the stone.
The arches each had a single evergreen fern - Polystichum tsus-simense which is a tough and drought-tolerant variety, whilst the two salt-glazed pots each hold a stunning Polystichum setiferum with ivies and white lamium.
To finish the look we found some simple led battery lanterns to light the single arch.