A lack of space doesn’t mean you can’t have a colour­ful spring gar­den as land­scaper Lizette Nie­man demon­strated here

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A com­pact gar­den burst­ing with colour

Although court­yards and town­house gar­dens have lim­ited space, there are ways to give them a lush colour­ful ap­pear­ance, es­pe­cially in spring. The se­cret is to use con­tain­ers and clev­erly re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als.

To give this small court­yard at Gar­den World some shel­ter and shade, Lizette Nie­man of Stryl­itzia Land­scap­ing up­cy­cled old beams to build a per­gola and paved sec­tions of the f loor with dis­carded slasto and a match­ing pea twirl, pebble in­lay.

“Be­cause space was lim­ited, I used pots through­out to bring in per­son­al­ity along with plants and colour,” ex­plains Lizette. “How­ever, if you use too many colours, it’s easy to end up with a hap­haz­ard ef­fect. The trick is to re­strict the num­ber of plants and colours, and in this case we toned down the over­all ef­fect with shades of blue.”

She sourced blue pots from Pee­bles Plants and filled them with Vi­ola ‘Ma­rina’, Di­chon­dra ‘Sil­ver Falls’, pelargo­ni­ums, Neme­sia ‘Ma­genta’, sil­ver ver­be­nas and yel­low petu­nias. Th­ese were com­ple­mented by Del­phinium ‘Guardian Blue’ and Cam­pan­ula ‘Thum­bell Blue’ grow­ing in the nearby troughs. Be­cause the pots are shal­low, she added ex­tra peat to the pot­ting mix to re­tain as much mois­ture as pos­si­ble. “You can also use wa­ter-re­tain­ing gran­ules,” she ad­vises. THIS SPREAD, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:

The gar­den ta­ble and chairs were hand-me-downs that Lizette brought back to life with a fresh coat of paint. A ket­tle braai fits onto a built-in shelf. The Prim­ula ob­con­ica, Cras­sula mul­ti­flora and Cam­pan­ula ‘Thum­bell Blue’ came from Nu-Leaf Nurs­ery. A metal obelisk pro­vides sup­port for peas.

Form­ing a fo­cal point against one wall is a small wa­ter fea­ture, con­sist­ing of an old tap spout­ing wa­ter into a gal­vanised iron bucket, off­set by a mo­saic back­drop. Link­ing this to the gar­den is a se­ries of ter­ra­cotta pots planted with pet grass, pars­ley, alyssum, Prim­ula ela­tior, Vi­ola ‘Co­conut’ and Kalan­choe bloss­fel­diana.

Adding to the colour­ful look is a col­lec­tion of pre­dom­i­nantly blue plates mounted on the wall. To cater for braai lovers, on the ad­join­ing wall Lizette fit­ted a table­top braai on a built-in struc­ture with wood stor­age be­low.

Lizette is a strong ad­vo­cate of up­cy­cling. “I par­tic­u­larly love us­ing old wooden items, transforming them into some­thing that em­pha­sises the theme, and adds per­son­al­ity,’ says Lizette.

THIS SPREAD, CLOCK­WISE FROM LEFT:Lizette de­signed the built-in struc­ture with stor­age space for pots and a small wa­ter fea­ture. Del­phinium ‘Guardian Blue’ make strik­ing ver­ti­cal ac­cents.Lo­tus berth­elotii from Vrone Seedlings tum­bles from a hang­ing bas­ket.Ra­nun­cu­lus and os­teosper­mum are two of the plants that brighten the densely planted beds.

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