Classic Courtyard


Manhattan Beach


  • Courtyard
  • Seating Area
  • Recycled Brick
  • Grape Trellis
  • Raised Vegetable Planters


In this front yard installation, the clients expressed a desire for an attractive courtyard that would also serve as a classic garden containing season vegetable and herbs year round. The design focused on maximizing the desired urban garden while also keep a formal courtyard entrance. We pulled inspiration from classical Italian gardens, using a combination of seating areas, sculptural fountains and a palette of plants fit for a vineyard to layout the space. First, the city parkway space was turned into a California native flower garden by removing the existing lawn. It is uncommon to have an extension of the yard that can be considered a public right of way quality while simultaneously serving private use. A grape vine trellis system lines the edge of the property just across from California native flower garden parkway. The grape trellis creates a garden promenade of sorts along the city sidewalk. The grape trellis uses a high cordon system and its placement along the sidewalk creates a buffer from private yard to public, and allows for a level of visual transparency. The grape trellis supports the spread of fruit, proper amount of sunlight which promotes proper sugar development for excellent flame seedless table grapes. Following our classic design parameter we used recycled brick construct the main walkway. Recycling brick into a custom, one of a kind walkway is an excellent way to repurpose a material that would otherwise take up precious space in a landfill. The main entrance is lined with dwarf myrtles, a compact drought tolerant shrub that grows naturally into a formal hedge. The courtyard and walk way are design on an axis to the homes main entrance. Raised planters greet you as you enter the center of the courtyard. A private seating area is nestled into the terracing vegetable planters flanked by iceberg roses, Russian sage and blueberry bushes. The recycled brick caps the raised planters and forms a bench to enjoy the smells and views of the garden and courtyard.