A converted cattleshed in North Hertfordshire had been transformed into a stylish country home by the owners. With the interior complete, we were commissioned to transform the enclosed central courtyard and take the modern classic interior style out into the garden.

The original scheme had an element of formality but the use of grass as the main surface meant it had little use. It was proposed to enhance the formality with a raised central pool with classical urn fountain. The entire courtyard would be paved in sandstone and the existing granite setts reused as an edging detail. To prevent this large area from feeling bland, two sizes and laying patterns were used for the sandstone. This created a subtle central path that leads the eye to the front door, the two areas either side being of larger flagstones to create restful spaces for the furniture.

Four formal beds were planted with Strawberry trees clipped into round headed trees. These unusual trees were selected as they are evergreen, bear flowers and fruits and are extremely drought tolerant. These were under planted with massed lavender to enhance the Mediterranean feel and give contrast to the dark green foliage of the trees.

As the courtyard was viewed from every room of the house a complex lighting scheme was included. White uplighters bathe the oak structural uprights of the building with light whilst submersible lights highlight the central urn fountain. Uplighters for each tree complete the scheme whilst separate power at the base allow for Christmas lights on each tree to be switched independently.