Rather than removing an unused asphalt driveway one the side of the house, Jon covered it with a thin layer of mixed pea gravel and crushed gravel. This formed an attractive, no-brain-to-maintain floor for a central courtyard that’s great for grilling out and entertaining.
Shrubs and flowers bordering the space create an outdoor living room, complete with a cast-iron fire pit for cool months, a birdbath, pots spilling over with flowers, and a faux-bois bench in the center. A large galvanized horse trough planted with ‘Green Giant’ arborvitaes provides an evergreen backdrop for the bench. Planting in containers (such as this trough) allows for flexibility as needs change or plants grow.