A Serene Garden Features A Mix Of Manicured Shrubs, A Small Tree, And Vibrant Pink Flowers. A Decorative Lantern Peeks From Behind Greenery. The Garden Is Bordered By A Wooden Fence And A Stone Pathway Runs Alongside, Accentuated By Neat Black Rocks.

Courtyard Garden Design & Services in Lancaster, PA

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Designed to screen out the distractions of unwanted views, courtyard gardens offer protection and refreshment in harsh settings as diverse as cities and windswept farm fields. Extend the privacy and comfort of your home with your custom courtyard garden oasis. View a living painting, the distilled essence of the natural world from your picture window, then step into the garden to savor life in your peaceful enclosed space.


  • Listen to your preferences (wish list), and listen to your site
  • Design a courtyard garden space that will bring you delight in all seasons
  • Carefully install your courtyard garden using a wide range of materials from stone to water, trees, and shrubs to flowers and moss
  • Provide elegant lighting so you can enjoy your courtyard garden into the night
  • Include drip irrigation to manage the watering needs of your plants
  • Prune and tend the plants to craft your courtyard garden into the painting you envisioned 
  • Diagnose pest and disease threats as well as fertilization requirements to protect and enhance your courtyard garden’s development
A Serene Japanese Garden Features A Small Wooden Bridge Over A Gentle Stream Surrounded By Lush Greenery. A Rustic Wooden Gate And Fence Are In The Background, With A Variety Of Plants And Rocks Contributing To The Tranquil Atmosphere.
Escape from the hustle and bustle of life to the serenity of a courtyard garden


A courtyard garden design is relevant in tight city properties and more spacious settings. For a sanctuary from urban stress, a courtyard garden can literally bring a breath of fresh air into a private and peaceful setting (as well as Urban Gardens). A courtyard garden can also create privacy, shelter, and intimacy within a larger property.

A Sun-Dappled Garden Corner Featuring A Small Stone Pathway, Lush Green Bushes, A Vibrant Tree, And A Stone Wall Background. The Area Is Framed By Two Stone Pillars, Creating A Serene And Inviting Outdoor Space.
A Japanese Maple surrounded by foliage in a courtyard garden


Courtyard gardens are usually modest in size, which makes the details more important. Small spaces allow for higher quality materials, permit more precise garden care in the limited time available to busy homeowners, and provide closer, more intimate settings which encourage conversation and relaxation.

A courtyard garden’s characteristic enclosures can be walls, buildings, fences, or hedges. These garden structures control the view and define the relationship between the garden and the outside world. Providing privacy, quiet, and a break from ground-level clutter are important considerations when selecting construction materials for the courtyard walls. In addition, the texture and color of courtyard enclosures contribute much to the garden’s ambiance.

A Modern House With A Mix Of Stone And Concrete Exterior Walls, Large Windows, And Surrounded By Lush Greenery. A Well-Maintained Garden Features Neatly Trimmed Bushes, A Small Tree, And A Gravel Bed With Rocks Near A Walkway. Trees Are In The Background.
A dry stream bed in a courtyard garden

Our Garden Design Process

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Share your goals, ideas, and project budget and we will begin to survey and plan your garden

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We will consider all your primary view perspectives, both inside and out as we design your garden

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Your garden dream will begin to take shape at the hands of our highly skilled craftsmen and landscapers

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Every project ends with the reward of experiencing the joyful stewardship of your little piece of creation

Courtyard Garden Design Examples

  • A Person Stands On A Ladder, Trimming A Tree In A Well-Maintained Garden. The Garden Features Lush Greenery, A Wooden Path, Lattice Structures, And A Small Stone Bridge. Sunlight Filters Through The Trees, Creating A Serene Atmosphere.
  • Two Children Are Playing With Toy Trucks And Balls In A Sandbox Area Surrounded By Grass And Small Trees. A Paved Path Winds Through The Park-Like Setting, Leading To A Multi-Story Brick Building. Other Children Are Playing And Walking Around In The Background.
  • A Waiting Area With Several Cushioned Chairs Arranged In A Semicircle Around A Small Table With A Lamp. Large Windows Offer A View Of A Sunny Outdoor Scene With Trees And Bushes. A Television Is Mounted Near The Ceiling In The Corner.
  • A Small, Minimalistic Backyard Pool Area With Modern Concrete Pavers And A Built-In Wooden Bench. The Pool Is Surrounded By A Simple White Wall And Various Green Plants, While A Pot With Purple Flowers Decorates The Corner. Trees Are Visible In The Background.
  • A Patio With A Round Red Metal Table And Three Matching Chairs Is In The Foreground. The Patio Is Paved With Hexagonal Bricks. In The Background, There Is A Small Landscaped Area With A Rock-Filled Water Feature, Various Plants, And A Building With Large Windows.

An Oasis of Serenity: A Story

Japanese Courtyard Garden (Lancaster City) Article:

When Jean traveled to Japan to participate in an extended Suzuki violin course, she assumed she was simply enhancing her career as a violinist and college music professor. She had no idea how much her six months in Japan would enrich her entire life. In addition to learning the Suzuki method of playing the violin, she gained an appreciation for the Japanese integration of natural beauty into everyday life displayed in the small, carefully maintained courtyard gardens next to virtually every Japanese home.

Following her trip to Japan, Jean returned to Lancaster with the dream of bringing the beauty of nature into her daily experience and began to look at Japanese garden books for ideas that could be implemented in the small backyard of her city row home. Jean remembers, “I was very impressed with the courtyard gardens I had seen in Japan and wanted to have something similar next to my home. Thank goodness I found those garden pictures in a book and somehow, I knew who to call.” (She remembers having seen a Hanselman Landscape newspaper ad and being impressed with the Japanese influence evident in their work.) 

In late spring of 1994 following Jean’s initial phone call, James Hanselman went to Jean’s home to discuss her garden ideas and goals. According to Jean, “James looked at the ‘idea pictures’ I had found and assured me they could be implemented in my backyard. It was a meeting of the minds, and we began to plan the garden we would build. In fact, I still have the original hand-drawn plans James gave me!” One of the major challenges Jean wanted to address with the garden installation was water run-off from the next-door property uphill from her home. In addition to addressing the run-off issue, James was asked to incorporate a measure of privacy and separation for Jean in her rapidly developing community.

A Wooden Garden Gate Leading To A Lush Green Garden With Various Plants And Trees. The Entrance Pathway Is Made Of Stone Slabs. In The Background, There Is A House With Large Windows. The Scene Is Sunlit And Has A Serene, Inviting Atmosphere.
A Japanese-inspired courtyard garden brings life to this home in Lancaster, PA

Over the course of that summer, James and his team designed and crafted an outdoor living space that achieved all of Jean’s requirements and realized her Japanese garden dreams. Jean reports that the rainwater now runs onto the street behind her property. In addition, the wall James designed and built is exactly like those she remembers seeing in Japan. Since the community has changed a good bit since she moved in 40 years ago, Jean is grateful for the privacy and peace the wall allows her to enjoy in her garden. The stepping stone path provides ready access to the garden, and the plantings provide interest in each season of the year: a Stewartia tree displays dramatic blooms in the spring, lush plant growth brings cool refreshment to hot summer days, Japanese Maples blaze in the fall, and Nandina berries provide a splash of red against the nearby evergreens in winter. According to Jean, her garden is “lovely, even in the snow!” 

Other than occasional weeding and watering, Jean entrusts the shaping and clean-up of the plants to the Hanselman Landscape maintenance crew. She thoroughly enjoys their visits: “They come two or three times a year. They are wonderful–so polite and considerate–and we have nice chats!” 

For other city dwellers who have limited space but would enjoy the serenity, beauty, and interest of a garden next to their homes, Jean’s advice is simple: “Do it!”

**If you choose to take Jean’s advice to enrich your life with a garden, we would love to partner with you to make your outdoor oasis a reality!

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The Gardener’s Journal


Founded in 1985, Hanselman Landscape & Gardens designs, builds, and nurtures a wide variety of gardens in both private and corporate settings. From our headquarters in Manheim, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout the region, including Philadelphia’s Main Line—and as far away as Cambridge, Massachusetts. We also cultivate unique specimen plants, which we make available to discriminating gardeners and architects.