Hardscape Solutions: Landscaping in layers

April 26, 2019 -  By

Location: Vancouver, Canada
Company: MRD Landscaping

While tackling a small basement courtyard may seem like a challenge, it was no match for the team at MRD Landscaping. “To maximize this small basement courtyard is to make every inch count,” says Frank Shang, owner of MRD Landscaping.

The team also had to contend with poor existing concrete work. To ramp up the cramped courtyard’s visual appeal and create the illusion of more space, the MRD Landscaping team divided the area into layers. Artificial turf comprises the bottom layer, a natural stone wall and waterfall make up the middle layer and red geraniums add a pop of color to the top layer.

Various accents, including fatsia japonica plants, carved wood art, landscape lighting and four different sizes of copper planters, add another dimension.

The client selected MRD Landscaping to take on the project based on pleasant past experiences of working with the company. “They knew we would do a good job at a reasonable price,” Shang says.

The entire project took the two-man crew about 20 working days to complete.

This project earned MRD Landscaping a 2018 Gold Award from the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Awards of Excellence program.

Waterfall (Photo: MRD Landscaping)

Photo: MRD Landscaping

A view of the waterfall in the courtyard.

Waterfall (Photo: MRD Landscaping)

Photo: MRD Landscaping

The courtyard’s waterfall is lit up by landscape lighting at night.

Waterfall (Photo: MRD Landscaping)

Photo: MRD Landscaping

The waterfall is accented by copper planters, which add more texture to the courtyard.

Waterfall (Photo: MRD Landscaping)

Photo: MRD Landscaping

Copper planters, red plants and landscape lighting add depth to the night view of the waterfall.

Before shot of courtyard (Photo: MRD Landscaping)

Photo: MRD Landscaping

A before shot of the courtyard. With such limited space to work with, the MRD Landscaping team had to determine how to maximize the area’s design.

View of courtyard from basement (Photo: MRD Landscaping)

Photo: MRD Landscaping

The team added dimension to the courtyard by including a waterfall, red geraniums, artificial turf and other shade-loving plants. A sliding glass door opens to the basement, and the outdoor stairs lead up to the main level of the yard.

View of courtyard from basement (Photo: MRD Landscaping)

Photo: MRD Landscaping

Another view of the courtyard from the client’s basement.

View of courtyard from basement (Photo: MRD Landscaping)

Photo: MRD Landscaping

A view of the basement courtyard, lounge and wine cellar.

Waterfall, pond and plants (Photo: MRD Landscaping)

Photo: MRD Landscaping

A view of the courtyard’s waterfall, ponds and plants on a sunny day.

Waterfall, pond and plants (Photo: MRD Landscaping)

Photo: MRD Landscaping

The waterfall ponds and plants are highlighted by accent lighting.

Basement courtyard (Photo: MRD Landscaping)

Photo: MRD Landscaping

A view of the entire project from the home’s master bedroom captures the courtyard area, as well as the rest of the yard, which includes a practice putting area.

Shade-loving plants (Photo: MRD Landscaping)

Photo: MRD Landscaping

Shade-loving plants placed in various-sized copper planters add visual interest to the courtyard.

View of stairs at night (Photo: MRD Landscaping)

Photo: MRD Landscaping

A view of the courtyard’s stairs and plants at nighttime.

Accents in the courtyard (Photo: MRD Landscaping)

Photo: MRD Landscaping

Accents in the courtyard bring the space to life.

Sarah Webb

About the Author:

Sarah Webb is Landscape Management's associate editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Prior to her role at LM, Sarah was an intern for Cleveland Magazine and a writing tutor.

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