A stately courtyard

This large T shaped courtyard in Jackson Heights had no formal structure nor welcoming features to entice residents' use. An additional hardscape design challenge was to address the uneven concrete sinking below the foundation line in the inner courtyard and lay more than 100 feet of pathway between two gated entrances. With the skill of Brooklyn general contractor MRS Incorporated, we replaced a drainage pipe and then the old concrete with an elevated and level tinted concrete walkway and laid a herringbone brick pattern for the path. Two brick patios were also added to the outer courtyard. The inner courtyard design features two "X" patterns made from pea gravel with three planting beds. A Cornus kousa 'Venus' dogwood stands in the center on a mound underplanted with sweet woodruff and hellebores. Three evergreens at the far end include Hinoki cypress 'Well's Special' and andromeda. The shrubs in the front are limelight hydrangea with a crescent of green mountain boxwood in the foreground. The main garden features a line of existing evergreen laurel and a new line of Ilex 'Steeds' defining the edge of the property. Oakleaf and limelight hydrangea surrounded by ostrich fern, blue hosta and Japanese forest grass will provide layers of foliage through the warmer seasons with pale pink and white daffodils announcing the arrival of spring.