Savannah – An Intimate Enclave

A Victorian courtyard in Savannah becomes an elegant oasis with a Dane Spencer landscape design.

A water feature is the source of calm that radiates out through this leafy, textured understory

A beautiful Victorian home in Savannah, Georgia, receives a courtyard makeover that provides an oasis of calm punctuated by reclaimed brick and stately cabbage palms.

This historic house in the Victorian District of Savannah had a non-descript grass courtyard. The homeowners wanted an oasis of calm – a meditative space – and to be able to sit outdoors and be surrounded by the restorative effects of living things. Privacy was an issue, so the courtyard also had to be shielded from the view of the upper levels of adjacent two- and three-story Victorian houses. What was needed was a sheltered, hidden grotto that would enhance the al fresco experience.


A brick patio constructed of historic Savannah Grey pavers placed in a circular pattern creates rhythm that carries the eye smoothly across the landscape. The circular brick pattern mimics the ripples of the goldfish pond filled with lily pads, where a simple iron pipe allows a small flow of water creating a tranquil sound of splashing water. Four cabbage palms provide shade and privacy for the garden, while bringing the scale of the Victorian architecture down to the garden level.

  • Native plants mixed with accent ornamentals provide interest – and low maintenance
  • Historic recycled bricks used as pavers blend with the historic nature of the architecture
  • Water-efficient drip and micro head irrigation is water miserly
  • The sound of a trickle of water helps create a soothing environment that lets one drift
    miles away