All the flower beds in this courtyard patio are covered with professional landscaping fabric and bark mulch chunks.
Besides the rustic natural look, bark mulch is a better choice than rock ground cover because of the heat consideration of this garden. Most of this patio garden design is concrete surrounded by decorative concrete. So it will hold heat. Anything we can do to offset that a bit will help.
Italian Cypress are added to the garden to support the Italian theme and atmosphere of the courtyard. They also offer the opportunity to add more height and another vertical element. Planted in corners, they will help soften the squareness of the corners.
Underneath all of this, and placed before any pavers or plants were added to this patio design, is an automated bubbler system. Once all the ground cover plants are placed, it is the only practical way to water this many plants in this enclosed area.
Generally, we don't install flood bubblers this close to the home. Continued and prolonged saturation can harm the foundation of homes. However, besides the foundation of this home being created to handle twice this house, we took other precautions. These courtyard flower beds slope away from the home and no bubbler is less than 30 inches from the home.