Friday, 16 April 2010

Dressing the backyard

Landscaping the backyard has been the priority of late. With winter fast approaching we wanted to make sure we weren't going to be walking around in mud once again during the wet season. (especially having recently acquired a new puppy).

We wanted to hide the slim line water tank PD had installed using a material that would blend in with the surrounds. We chose to go with the Merbau and the treated pine frame. Here the holes have been dug and posts are ready to be set in place.

Once the posts were in, some rails were added along with a splash of 'Feast Watson' Merbau decking oil.

Next we added the the Merbau planks.

And 'viola' - the tank is gone!

We decided to go with a different landscaper to help us with the remaining works in the backyard. This time we enlisted the services of Ben Proctor from 'Vision Designscape Solutions'. He was really helpful in providing ideas and nothing was too difficult. We had decided earlier that we wanted install instant turf using a buffalo grass called 'Palmetto'. Ben had to re-route some of the house drainage as it sat too high in the ground and would have been damaged during the soil preparation. Additional 'aggie' pipes were also included to assure us that no problems would arise during the wet season. The downpipes from the Shed and additional aggie pipes around the retaining wall were all linked to the storm water drain.

Once the fresh top soil had been laid, Ben went about installing the drip line irrigation. The existing water tank (no, not the one shown earlier, another one, used for irrigation) was tapped into to provide water to the lawn and also to feed the garden beds which will be shown later.

A double solenoid system was installed under the deck which runs back to an automated timer running off the tank and pump. One drip line feeds the lawn while the other feeds the garden beds. The solenoids are shown below.

This is the solenoid timer/controller - a Hunter 6-station outdoor controller.

Here you can see the drip lines being tested.

Once the system was connected the turf was brought in and laid. A sand pit for the cherubs was also included which is nicely tucked away in a corner. Something which can later be removed and more turf added to fill the void once they grow out of it.

Next, we needed to finish off the top level by installing the steppers and garden beds. 500x500mm concrete pavers were used to create a path from the Alfresco area to the shed and side of the house.

Weed mat was laid around the pavers to minimise maintenance.

River pebbles were used this time to fill the areas around the pavers.

The downpipes of the shed were plumbed into the aggie drains.

Then the top soil and mulch were carted in and filled into the garden beds.

Once in, we set about selecting the plants and having them installed.

A feature Agave (or Foxtail Agave) was included close to the deck to prevent little ones stepping off accidentally.

Six 'Silver Sheen' Pittosporums were added to line the wall.

Dotted throughout the garden bed we also incuded smaller agave's, Blue Fescue and Guzmania Bromeliads (below).

Along the fence line we included eight 'Strelitzia Reginae' or 'Birds of paradise' plants with 'Arthropodium cirratum' or White Night. as fillers in between as shown in the pic below.

Along the Shed wall we added some espalier fruit trees; a lemon, an orange and in the middle, an olive tree.

Once all the plants were in we installed 6 low voltage halogen lights running off a dusk timer which can be set to remain on for 2, 4, 6 or 8 hours or till dawn.


...and after.

So that takes us to where we are now, a low maintenance, purposeful backyard where the Cherubs can finally run around with the dog and kick a ball or two.

A massive thanks to Ben (and Blair) for their efforts in turning this backyard into our little tropical paradise.


Anonymous said...

I must say your backyard look fantastic you should be very proud.


Yeswanth said...

congrats! keep up the good work/this is a great presentation.

Merbau Deck

K for Kate said...

I just found your blog! I've enjoyed looking at the progress shots of the lovepad, it really is amazing how it all takes shape. And next time I'm over I'm totally going to have a more thorough poke around your backyard at those plants!:) K

Anonymous said...

My sister recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

Merbau Decking

Clearwater Real Estate said...

Your backyard looks like it's coming along great! Hopefully will be finished soon. Your side garden path looks good as well.. we were thinking of going along those lines down that side as well but werent too sure what it would look like, but yours looks great!

Clearwater Real Estate

Mel said...

Hi, what exactly did you use for the raised garden bed/retaining walls? Looks really nice.

T&L said...

Hi Mel, I used the AB Aussie blocks from Adbri Masonary.