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Backyard landscaping and decking

Established Contributor
Established Contributor

Redesigning an outdoor area can turn a crowded garden into a space the whole family can enjoy.





The project


After a lot of digging, painting and building, my son now has somewhere to play. I cleared overgrown plants and added lawn, extended the Merbau deck and installed lighting, painted the fence, built retainer walls and tackled my first build with render to create this bench seat.




I built a retaining wall as the back wall, using steel for the basic frame, and then timber from there. All posts were  concreted well into the ground, and Blueboard was used where I planned to render. Once the frame was done, the Merbau top was the fun part, and the rendering took a few coats before I was happy with the finish. The render colour is Russian Toffee, which matches the render colour on the facade of my house. The concrete is exposed aggregate with a sandstone colour base, with Bluestones included to blend in with the Monument painted fence.




I obtained a dial-before-you-dig report so I know where all the access points and lines are. During the excavation works, these access points and lines were catered for. Electrical and plumbing works was completed by qualified tradesmen, and advice was given on how deep and wide the works could be carried out.






To create the planter box, I cemented in four posts, built a timber frame and then lined the inside and outside with Blueboard and edge trims. I coated the inside with a rot resistant paint and I rendered the outside using a powder base mixture. Everything was sourced from Bunnings. Depending on the plants you wish to put inside the box and how aggressive the roots will be, ensure the frame is built strong and with no gaps for the roots to creep through.


I used Sasanqua Camillias along the fence line. They can be hedged and have nice white flowers. In three months they have grown from about 200mm in height to more than 1000mm tall.




Before and after






How to give your garden a makeover


Whether a simple refresh or a major rebuild, improving your garden means that you’ll be able to enjoy the results for years to come.


Horticulturist and Workshop member Adam Woodhams has written fantastic guides for giving your garden a makeover and planning what you want to do with the space long term. He has also shared a step-by-step guide to building a retaining wall if you want to follow a similar backyard design to Jimi's project.


Find more inspiration for your backyard project in our Top 10 most popular garden makeovers.


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