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Small yard makeover with pavers and planter boxes

Making a Splash
Making a Splash

This popular project used paving and thoughtful planting to turn an unused space into a garden oasis.





The project


To start this courtyard and garden-path makeover we stripped the area right back, removing the old bamboo fence panels, pebbles, plants and synthetic turf. We then painted the fence using Dulux Weathershield in Woodland Grey. 




To prepare the area for paving we laid down a base of metal dust and compacted that down with a plate compactor.




We then laid our beautiful 600mm x 600mm porcelain pavers and brushed over landscaping sand to fill any gaps. 




Once the pavers were laid we built garden beds using H4 treated Pine. We lined these with landscaping plastic before filling with soil and then added plants including Agaves, frangipanis, Yuccas and olive trees (most were cuttings from Mum and Dad's garden!).


We stained the garden beds using Cabot's Deck and Exterior Paint in Mission Brown.



Finally, we built a bench seat in the corner using treated Pine clad with Merbau decking boards. After leaving the boards to weather for a couple of weeks we finished the bench with Feast Watson Matt Look Decking Oil. 






Now we have a beautiful outdoor area to spend time gardening, having a morning coffee on the bench or barbecuing for friends and family. 




It has gone from being an ugly and unused space into a garden oasis! 


How to plan a garden makeover


Experienced Bunnings Workshop member Adam Woodhams shows you How to plan a garden makeover and How to give your garden a makeover in his popular two-part series. 


Horticulturist and Bunnings Workshop member Noelle has also created a helpful guide How to choose plants for your garden. It's a fantastic resource for planning a new garden or garden makeover, including tips on design and plant selection.




How to build a planter box


Adam Woodhams has put together this brilliant step-by-step guide and video tutorial: How to build a planter box with bench seats.




Workshop member Rob gets right down to basics in his guide: How to build a simple planter box. Resident D.I.Y. expert Mitchell also created this handy guide: How to build a raised garden bed using pallets


More project inspiration for your outdoor areas


Workshop member Jimi carried out a stunning front-yard transformation involving a curving stone retaining wall and crazy paving complemented by thoughtful garden planting.




Workshop member Rufaro's complete backyard makeover turned a tired yard into an attractive and functional outdoor living area.




There are also plenty of great ideas in our collection of Paving ideas for outdoor entertaining areas, our Top 10 most popular garden makeovers and our collection of Ideas to revamp your side yard


Let us know if you need a hand with your project – we're here to help.


Amassing an Audience

I loooooooove this project. It's something I'd like to consider for our side section. Well done @marliemakesit !



Kind of a Big Deal

Amazing !! What a difference that makes. I love those planter boxes. 

Growing in Experience

That looks amazing. What is the substrate made of for laying tiles. Did you lay them on mortar mix? I'm planning something inspired by your makeover. 

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Hello @backyardbandit


Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. Thank you for joining the discussion. 


Let me tag @marliemakesit to make them aware of your kind words and question. It's fantastic that this backyard makeover project has inspired you to attempt your own backyard revamp. I believe they used metal dust as a base for the pavers. The base was then compacted so that it would be level. To finish it off they used landscaping sand to fill the gaps. 


Please make sure to post an update when you start working on your paving project. I'm sure our members would be keen to see what your backyard will look like.




Growing in Experience

Thanks @EricL .


What is your recommendation on substrate to lay 10mm thick outdoor porcelain tiles. Area will be roughly 3x4m. No existing slab.



Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Hi @backyardbandit


I'm afraid there is no way around this particular step if you're using 10mm tiles. You'll need to put in a proper slab so that the tiles will not crack or break. You'll notice that the yard makeover was done using 600x600 40mm pavers which have a lot of weight-bearing strength and is heavy enough that they keep themselves in place.  


If you need further assistance, please let us know.




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