So as some of my fellow workshoppers will know - I built my first home in 2016 and moved in early February this year.
It's modest block of land with a nice, affordable and maintainable 3 bedroom house on the block. Now being quite a small block the space provided for the backyard was never going to be incredibly ample, in fact it's rather small.
So at the outset I was provided the below plans which highlighted the size of the backyard and the "landscaping" that would be provided.
So the plans themselves made the space look somewhat decent - however the reality of this is that the garden is about 12m x 2.5m with a 1m wide concrete path going around the perimeter of the home.
It doesn't particuarly provide the greatest space for entertaining. And as you can see below the reality of this garden and the "landscaping" provided left a lot to the imagination.
Even the view from the living room doesn't particuarly scream "Come out and enjoy the outdoors!"
So it came time to start planning a way to rejig this space and transform it into a liveable space that I would enjoy spending time. My other concern was purely budgetary. As I'm currently in this home on a single income any transformation that occurred would purely be done the old fashioned D.I.Y. way. As such a lot of my loftier ideas were quickly nixed and my expectations became a bit more measured.
I do also have the access to a father who has built many a deck and pegola of his own in his time nad as a result my plans started to lean towards a nice decked area that wouldn't require a lot of maintenance and would transform the space into an entertaining space as an extension of the living room.
So the plan is to completely deck the backyard area and build up some nice large planter boxes to keep a bit of the green in the backyard and provide some bench seating of their own.
Now the first thing we started to do in the backyard was paint the fences. I decided to get as much of the fencing around the deck completed so that while Dad and I are busy working on my deck the rest of my family can chip in with painting the remainder of the fence.
I'm pretty happy with the result so far and once the deck is complete I think this whole space will fit in with the overall look and feel of the house - which is great!
I also discovered that when your paint sprayer refuses to work using a roller and a brush to do a fence is some nice long work.
Final update for the day! Over the weekend we started and completed the build of our first planter box.
We decided to put these in first as it will provide us with the basis for our deck height - and it's a place for us to put all of the dirt and soil we will be digging out of the existing garden.
At this stage we've only used the treated pine sleepers but the eventual plan is to clad the boxes with decking and to also use the decking to create the bench seating in the planters.
Digging the trenches for the planter boxes was not enjoyable and it's looking like a working bee will need to be organised when it comes time to dig out the rest of the garden.
@BettyBoo it's a Colorbond colour called Woodland Grey that I got tinted into a Dulux product. I've also heavily watered the paint down as I was trying to stretch out the tin as far as I could to reduce costs. I'm pretty happy with the finish. Just hoping for some better weather so I can finish off the rest of the fence.
You see a lot of fences painted in Dulux Domino. Really makes any green folliage in front of the fence pop.
@greygardener - I will definetely come your way for some plant advice. I know that in each planter box I want a lemon and a lime tree - but I'm still trying to think of what else I can put in there. I'm going to try and save some of the drough tolerant plants that have already been planted in the garden. As historically I haven't been great with keeping plants alive.
So despite some pretty awful weather, quite a bit of progress was made on the backyard this weekend.
We finished off another planter box, continued painting one of the side fences and had a little Working Bee to dig out the existing garden.
So now my backyard is just Mud City - but it's a bit of an eyesore for now before we can get in and get started on the build of the deck.
Some little issues have propped up since the dig - we've realised that we are going to have to put a retaining wall in place on the back fence as we had to dig fairly deep there so the retaining wall will not only supply some much needed support to that side of the fence, but also ensure a much cleaner look then a wall of dirt.
Enjoy some pictures of my mud pit and the beginnings of my planter box - I decided to salvage the olive tree and some drought tolerant shrubs for one of the boxes. I plan to put a few lemon and lime trees in the other box once we have everything settled in the backyard.
Good work @maknilsin, and thanks for sharing.
You might be interested in this post from @BIM_Engineer - Replacing or building a post and rail retaining wall