My proudest DIY to date…it took a lot of manual labour and even more patience but many lessons were learned along the way. First off was the clean up of trees. Once everything was cut back, it exposed the retaining wall and the syngonians that were wrapped around the Sheena’s gold trees. I painted the wall in monument, carefully peeled the syngonians off the trees, attached reo mesh to the wall and trained the syngonians to climb the mesh.
Onto the heavy stuff, which I had help with from friends (removing old pavers and pebbles, digging holes for the drainage pits and posts and installing the decomposed granite). Access was difficult - it took 3 of us to carry the wheelbarrow up the stairs. Unfortunately, it was too steep to use a ramp. The posts were put in twice because the concrete didn’t set properly (I forgot to wet the hole!) the first time so I had to do them all for the 2nd time on my own digging out the old concrete and all. Checking out the posts for the arbour was a first for me…this was quite challenging being up high on the ladder on non-level ground using a circular saw but they all turned out well.
The Gabion was a blend of different designs I found online. I used fence rails for the frame, painted them in monument and pegged them to the ground with metal stakes. I used some of the old pavers as fill to save on costs for rocks. Installing the rocks took the most patience as each one had to be placed individually being careful not to use the same sizes next to each other. I cut gabion mesh to fit the openings and Merbau decking was used as the “lid”.
Railway sleepers were used for the path, agaves were transplanted from other areas of the garden and tea tree mulch was used to dress everything up. I designed the firewood storage ring and had it made by a local fabricator. With my block being up high, I needed cut-outs on the back of the ring to allow wind to flow through.
Finally, I used 12v garden lighting and festoons to finish it all off.
Thank you for sharing pictures and the details of your courtyard transformation project. What a tremendous effort on your part to give this area a new look. It is so much more user-friendly now and I'm sure it's a point of discussion when you have friends and family over. I love the timber storage spot you've made for the fire pit. The colours you've chosen blend really well together and the railway sleepers look great running in the middle of the area. How long did the entire project take to finish? What kind of budget would you need to set aside for such a project?
Any other information you can share about the makeover with our members would be highly appreciated.