Ask a question

The Bunnings Workshop community can help with your home improvement projects.

Landscaping front yard

Home Improvement Guru

Landscaping front yard

After redoing the sewage pipes and then the stormwater pipe replacement my Front yard was in a mess.


I had a large quantity of clay left over from digging the stormwater trench and also the digging of the hole next to the garage to stop water ingress into the Libary. One thing I wanted to do was also have berms around the yard to help slow the water from direct runoff to the street and down the drain. 


I had a large pile of 8mm gravel left over (Had over estimated by more then double)

2 Large piles of clay, 

2 large piles of dirt,

3 large piles of rubble.


I wanted to reuse as much as i could to save tip fees and also to lesson waste. I wanted to reuse the water flow as much as possible also.



  • Clay
  • 8mm Gravel
  • Concrete edging
  • Recyled squiggly pavers
  • Reclaimed soil.


  • Shovel
  • Sledge hammer
  • Mallet.
  • Screwdriver
  • Cold Chisel



Step 1

01 03-07-2022.jpg


I was mapping out the slope of the yard and where the water generally wants to go. The Fig tree was staying, the daisy bush and money tree could be moved so I had a few fixed points to work with. My first plan was to create a higher levelled area using Gabion walls to hold back the soil from the edge of the path. Then decided to have the gabion wall to hold back the paths edge instead.


02 03-07-2022.jpg


Blue hashtag is for proposed pathway, The red is for a large porch area one day. This is factored into the design of the path so it skirts where the posts would be.


03 03-07-2022.jpg


Where the path will go.


04 03-07-2022.jpg


Old pathway, I really liked it but it was broken from the sewage replacement work and also if/when the deck overhead gets built it would be right in the middle of it all.


05 12-07-2022.jpg


The temporary fix after the sewage pipes had been replaced. It worked well for a few years but time for this area  to be brought up to usefulness again. You can see the edge of the Gabion wall to stop water ingress into the garage 


06 12-07-2022.jpg


I had been putting off doing this job but it was getting closer to having to do it.


07 12-07-2022.jpg


Here is something I wish we renovators did... Remove the old stuff first and not just bury it! lol There was a whole concrete pathway and also garden bed with sandstone edging underneath the colawash for this old patio area. It all had to go.


08 12-07-2022.jpg


The problem is how to keep an area useful while working on it, much respect to the RTA for roadworks is all I can say.


Step 2

Once the easy coalwash had been removed it was back to breaking concrete again. I will reuse this in gabion walls later.

12 12-07-2022.jpg

If you look closely you can see stacked wiggly pavers that they have used for the retaining wall :surprised: They were not even interlocked. No wonder I had cracks all over it.

13 12-07-2022.jpg

Trusy tools, pound hammer and sledge hammer both with firbreglass handles as it has less shock strain on my arms.

14 12-07-2022.jpg

Always so much stuff to do before you can go forward again.

15 12-07-2022.jpg

Crowbar is another friend that was used a LOT

16 12-07-2022.jpg

Anyone know of wher you can buy molds for the concrete mushrooms? My Grandfather and Uncle had them way back in the 70's but have not found any since. Maybe I should make a mold from silicon? 

17 12-07-2022.jpg

The new pathway will go here.

19 13-07-2022.jpg

So many pavers were within the walls, lucky as I will use them for the new pathway.

23 13-07-2022.jpg

Old pathway broken up, time to sort the slope out for the pathway and surrounding garden.

24 13-07-2022.jpg

So I used clay to widen the path and also to chanel water to certain sections of the garden.

Step 3

The pathway that I had been using to trundle things up to the back yard was widened and also pretty much set (We always take the shortest route to a destination)

25 13-07-2022.jpg

The dark soil is the hollow part of the pathway. I need to build this up.

27 14-07-2022.jpg

I reused some Bessa blocks as edges and they work surprisigly well.

28 14-07-2022.jpg

I also used some straight concrete edging but reversed it to form a gutter for excess water to run down and not eat the gravel away from my path.

29 14-07-2022.jpg

Just one of the piles of soil/clay that I had.

30 14-07-2022.jpg

The little trolley that could, best buy from Bunnings! Seriously it really worked well especially on wet clay!

32 14-07-2022.jpg

Slowly backfilling the new pathway with clay. Running the trolley back and fourth over it really compressed the clay and firmed it up.

33 14-07-2022.jpg

You can see the trolley tracks. It made the job a lot easier.

34 15-07-2022.jpg

Starting to backfill the slope down to the existing steps.

35 15-07-2022.jpg

The pathway has been built up to the height I wanted. there is an area to the left that will be a garden so its not filled with clay. 

36 16-07-2022.jpg

New path being set.

38 16-07-2022.jpg

I wasnt happy with the width and fall of the path. So made it slope from high on the right to low onthe left. To keep the water from running down the side of the house path down to the holding pond and not cause channeling. 

Step 4

More clay, trolley loads of clay slowly built the path up.

40 16-07-2022.jpg

By this point I had realised that I should change the location of a gabion wall to retain the path instead of a lower one to make a flat area. Wayto much soil to shift!

42 16-07-2022.jpg

Getting the slope right was done by eye, I did an overall meausure of the drop and then I chopped that meausurement into thirds so I could have a constant slope

43 16-07-2022.jpg

This was done in Aug 2022 and has withstood the rain and storms well.

44 16-07-2022.jpg

Bunnings had these hessa? style (light in weight that you can saw) concrete blocks on sale for $2.00ea I ended up with a bunch for temporary edgeing

45 16-07-2022.jpg

Laying them out to give some form to the path and for the gravel to butt up against.

47 16-07-2022.jpg

The gutters to the right, edge to the left. Gabion wall will eventually be to the left but I needed access back to the house soonest.

48 16-07-2022.jpg

You can see the shape the path has taken. I was really happy with the clay. There are low points set in the clay to allow excess water to run if needed. The gravel once leveled will cover these so you wont know they exist.

49 16-07-2022.jpg

It was hard to decide on the angle of the slope. The side pathway was higher then the level I wanted the steps to be so the path slopes in two directions but also constantly down the hill.

50 16-07-2022.jpg

Slowly getting through pile number two of clay and this pile was waterlogged.

51 16-07-2022.jpg

The new path down to the front footpath. You can see the edge of the culvert in the middle of the picture.

53 21-07-2022.jpg

The rain came down for the weeknd. The path stood up without any chaneling and also funneled the water where I wanted it to go. Next stage is reusing the pavers I have dug up! 

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Landscaping front yard

Hi @Dave-1 


Thank you so much for sharing your front yard landscaping project. I'm feeling tired just looking at the stuff you had to break apart. That transformation effort is truly above and beyond. What material will you be using for the proposed pathway?




See something interesting? Give it the thumbs up!
Home Improvement Guru

Re: Landscaping front yard

Good Morning @EricL 

Thank you :smile: And really it was a bunch of small work days that justy became a sequence.

For the pathway I actually ended up reusing the thin (30mm) concrete style square homemade pavers that were part of the patio area before I had to dig it up. They are weak in structuall strength but work well when they are supported underneath with gravel/clay base. Blending the two togetehr was interesting and looks a little patchwork/retro. The majority of the new pathway will be squiggly pavers and they were recovered from the same patio area (Previously they were the retaining wall ???) The gravel that is used for most of the path... welll I over estimated the amount of gravel I would need for the stormwater project.... That was for a 30m run of stormwater pipe plus beside the garage and maybe another 5m run. I ordered 5.5T :surprised: and it worked out I needed 2T to 2.5T ish lol So its now the gravel base for the path and has worked well over the past year :smile: 


I only had to buy some wriggly style pavers for the last section down the hill 8m2 and they were actually recovered second hand pavers also. Even for the culvert I reused capping stones for the old bessa block retaining walls. I thought it might look messy overall but it has a rustic quality that I really like. Also the base underneath would be fine if I decided to pave it all with a singular style :smile: 



Kind of a Big Deal

Re: Landscaping front yard

Wow. What a massive dig @Dave-1 ! 😮

Like Eric, my back and shoulders are aching from just looking at your photos. Good luck with the project.

I'm gonna call you Dr Alan Grant from now on. Just don't splice any DNA from bones you find. 😁




Home Improvement Guru

Re: Landscaping front yard

hahahahah @Noyade 

That section is done, right down to just past the culvert. (Tho the timber for yet another couple of gabion walls needs to be done but saving $$$ for that) I did the final section two weeks ago wheich I will get to post sometime soon I hope :smile:

And seriously I felt like I was digging back in time, the best I found tho was an old steel KB beer tin can! :smile:


And thank you!



Why join the Bunnings Workshop community?

Workshop is a friendly place to learn, get ideas and find inspiration for your home improvement projects