Thursday, 10 August 2017

Our garden renovation - Part 1

We bought our house 10 years ago and in between renovating the interior, we've been trying to make the back garden a bit more livable and user friendly. 

From the start the garden has suffered many transformations as we get more plants or change our minds about the look we want...with the last additions being a covered patio and a deck about 2 years ago, making our backyard a much nicer and more enjoyable place to be.

                                        I'll start with the AFTER photo....

1 -Part of the renovated back garden

Before  (same view)

2 - Original garden - part of the low brick wall already removed in this photo

                                                        HOW IT ALL STARTED:

From the above photo (2) you can see how awful the original backyard looked - large cement pavers, a low brick wall, red cement patio and the huge rotating clothes line. 

The only green in the garden was from a lemon/mandarin tree at the far left end, a callistemon (bottle brush tree) next to it, a plum tree in the middle, whose fruit would fall to the ground at the slightest whiff of wind (right corner of photo), and a Meyer lemon tree on the far right of the garden. 

There was a low brick wall dividing the cement area from the rest of the garden with a tiny gate on one side, even encircling the clothesline. Crazy!
3 - the low brick wall divided the garden in two - cement patio on one side, cement bricks on the other

4 - the uninviting back area
As you can imagine all the red cement, more brick and cement pavers did nothing to liven up the dark brick house either. Here part of the brick wall had already been demolished.

1) - A few pavers were removed close to the fence and plants added. At some stage the clothes drier fell as it was rusted. The rectangular area where it stood is covered in cement, and I just added a layer of soil and planted some short rooted plants. Then I painted the red cemented patio in a beige/yellowish cement paint and the area started looking slightly better

                                                      6 - pavers removed, first plants go in

                                                    7 - Some plant growth can be seen

2) - As you can see comparing the photo above and below (7 & 8), the small area where the clothes dryer was underwent another remodel - soil and plants removed and I added pebbles and planted the succulents in vases on top of the pebbles.
8 - View from the kitchen window - the plants were growing well, side fence covered with reed mat

3) The plants grew quite well as you can see...On the side you can see a mirror that came from our bathroom renovation. The slightly rusted wheelbarrow was brought home from a verge collection...(I now have two of them). I painted it in a light green colour, added soil and more succulents. 
The what was a tiny grape vine when we bought the house, had kept growing over the wires that my husband added to some metal poles that were cemented in.

The back of the house was still very uninviting, but the garden area was looking better. We also planted a passion fruit vine on the left side of the house.

10 - Passion fruit vine on the side of the house

3) - During one of the hot Perth summers we decided the pavers were just heating up the garden and the house, so part of the pavers were removed and some grass added.
11 - some grass was added to the back garden for freshness

4) - At some stage we bought a cheap gazebo at Big W and set it up by the back fence on top of brick pavers that a friend gave us after he finished building his house. 
A banana tree was planted (next to the gazebo), but even though it's now huge we haven't had many bananas... The back fence was planted with a creeper that grew and grew and took over was later removed!

12- The gazebo was set up next to back fence
The garden suite was left here when we bought the house, and we originally used it indoors. It was covered in some hideous beige flowery fabric and I recovered the cushions in a off-white thick fabric.  Of course, just with as many things in my house, the colour scheme has changed and I later covered the settees in orange fabric.

13 - For a while the shade sail was useful to shelter us from the sun when eating outdoors
14 -The former clothes drier is now used as a cover over the vegetable garden on the right side of the back garden
15 - More vases and plants were added to this area
16 - Seen from the back towards the house

I love succulents and I keep on adding to the collection by reproducing some of my plants.

Hope you enjoyed part 1 of my garden renovation, next installment to follow next week.
Have a lovely rest of the week and enjoy the weekend.

On the weekend I'll be busy helping my husband clean the garage so we can throw some stuff out for the verge collection starting next week ... and then I can start planning what to pack for the holidays, print out the many lists of things to do and see..... we're off in less than 2 weeks!


  1. Hi Sami! You really are adding your magic to the back yard and transforming it into a delightful oasis!
    Have a great weekend!

  2. Sami, what a great job you both did!

    Nem parece o mesmo quintal. Ficou bonito e acolhedor. Uma maravilha! :)

    As férias começam com os preparativos, o fazer as malas...

    Abraço :)

    1. Obrigada Catarina. Fico sempre stressada antes de ir de férias com tanta coisa a planear.

  3. What a difference the yard made once you got rid of that ridiculous clothes line. I can't believe someone would have enclosed it in bricks. This is a very different looking back yard, now, and I love how you took us through the first stage of the transformation. BTW, I was counting the different lawn chairs and furniture you have. You must LOVE to be outside, even in winter. Of course, if I had a palm tree I could see from my back yard, I'd be out there all day! This is a wonderful area now.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth, we enjoy entertaining and apart from the original sitting suite left by the previous owners I picked a few more chairs from verges and gave them a Reno.

  4. Oh, wow, Sami, you put a lot of energy in it and turned it to such a beautiful place over the years. Where do you get the power from? I feel so tired lately.
    Great jobs, you sure have a green thumb and a very creative nature, lucky you!

    1. Thanks Iris. I don't always feel energetic either, but I enjoy making our home look nicer. The garden was my "design" so I'm proud it came out quite well.

  5. It's interesting to see the progress. It really started to come together when the lawn was laid out.

    1. That's true Andrew, that bit of green brightened the area.

  6. It's always nice to read about your renovations. I'm really curious to read about part 2, especially when it looks this good already after part 1.
    Have a lovely weekend!

    1. Thanks Sara, a few changes were made until what we have now.

  7. I so enjoyed reading and looking at part 1 of your garden renovation, you've certainly put time, thought, work and effort into it ... but so rewarding.

    How nice that your holiday is so near too!

    All the best Jan

    1. Thanks Jan, it is rewarding to be able to sit out there and enjoy the outdoor area.

  8. Está muito bonito e tem uma aparência muito confortável.

    1. Obrigada Pedro. Bom fim de semana.

  9. You've done a lot of work in your garden. It is looking lovely now. Have a nice holiday.

  10. A lot of work but it is worth the effort.

    1. Thanks Marianne,it certainly was worth the effort so we can enjoy our garden now.

  11. Oh well done Sami, looks like you have a big garden like mine, such a lot of work until you get it just right. Looking forward to seeing part two next week. Happy weekend ✨

    1. Thanks Grace, yes a 700m2 block is a lot of work, so we have made our garden easy to care for and water saving.

  12. Dearest Sami,
    Oh we all go through such renovations I guess.
    Especially if you are lucky to 'inherit' someone else's brilliant design!
    Those brick walls made absolutely no sense... one only wonders what went on in their mind?!
    Love the addition of the much more natural looking reed mat.
    You had me laugh out loud about that vine that covered everything and got removed...
    We both fell so in love with a mini bamboo variety in Indonesia, around the boss' helipad and brought some starters home.
    Well, coming home only every two months, we were in for a surprise as in our climate those minis had outdone themselves and covered quite some meters of ground. So we went about removing them ALL. I was scared that next time we would fly back to Georgia, the entire house would have been covered up.
    One can only laugh about this and you managed to make some smart and attractive looking changes.
    You have me laugh about our balcony... that also has lived through a lot of change.
    Clever to use the clothes drier in its up-cycled form!
    Sending you hugs for a happy Sunday,

    1. Thank you Mariette. Yes we certainly have learned along the way, some plants are better than others, some just take over...
      Hope you're having a great Sunday too.


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