Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Our Garden Renovation - part 2

Before & After

Following from last week's post, here is the second instalment about our backyard renovation.

About 2 years ago we finally decided to have a patio professionally installed so we could enjoy spending time outside. The "cheapy" gazebo we had bought had almost been shredded to pieces during one of Perth's winter storms, and was now covered with a net.
This meant we hardly used the backyard during summer as it was just too hot to be outdoors without being under cover.

After the installation of the patio, my husband and son started working on the decking.

Patio installed but no decking yet

The decking materials were delivered sitting on the front garden

The patio and decking area seen from outside  (taken recently grass is brown because of the cold)
The grass we had removed was quite invasive as it was a runners type, but the new grassed area is now only about 10 sqm which is ideal for a bit of green and freshness but not too much work with mowing and watering. The grass we chose is called Zoysia and is a slow growing and hardy grass, just not very good with frost in winter.

A few weeks later, after a lot of work, the patio and backyard area was finally usable and ready for one of my usual Christmas Eve dinners.
The deck is larger than the covered patio, so that when the blinds are up the entertainment area can be extended. The blinds are only on two sides of the patio, where the sun shines stronger.

The garden design was basically my idea - adding white and black pebbles for some interest and texture around the deck and paving areas, and to the right of the garden where the lemon tree and vegetable patch is we also removed the grass and covered the area with mulch.

The area to the left of the photo above and below is the area where I grow a lot of the succulents to then transplant to the front garden and other areas around the house.

You will notice that the on the left fence, the reed mat has been removed, and is still awaiting painting - I painted the whole fence around the house with a spray gun and dark gray paint (except for this area that is, because the grape vine was covering it at the time, and it's awaiting better weather...)

In between the lemon/mandarin tree and the bottle brush we have a small paved area with brick pavers given to us by a friend, and we sometimes put a couple of chairs there or the hammock as it's a pleasant and fresh area in Summer under the shade. A bird feeder hangs on the lemon tree and we get a lot of birds coming by.

To the left near the shed and the Meyer Lemon tree where we had originally put grass, we also removed the grass and lay some pavers which I painted dark gray just like the fence and the shed, and we put mulch over plastic weed mat. Less watering and less weeds to pick!

Potting area next to the shed, which was also painted in the same colour as the fence, and pavers also painted to give access to veggie garden.

Lemon tree, passion fruit vines to the left and vegetable boxes mostly full of parsley, coriander and kale.

                                       AND THE BIG REVEAL of the outdoor area:

bought a second hand outdoor wooden table with 8 chairs on Gumtree, varnished the table and chair arms and they look as good as new.
As for the various cane chairs, I'm a big fan of cane and apart from the original settee and 2 chairs we inherited when we bought the house, I found a couple more chair and footstools without their foam cushions, on verges near us and brought then home. 
A cane drinks cart was given to us by friends who downsized and no longer wanted it, and I spray painted it turquoise.
The rest of the cane furniture was varnished with a dark varnish, some foam cushions were replaced and before the backyard area was finished my daughter in law and I started sewing new covers for the chairs - this time in orange, and I made various throw cushions in turquoise and orange to match with the interior decor.

On the left the original chairs covered in a flower pattern (in the 70's decor house!!!), later then were used in another room and covered in white and pale blue - in the middle the newer version, and to the right some of the verge finds.
A former bathroom mirror got a frame made by me and was put on the wall, drinks cart given to us

I have bought another plastic outdoor carpet with turquoise patterns for under the table, which also makes the area look more comfortable and saves dirty going onto the decking boards (Can't believe I don't have a photo!)

Flowering at the moment

And there it is - my before and after backyard garden renovation. 
It's been a few years in the making, bit by bit, but now when I go outside I can be proud of our own work and I can say that we really enjoy spending time outdoors. 
In Summer we often have breakfast or lunch outdoors and sometimes when we have big groups of friends at night we eat outdoors too.

We now have a low maintenance garden, we don't spend much time weeding, watering, etc...
All we need now is an outdoor heater for cooler evenings and that's it!

                                                       BEFORE & AFTER

Hope you enjoyed following the various steps of the renovation. Some time in the future after I return from our holidays I'll post about our front garden renovation.
Enjoy the rest of the week, I've been super busy and stressed at work and can't wait to get on that plane!


  1. Compensou tanto trabalho para chegar a este resultado fabuloso!
    Como se deve estar bem aí num dia de primavera ou verão e, depois do aquecimento, no inverno.
    Nem podemos imaginar a “trabalheira” que foi! Mas valeu a pena.
    Estão de parabéns!
    Obrigada por compartilhar. Gostei imenso de acompanhar a evolução do vosso quintal.
    Bjos : )

    1. Obrigada Caterina, realmente deu muito trabalho mas agora podemos finalmente gozar o jardim.

  2. That came out truly great - a whole lot of work!
    Enjoy your holidays, Sami, wishing you a great - and relaxing - time!

    1. Thanks Iris, I really hope I can relax soon.

  3. Ten out of ten, Sami! What a wonderful outdoor space now & I love your patio furniture make over! Great job!

  4. Oh wow Sami you guys have completely changed the garden, it looks amazing! What a fab collection of succulents you have and pots in general. Do you water them all by hand or are they reticulated? Will someone come in and look after them while you're away? Glad to hear you have the lists in action so that you can sleep at night and not worry about things 😀 I know you did tell me but how long before you go?

    1. Thanks Grace. We have reticulation but it's disconnected, the grass and plants only get water in summer probably once a week with a hose. We have a young couple house sitting because of the cats. We leave next Wednesday.

    2. Sami just in case I don't remember, I have that 'thing' ☺ on Monday, I hope you have a brilliant holiday and look forward to catching up when you get back xox

  5. The outdoor space just looks so cozy and lively. I love the colours! Very good job and great ideas! I wish you a very nice trip and enjoy your vacation time. Take a lot of pictures so you can show us later :)

    1. Thanks a lot Sara, I'm sure I'll go overboard with pictures, lol.

  6. What a fantastic renovation. Nothing looks the same, and I'm truly impressed. I can't believe it's even the same back yard. It's gorgeous. I know you must be proud because so many of the projects are DIY.

    I also have that runner grass in my yard AND in my veggie garden. I can't seem to get rid of it, even when I try to smother it out with cardboard. Zoysia is a great choice, and I've read it even grows great in shade.

    Have a stress free holiday and enjoy your time away.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth, it's when we look at the photos of the original garden that we realize how much we've done and how great it now looks. I'm sure it also added a lot of value to the house. My husband used a machine he hired to remove the grass as we didn't want to use chemicals. Then we put cardboard and weed mat. It stayed like that for a couple of months and if anything came up , he would dig the roots out. But I feel for you, that grass is a monster :)

  7. Apetece sentar aí e tomar uma bebida fresquinha.
    Está bestial.

    1. Obrigada Pedro, realmente dá gosto estar lá fora.

  8. Adoro o jardim! Senti-me num daqueles programas da BBC de mudar jardins das pessoas, que o canal de televisão tinha nos anos 90!

    1. Obrigada Paula, ainda bem que gostou da visita ao meu jardim.

  9. Dearest Sami,
    WOW, that is almost a change between day and night!
    Oh, the sweet satisfaction that derives from tackling such a task. Almost seeming impossible at first but once you get going you see the end result coming your way.
    What a lovely place indeed for dining outdoors at your large size table for 8.
    We don't even have such a big spot. On the balcony is under the sky and has only a small table that makes dinner al fresco for 2, maximum 4 possible. Our gazebo has a round table but also maximum for 6. There are side benches for seating but not really for dining. Just for partying.
    Clever concept you chose!
    Oh, I also love your vegetable boxes, they look like they're from aluminum.
    Wish our garden was smaller... We did not realize that when we were younger but now as Pieter is aging, it is showing.
    KISS = Keeping It Sweet & Simple is key for life.
    Sending you hugs and wishing you happy weekend!

    1. Thanks for the lovely comments Mariette. My husband had originally built wooden vegetable boxes (just sides) but they got termites so we substituted them for these galvanized steel boxes.
      Although our garden is big, there isn't much maintenance, as the grass patch is small and other plants aren't too high maintenance either. Although the fruit trees do give a bit of work, specially during winter when winds and rain mean lemons and mandarins fall onto the ground and litter quite a bit...
      But of course our plan is that in about 10 years time we will downsize...
      Have a great weekend too Mariette. We are getting busy packing our suitcases.

  10. What a great job you've done, Sami! A little thought and a lot of effort and there you have your perfect garden. :) :)

    1. Thanks Joanne. It's probably not perfect but it's great for our lifestyle.

  11. Muito trabalho mas valeu a pena! E muito bom estar lá fora e sentirmo-nos bem! Bj. Sami e tudo de bom!

  12. I thought I made a comment but I forgot, I guess. It is interesting to see the transition to what it now is, a pretty good outdoor space.

  13. Wow, wow and wow!
    Just love what you've done to your garden, I'd simply love to come and sit a while!
    Well done to you and the family, you must be over the moon with the finished result.

    Have a great holiday.

    All the best Jan

    1. Thanks Jan, it was worth all the hard work, it's now a great space to enjoy the outdoors,to relax and to entertain.


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