Zones Landscaping specialist Matthew Wilkinson revitalised this small front yard space, providing everything from design to build.

WORDS Raul Sharma

Henderson homeowners Wendy and Cheryl Kearns wanted to declutter their garden and make it cohesive, private, and easier to maintain. The garden they inherited from the previous owners had been developed organically, with designs and problems being solved along the way, which is why certain parts didn’t completely complement others. Although there were plenty of plants, the lack of open space made it hard to appreciate them. They also needed to move the existing entrance so that the shared water meter was accessible to others without having to walk through their entertainment area, and they wanted to get rid of an underutilised garden shed and turn it into additional parking space.  

Wendy and Cheryl started by researching local landscaping companies and sent out enquiries to several. “We wanted locals that knew the area, and to support a local business,” they explain. “The response we received from Zones was both prompt and friendly. Some of the others seemed very automated, if they bothered to respond at all. We wanted to work with people that treated us like people, not customers. Not only that, but we were clear from the beginning that we had a very specific budget and would need a design and plan that would take that into account. Zones were the only ones that seemed to listen to us and accommodate our needs.” And so, Zones Landscaping specialist Matthew Wilkinson was brought on board to help. 

“They wanted to revitalise their small front garden space and modernise the look to complement their house,” explains Matt. “This involved creating a concept plan that redefined the areas so they all worked together and made better use of the space.”

Building raised planter boxes

Matt and his team began by clearing the overgrown trees, shrubs, and stumps to reclaim the garden space. They moved the mailboxes closer to the road in order to create a new pedestrian entrance, and replaced the former yard entrance with a raised veggie garden. 


Next, they replaced the paved area under the pergola and resurfaced the main courtyard area with low maintenance artificial lawn. Matt also installed stepping pavers to connect with the pedestrian entrance. The utility area along the side of the home also had to be resurfaced and made more practical. 

“The paving was considered to create an interesting pattern and define the space next to the new macrocarpa vegetable garden,” reveals Matt. “The materials nicely contrast with the deck area and the artificial grass was a practical option to reduce ongoing maintenance.” 

Matt also removed the garden sheds and added grass pavers to increase the size of the parking area. “The Zones process was vital as it let us take the time to design and let us consider all ideas and helped understand what was going to work well in the small space available,” he says.

Softscaping advice

Matt also provided planting advice for natives along the front of the fence to attract birds, which Wendy and Cheryl appreciated. 

“We loved working with Matt! He was very polite and patient, and really listened to our needs. He never made us feel rushed when we were angsting over a decision, or bad about being indecisive. Nothing seemed to phase him. He was wonderful!”

The new landscape design

When asked about the final result and their favourite features, Cheryl exclaims “Where to begin!” After a moment to think, she reveals “I love the cohesive, finished look. The way the fencing matches all the way, in both garden areas, how the pavers match the patio, how the plantings have been opened up so that there is room to appreciate them. My mother also loves how it has been opened up, especially replacing the massive paver patio with the artificial lawn. It made the whole space so much more green and relaxing, without her stressing about her lawn maintenance! She loves sitting on the deck, behind the privacy of the new fence, able to look at all her favourite plants.”

Clearly, Cheryl and Wendy could not be more pleased with their finished landscape. Cheryl also revealed: “Mum loved the personal touches Matt did; the Christmas card and then the wine and chocolates at the end, once it had all been done. Asking along the way how we felt about the changes every day. It made us feel like even though we were a small job, we were still important. Thank you Matt & Zones!”

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