Zones helped these Auckland homeowners achieve a beautifully designed backyard.
WORDS Mina Phillips
Following a completed landscape re-design of the front of their property, the owners of this Auckland home decided to meet with their local landscaping specialist Rose Bridge to discuss their ideas for their backyard and side gardens. Rose provided them with inspiration and ideas before helping them put together a design they loved. With an attractive and feasible design in place, Rose continued to support the family through every stage of this large landscaping project.
“Our brief was to create an easy-care, tidy-looking backyard - fully fenced with the same Colorsteel panels that they had at the front of the property”, tells Rose. “Whilst the back yard doesn't get used often, their top deck and kitchen look down onto it; so it was important to make it visually appealing but low maintenance and secure.”
Developing a new landscape design
While there was the option of excavating, Rose’s clients chose to incorporate the slope, levels and narrowness of the site into their design. While this presented a few challenges during the build phase, it also made for an interesting and innovative design.
To achieve the design specifications, a series of large trees needed to be removed from the boundary fence at the back of the property, as they “blocked light and looked messy”.
A timber retaining wall and hardwood deck
New timber retaining was built along the back boundary of the property and an additional section was built in order to support a new garapa hardwood deck. Garapa hardwood stairs were adjoined to the deck, flowing from the backyard up to the home’s lower sliding doors.
“This area was originally not very accessible from the backyard and was only used for hanging out washing. Now we've created a whole new hang-out space”, adds Rose.
An outdoor feature wall
A grey concrete wall behind the deck provided an opportunity to get creative. This area was converted into a feature wall by using laser cut aluminium screens, which the clients organised the design for.
Ever-popular Ficus Tuffy plants were included in the plan, which were planted within timber-edged garden beds that were painted black. A new layered garden bed was also created at the corner entrance of the backyard.
“Camellias, small pratia, and two Weeping Pear trees give that natural structure look while creating pops of colour”, explains Rose.
“Due to the slope of the section, our designer (Julie Moncur) created another stepped-up garden bed area with stepping stones to flow from the paved section up to the narrow side path. To create a more textured look she designed a planter box to sit behind the garden bed, with Buxus gems in it. Joined to that is a functional garapa-clad hardwood bench seat with a lid that can open for storage.”
Installing a Readylawn
To maintain consistency with the front of the property, a new ready-lawn was installed, along with a concrete mowing strip. A new t-shaped paved area was installed at the entrance, using Terrazo Veneto honed pavers. Pot plants, selected by the client in accordance with the style outlined in the concept plan, were carefully placed around the border of the space.
For improved backyard privacy, ColourPanel fencing was installed; specifically chosen to match the existing fencing at the front of the property. Double gates were also installed, chosen over a single pedestrian gate “so the client can bring trailers into the backyard if, and when, required.”
A narrow side pathway was created using timber-edged wide stairs and pebbles, chosen for their consistency against the colour of the home and its surrounding pavers.
The final result
A thorough plan and organised management process were essential in this project, as it required the assistance of a huge range of trades, including a general landscaper, builder, paver, concrete layer and an outdoor lighting specialist. The different levels complement the space, providing the family with multiple pockets of outdoor space to enjoy.
Looking for inspiration?
If you are looking for ideas for your own landscaping project, be sure to check out our completed landscaping projects.
Are you feeling nervous about managing multiple trades, specialists and council approval applications? A Zones landscaping specialist can help. Get in touch to find out more.