Landscaping specialist Matthew Wilkinson helped these homeowners improve their patio and garden.

WORDS Mina Phillips

This spacious backyard in Henderson had plenty of potential and the homeowners felt more than ready to make the most of it. After contacting Zones, they were put in touch with Matt Wilkinson who quickly arranged a free consultation where he could discuss their ideas and consider the site his team would be working with. 

Matt’s customers told him they wanted to improve their backyard patio as well as the surrounding garden. After gaining a firm understanding of their style and requirements, Matt provided his customers with a design and cost estimate which encompassed everything that had previously been discussed.

“The project planning was essential to coordinate the multiple trades involved in the build which included; excavation and landscaping, stump grinding, air-conditioning, electrical work, concrete placing, concrete cutting and surface sealing."

“Taking the time to review the plan was critical to get the details correct before the build stage. There was a lot of healthy discussion on how to get the most out of the space so the family could enjoy it for years to come”, tells Matt.

Once the design had been finalised, Matt ensured a firm plan was in place to keep the project on schedule and within his customers’ budget.

“The project planning was essential to coordinate the multiple trades involved in the build which included; excavation and landscaping, stump grinding, air-conditioning, electrical work, concrete placing, concrete cutting and surface sealing.”

The first area of focus was the existing entertainment space. Originally, the paving was uneven and the area was too small for the social gatherings the homeowners had in mind. Matt and his team extended the patio using a concrete mix of black oxide which was then trowel finished.  

“Wider decorative cuts were made to give an oversized paver appearance”, says Matt. “An acid wash was then applied to clean the surface and give it more texture. The acid wash was followed by grouting and a natural sealer to keep the patio looking new.”

Before the installation began, Matt and his team needed to dismantle a fence and bring in a digger in order to remove a large volume of soil - this made it possible for them to achieve the appropriate levels for the patio. 

To the side of the house, a path was installed, linking to both the vegetable garden and patio. The surrounding lawn drainage was improved, increasing the usability of the back yard, as beforehand “it was often too boggy to stand on”, and they focused on improving the finer details of the property. Fruit trees, garden edging and a water feature were installed, as well as irrigation and outdoor lighting. 

“The irrigation setup has been installed with a timer to keep the vegetable garden watered during the dry summer months” explains Matt, who worked with Advanced Irrigation on the installation.

For the garden lights, Matt showed his customers a few options from Mitre 10. 

“Bollard lights and multiple outdoor powerpoints were installed to future proof the backyard for a spa"
- Matt, Landscaping specialist

“Bollard lights and multiple outdoor powerpoints were installed to future proof the backyard for a spa”, says Matt. “Outdoor lighting was installed towards the rear of the garden to highlight the new planting.”

With the two-and-a-half week project now complete, Matt says there are a couple of particularly eye-catching aspects to the updated garden.

“The weathered steel edging is a standout feature and contrasts nicely with the black fence and green lawn.  It contains a mix of low maintenance planting and mulch, so the family can spend less time on maintenance. That being said, the new concrete patio is the centrepiece of the backyard.”

It’s a space that now offers a sunny social setting, with some outdoor coverage as you head indoors. The gardening work gives the property a lovely homey feel, while the design encompasses low-maintenance outdoor living at every opportunity. It’s a landscape that truly meets the property’s potential.