Transforming a muddy backyard into a stylish space for year-round outdoor living in Stonefields, Auckland

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Clay soil was making this backyard muddy and unusable for much of the year. Zones Landscaping Consultant Freda Yang delivered this transformation which includes a new decking area and patio, and a thriving natural lawn.

Before After
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Initial Consultation

Rob knew that his limited outdoor space needed a makeover but wasn’t sure where to start. The clay soil in his backyard had led to unsightly patches on his lawn, its overall appearance made worse by a lack of sunlight, weeds, and his dog. Moreover, the shaded area on one side of his two-storey townhouse became extremely muddy during the winter months.

Rob wanted an attractive and healthy lawn that could be enjoyed all year round, especially after work and at weekends. He didn’t want to install artificial grass and was keen to explore what other options were available.

After booking a consultation with Zones Landscaping Consultant Freda Yang, Rob discussed what he wanted to achieve and the budget available. Once Freda had a comprehensive understanding of the issues and objectives she arranged for concept designs to be created to show how his finished landscaping project could look.

Careful Planning

Rob reviewed the concept designs and had the opportunity to discuss them and make any changes to create his ideal space. Rather than installing the outdoor kitchen that was part of his original vision, Rob opted to stay within his preferred budget and have the basic landscaping work carried out.

After the concept designs were approved, more in-depth working drawings were created. These considered factors such as site conditions, and once again Rob could review this iteration before the plans were finalised.

He wanted the project completed before winter to avoid the muddy conditions experienced in previous years. Freda confirmed this timing would be possible and promptly began scheduling the tradespeople and securing the supplies required, thereby minimising the risk of project delays once work started.  

With everything arranged, it was time for the transformation to begin.

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Expert Advice

Pavers, builders, and landscapers were all involved. Freda was on-site to welcome the contractors and ensure the project ran smoothly, meaning Rob was able to carry on with his daily life while construction was underway.

Having experts on hand was especially useful because of the challenges presented by the lack of topsoil and the underlying clay pan. Tall Fescue grass was chosen for the lush green readylawn since its hardy and robust turf is also great for dog owners. It has a strong rhizomatous root system (enabling it to self-repair in the event of canine damage), tolerates high summer temperatures, and requires less watering than rye grasses.

Although keen to keep within his original budget, Rob subsequently decided to replace the grey brick around the raised gardens to match the stunning new decking, and to have existing trees and shrubs trimmed back. These additions greatly enhanced the appearance of the finished result. 

A Total Transformation

The project was completed in time for winter, and Rob has the low-maintenance and healthy-looking backyard he’s always wanted. Designer pavers now cover the shady area at the side of the house, eliminating mud and enabling year-round access and enjoyment of an outside patio.  

The paving slabs have an attractive texture and colour and create an area that’s perfect for outdoor seating or a barbeque area. The new wooden garden borders perfectly match the decking and complement the rest of the yard.

High-quality and stylish Outdure composite decking was chosen instead of traditional hardwood timber boards, adding to the modern feel. The product is resistant to fading, leaching, and mould, and is splinter-free, meaning the decking can be enjoyed for many years to come and won’t require any time-consuming or expensive maintenance.

Final Thoughts

The expertise of Freda and the team ensured that the project was delivered on time, and while it did go slightly over the original budget at Rob’s request, he is thrilled with the result.

"We are most delighted with the outcome. We just think it all works so well together and it’s been a complete transformation."

Would you like to discuss your landscaping ideas?

Get in touch for a free consultation with your local Landscaping Consultant.

This project was completed in
November 2022
Project description
Outdoor renovation with deck and patio
Auckland Central
New Zealand
Project duration
6 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
The clay soil type meant that the type of lawn used had to be especially hardy and robust
Interesting aspects
The beautiful paving slabs that now cover the shaded area at the side of the property
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Freda Yang is Landscaping Consultant of KLOUD WY INTERNATIONAL LIMITED, a franchisee of Zones Outdoor Renovations Ltd, doing business in Auckland.

Actual costs vary by project. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.

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