Transforming an overgrown backyard into a tranquil retreat in Northcross, Auckland

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a garden makeover in Auckland

This tiered backyard had plenty of potential but was crowded with overgrown shrubs and old children’s toys. Homeowner Susanne wanted to create a beautiful, modern space that would make the most of the unique landscape and provide a retreat from the demands of everyday life.

Before After
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The Initial Consultation

As youngsters, Susanne’s children loved playing in her backyard. Now all grown up, the remnants of good times in the garden were in the form of old trampolines and overgrown shrubs. 

Susanne had decided the time was right to create a stylish and sophisticated space that could be enjoyed for many years to come, so she contacted Zones Landscaping Consultants Louise Reeve and Logan Bridgens to discuss creating a peaceful area where she could sit and relax after a busy day.

The space was fairly large but set over several different levels. Susanne wanted to maximise the potential of her yard and find a way to use these to her advantage. She met with Louise and Logan to discuss her options and explore different ideas. 

Creating A Plan

After gaining a thorough understanding of Susanne’s priorities, Louise and Logan presented concept designs to show how the finished backyard could look. Susanne didn’t have a specific budget in mind but wanted to find a cost-effective solution that would enable her to have the beautiful outdoor space she dreamed of.

It was decided that rather than levelling the terrain, the tiers would be retained. This would reduce the overall cost while presenting an exciting opportunity to design a unique yard that could be split into different areas. Susanne was also keen to install outdoor lighting so the garden could be used after dark, and an irrigation system to reduce the time spent on maintenance.

Once Susanne was happy with the concept designs, more in-depth working drawings were created. These were approved and came with two quotes, one for the main landscaping project and the other for some Gabion work. These both came to $125,000 which Susanne confirmed she was happy with.

Knowing the cost before any work began provided peace of mind that all the materials and labour required had been accounted for, and there wouldn’t be any unexpected expenses later on. With the planning stage complete, it was time to get to work bringing Susanne’s new backyard to life.

Bringing It To Life

The project involved landscaping, installing a power supply, and laying a new patio area and decking. This required the work of several different contractors but Louise and Logan were on hand to oversee the work and ensure everything ran smoothly.

While as many supplies as possible were secured before the work began, unfortunately, some were delayed. There was also extremely bad weather, with the ground becoming so wet that work had to be put on hold. These factors meant that although the project was initially estimated to be completed within four weeks, it ended up taking almost double that.

Susanne was kept updated on the delays and when the work was expected to continue. The project was completed during the wettest July on record, so she was very understanding and knew the finished results would be worth it.

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A Beautiful Retreat

The backyard now looks absolutely spectacular and is the perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Outdoor lighting creates a beautiful glow between the house and the paved seating area at the top of the garden, and the gentle stream adds to the relaxing and tranquil feel.

Colourful plants, paved sleeper steps, and new turf have freshened up the space and, combined with the decking and patio furniture, create a stylish and modern look. The bridge has been replaced and gabion rock has been used to retain the bank and slow the flow of water.

Splitting the yard into several different areas provides room for teens to hang out while the adults relax after a busy day. The irrigation system means the space requires minimal maintenance, and soothes the stresses of daily life rather than adding to it.

Clever design has brought the landscape to life and transformed the backyard into a stylish and functional area that can be enjoyed for many years to come.

Final Thoughts

Susanne is delighted with her new garden and said:

“Thank you for your outstanding work on our backyard. From the initial design discussion and concept right through to the finished project, it has been an amazing experience. We appreciated the fact you were always responsive whenever we had any questions and can’t believe the transformation. To say that we are very happy would be an understatement, and we now have a backyard we actually want to spend time in.”

This project was completed in
January 2023
Project description
Backyard Transformation
North Shore
New Zealand
Project duration
8 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Work had to be paused due to heavy rainfall, meaning the build stage took longer than expected
Interesting aspects
Outdoor lighting across the pathway and bridge leading to the new seating area
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Logan Bridgens is Landscaping Consultant of Bridgens Landscapes Limited, a franchisee of Zones Outdoor Renovations Ltd, doing business in North Shore.

Louise Reeve is Landscaping Consultant of Bridgens Landscapes Limited, a franchisee of Zones Outdoor Renovations Ltd, doing business in North Shore.

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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