Doing Up My Front Garden

Introduction: Doing Up My Front Garden

Doing up my front Garden.

When i first moved into my house i didnt realise the amount of heat that came off the pavers from yard.
I say yard, because it wasn't a garden to me at all.

I found out a year or so after buying the house, that there was a lovely lawn under those big concrete pavers. Hence i never won the fight of grass growing between the cracks..
I also found out it was still being reticulated from under the pavers.

So the first chore was pull up all the pavers..
Find the Reticulation, and redirect it so its not waisting water.
Get rid of the Grass roots and build a new front fence.
( the old one was falling down).

I have attached a before and after pic here...

The items I used:
Midland brick - , Litewall
Crushed Granite
Rake, Shovel, Gardening Shears, Trowel, Wheel barrow.
Mulch / Manure, 4 different types, To build my sand up to soil standard.
Mushroom, Cow, Worm castings, Bark Medium size.
Black poly pipe and fittings ( spray nozzles for retic).
Small amount of concrete for Archways.
Plants.. Franchipani, Agapanthus Dwarf, Daisies,

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Step 1: Working With What You Already Have.

The first step to everything i do that is major is sitting down and working out what i have first.
And getting it down on paper, all the points that stand out, Good and Bad..
Making a hand drawing on a scrap bit of paper and shuffling ideas around.
In this case...
It was what structures and plants do i want to keep ,
And what structure & plants need to go... etc

Also over time i collect images off the net and put them in a folder,
I guess this is similar to cutting out images from a magazines and scrap booking ideas together.
So i go though my folders if something strikes me, i play with the image in paintshop group them together to get the inspiration.

It might take me months or even a year before i find what i like and what really sits well with me, As something like this that is major, i don't want it to be a whim or phase I'm going though.
So when i make up my mind, i have all the information in front of me.

I started with the fence First.

Step 2: The Front Fence.

I got someone in to pull out the old fence and build my new sandstone front fence,
I had to get someone in to do this only because there was no way i could move large blocks of sandstone. And i had always wanted a big chunky sandstone wall..

Then the start...of the Garden Design.
And the self locking bricks arrived.

Step 3: Building the Front Garden Bed.

So looking at what we had already,
Two garden beds with shrubs and palms.

These two other garden beds sort of curved in towards the front door.
The front door felt so exposed, so i wanted to block the front door from the main street. Plus to make it more feng shui.
So i felt putting in a half circle garden bed in the middle would give me two paths either side that would meet in the middle and join up with the main pathway to the front door, with lovely curved lines.

I also thought about moon gates, on either side of the pathways but i just didnt have the money to build them.
So i went with archways, i tried a few but some were so cheap they fell apart.
I finally found a strong pair.. To have on both pathways.
I then fell upon two wisteria plants and thought wow..
That would look nice.. Purple hanging flowers over the archways in spring.

So these archways will in time act like gateways to a central area that will then lead towards the front door.

I also thought about the gates i wanted on the two driveways i have ..
Sliding solar Gates really trigger my interests and will look into these in time.

So i paced out the half circle needed (keeping in mind the gates i want) and started laying in the bricks.. These lock on top of each other.
But you can only go knee high, which suited me for a raised garden bed, and these bricks were strong enough to sit on to garden, as i have a bad back and weeding would need me to sit.

Step 4: Replacing the Curbing

Replacing the concrete boarder (curbing) on the old garden beds.
I ordered in more lockable concrete bricks and started pulling out the concrete curbing that was around the old garden beds.

Playing these down two high.
I didn't want the pathways to feel like they were being over come with tall garden beds and enclosing the pathways too much..
As the side pathway is quiet thin.. (towards the carport - not shown here).

You might notice there is a color difference in the pavers.. this is fading with time.
But with the batches i brought where small .. and colours change with new batches..
Budget couldn't let me buy all at once..

Once we got both sides of the garden beds done,
It was time to pull up our stepping stones and re- level the pathways
we concreted in the archways and laid down some spare plastic to help stop the grass and weeds from coming back. Also to stop the stones getting buried in the dirt after time..

I grabbed the garden fork and run around putting (small) holes in it.. Just to let water run off.
I didn't want any pooling. And i didnt put too many in it.. Of course weed matting would have been great, but i was recycling what i had.

So then we laid the stepping stones back down where we wanted them to rest.

And the Crushed Granite stones arrived so it was time to start placing them between the stepping stones and making sure everything was covered stepping stones weren't moving and everything looking good.

Step 5: Ready to Grow.

With the Granite stones laid between the paves it really gave a great look.
This turned out better than i expected.

There was a lot of mulch put into these garden beds.
The ground was dead, water replant sand.
I mulch now every year just before winter So the plants have something warm to snuggle under.
So that when spring has sprung i'm not worrying about getting the mulch happening.
I'm sitting back and enjoying the show.

I know everyone says mulch your garden..
But i cant express how much this helps your soil.
I had a few dead areas that no matter what i planted.. it would die.
now after years of mulching.. Im starting to get some daylilies holding on.

So Now it was time to watch the garden grow. :)

Step 6: Wisteria Blooms.

Wisteria Blooms.

The wisteria is growing well.. I think next year will be bigger and brighter..
i'm so pleased

I hope you enjoyed my Garden Makeover.

Im starting to look at my backyard now, Wondering what to do...
I have a folder of images and ideas buzzing around my head..
Fingers crossed it works out as good as the front yard.

Thank you for viewing my instructable.
Please leave any comments, questions and suggestions, and please rate my instructable. Thanks.

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    9 Discussions


    9 years ago on Step 6

    Yes the wisteria is great, I used to have a humdinger but had to leave it behind, great pix.

    captain Jack
    captain Jack

    10 years ago on Introduction

    what's the approximate cost of the stone used for the wall?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    The small retaining walls? ... The main circle garden bed was about $700.00 AUD , 3 High so you can sit on it. The other edges were $400.00 AUD, only 2 high and i brought seconds which saved me heaps more.. wish i knew that the first buy i made.. The first lot included a pallet of straight and a pallet of corner blocks. These mixed together gave the bend of the circle. With a few corners left over the second buy had just 2 pallets of straights. I guessed on the quantities i needed.. Knowing i was going to do more later. but it seems to work out well. The main front fence was my main experience... And i did that first before anything else... i was quoted around the $5k to $7k mark by contractors... Finally got mate rates and due to friend of a friend... which meant other sacrifices.. like time delays and some details but got it at $3000.00 AUD


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    This month i will be looking at infills for between the Stone Pillars.. I have time off work to go check out some styles and prices... and do some major shopping around.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    One of the best, yet simplest in design, makeovers I've seen here. Very well done. I have taken some of your ideas and am in the process of incorporating them in my final pre-design. (I say pre-design because I always change in the middle of a project.) Nicely done.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks Bepartial. Because of my back problems I wanted to keep it easy and simple. Most of the time i had a milk crate near by in case i needed to sit down for a minute or two. I'm so proud of what i have been able to achieve.. Something simple that works. And on a tight budget - i still sit outside and watch the flowers grow. :) When you have done yours.. Give me a poke.. I'm still designing my backyard.. Too many ideas rushing around my head... But i have planted a wattle and two banksia trees as a starting point.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you so much. Its taken a while but little by little it came together.


    10 years ago on Step 6

    The wisteria on the arch is very pretty