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#1 Coffeegirl

Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:33 AM

Hi all!    We have a huge backyard and it is so very boring.   I want to spruce it up but
1). I hate gardening original.gif
2). I don't want to spend too much as we are hoping to put in a pool next year.


So here are some photos.  The previous owners have bricked off a strip up each  of the sides and around the trees.    The grass is  sick.gif   And I hate walking on it.   I think its because I grew up with very spongy green, green grass, like a carpet.

Any ideas?  It gets a lot of sun during the day.    Our front is done with drought resistant natives






Edited by Coffeegirl, 19 November 2012 - 07:33 AM.


#2 LambChop

Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:41 AM

First you need to work out where you want the pool (dug in or above ground ?) and approx how much space it will take up, then you need a spot for the trampoline, then we'll be able to see what is left.

#3 Quaintrelle

Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:42 AM

I think the grass is in bad nick because it is surrounded by trees, so heavily shaded. You could switch to paving, or try Pixie grass which grows well in shade (and doesn't need much mowing).
ETA sorry, just reread that it gets a lot of sun. Well, neverthless I think  the grass needs to be resown and if it's not fertilised, that it something you need to do a couple of times a year.
Otherwise I think some colourful grevilleas ands waratahs would look good, if you want to continue with natives?

Edited by CancerianMoon, 19 November 2012 - 07:48 AM.


#4 Flaxen

Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:42 AM

I wouldnt do much now if you are planning on putting in a pool.
Re-seed the lawn if you hate it that much. Buffalo grass is nice and drought hardy, but you need to sow it in autumn i think. You will need to fertilise it though, (in autumn as well) that lawn looks pretty starved.  
Do up a plan on paper how you would like it once the pool is in, and go from there.

#5 noi'mnot

Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:49 AM

Yeah, it's hard to say without knowing where exactly and how big the pool will be.

If you want cheap and bright and easy, you could always buy a few lovely decorative pots and fill them with bright annual flowering plants. Put them wherever you want to see them and be cheered up. If you do something like this, you can use the pots later on (once the annuals have died) wherever you want in your bigger garden scheme, and move them around at will.

#6 kpingitquiet

Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:01 AM

I have a hard time comprehending backyards without some grass so I'd probably invest in a section done with new, high-quality, shade-tolerant turf. Good for kicking a ball or running around. For the rest, I'd mark off (and consult with a pool installer on this) where the pool will likely go. Then I would think of what views I'd like from the pool. Do I want to see mostly just the natural trees around the yard? Or low textured shrubbery, or expanses of flowers and sitting areas? Will there be a pool shelter/house at all? Any new sheds? Decks? Things like that. Then I'd fill in the gaps with areas like these:



or with inspiration from this page: http://georgeweigel.net/favorite-past-gard...no-water-garden


#7 seepi

Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:23 AM

I'd cover the fences with bushes. You just need to know how sunny they are - if you have any nice sunny north facing fences I'd put roses or lemon trees along them. Or butterfly bush.

Shady fences you can put camelias.

#8 *LucyE*

Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:34 PM

If you are putting in a pool next year, I'd do very little now incase it becomes collateral damage. I'd spend the time until then working on building up your existing soil with lots of nutrients and organic matter - killing the exisisting lawn, rotary hoeing in lots of manure and planting green manure. Hoeing that in and repeating.

Those big gum trees will be sucking up lots of nutrients from the soil. Some gum tree roots produce a substance that inhibits the roots of other plants from growing. I'd talk to your local nursery with a photo and sample of those gum tree leaves and get their opinion on what will grow there.

I personally like to hide fences because I think they're ugly and I prefer the feel of a garden cocoon. I'd work out where you plan on placing the pool, then mark out where you want to have an entertaining area, where the tramp and other kids play equipment will go, where and what type of pool fence you'll have as well as any shade structures.

Do you have water tanks or any restrictions on water usage?  I like lawns but am also practical. I don't see the point of using plants in positions where they will struggle or require a lot of attention. I would have a sunken lawn in a spot that naturally collects water. That minimizes the amount of artificial watering required (if the soil below is healthy).

But, with all those gums, I think it may be easiest to go with lots of paving type surfaces and build up garden beds above the ground level (so they're almost giant pots).





#9 Coffeegirl

Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:07 PM

Thanks everyone.   We'd like the pool to go in the back Right hand corner, but we're not sure if the council will let us pull down the gums.  The pool we'd like is a basic rectangle inground (concrete),  I'd love to move our current retaining wall back from the house further and turn the end of the pool facing the house into a wet edge waterfall over a glass wall (so you could see into the pool).  But the one quote we had was  blink.gif so that may not work original.gif


The trampoline will probably be gone by then as the kids are starting to outgrow,.    I like the idea of hiding the fences and that is what we will try to do.  the back left hand side gets NO sun, but the fence on the left hand side, closer to the house gets full sun during the day/evening.      

If it helps, the photos were taken at 8am this morning and I was facing almost due East at the time.

We're looking for something cheap and cheerful as the yard will get ripped to shreds once the pool works start, but as I said, that won't be until next winter at this stage.  


#10 mitty82

Posted 19 November 2012 - 04:14 PM

Id hold off as long as possible for doing anything. Dont want to waste money on doing much when you could put it towards your pool. Ahhh wouldnt that be so nice, it is so dam hot today.

Anyway I would get rid of those gum trees in your yard. and perhaps a garden along the edge of the boundary. I wish my garden had a nice patio or entertaining area.....my backyard is dull and boring. my most exciting thing is a mango tree!!!!!!

#11 ~THE~MAGICIAN~

Posted 19 November 2012 - 04:51 PM

I would build a beautiful big chook house along the back!



#12 *LucyE*

Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:22 PM

We'd like the pool to go in the back Right hand corner, but we're not sure if the council will let us pull down the gums.
Generally you're allowed to remove sick trees  wwhistle.gif

I'd love to move our current retaining wall back from the house further
I missed that it was was a retaining wall.  Does that mean the slope is towards your house?  What's the drainage like?  If it were me, I'd definitely want some sort of channel away from the house.

turn the end of the pool facing the house into a wet edge waterfall over a glass wall (so you could see into the pool). But the one quote we had was blink.gif so that may not work original.gif
My first thought, before I finished reading, was "that's going to be EXPENSIVE!".  

We're looking for something cheap and cheerful as the yard will get ripped to shreds once the pool works start, but as I said, that won't be until next winter at this stage.
Judging by the looks of the lawn, your yard is really nutrient deficient.  It will be an uphill battle to have something cheap and cheerful thrive quickly.  A better use of resources would be to just make the most of what you currently have.   Then really overhaul the yard when you've put in the pool.

To 'soften' the lawn, you could fertilize and water it more regularly.  The lush new growth is what feels soft underfoot.  We have kikuyu  grass in our front yard.  Sections of it are prickly and rough under foot.  Other sections that have had our poultry on it (sort of like a chook tractor) are soft and lush like carpet even though it has all had the same amount of water.  It's the high nitrogen manure.  Improving the grass will be faster and cheaper than most other options.




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