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A magical backyard makeover - Auckland

A peaceful entertaining space

When Alex moved to her new home in Massey, she knew she’d need to do something about the sad and neglected backyard. Although it was a good-sized yard, it had never been landscaped and lacked any sort of excitement. The fences were mouldy, the retaining walls had not all been finished and the grass was patchy at best.

She wanted to make the most of the beautiful views of a stand of native bush on one boundary and create a space where she could both entertain friends with a Saturday night BBQ and also enjoy a quiet cuppa herself after a busy workday.

She called on Grant from The ProGroup, who talked through all the ideas that she had and together they came up with a creative plan that would transform the property and also suit the lifestyle of this busy working Mum. Alex knows there’s no such thing as a

no-maintenance garden, but she was keen to pursue the idea of a low maintenance backyard.

First off, the deck was repaired and cleaned, and a coat of stain had it looking as good as new. Stain penetrates and protects the wood, preserving the beauty of it, and Alex was okay about the need for periodic re-staining. The retaining walls were finished with new bark gardens for shrubs and grasses to encourage the native birds back in. The actual condition of the fences surrounding the yard were in reasonable nick and with a good clean and coat of dark paint, came up looking mint. Grant chose to paint the fences rather than stain to give them a great solid look and to provide longer-lasting protection. The paint finish did a great job of covering the imperfections and will go a long way to preventing mould growth and sun damage in the future.

Alex was keen to sort out the utility area which was currently disorganised and untidy. With two children approaching their teenage years, Alex wanted to retain the decent-sized washing line but was sick of traipsing through mud and slush in the winter months to hang out or bring in the washing. Grant suggested a hard-wearing artificial turf as the solution to this and with the addition of a spa pool, this area changed from merely functional to something special that the whole family could enjoy.

What to do about the slightly muddy and unsightly bottom area of grass took a little more imagination but together, Alex and Grant came up with a plan that turned a waste of space into an inspired oasis, completely satisfying the low maintenance requirement. A pond was added complete with a rustic macrocarpa bridge, natural waterfall feature and goldfish. Added to the charm is lighting and other fun and interesting knick-knacks that Alex has sourced including ironwork, fun glass bottles and a super-cool planted bar table.

All in all, this lack-lustre backyard has been completely transformed into a calm and idyllic haven with just a wee sense of magic about it.

Grant from The ProGroup is stoked with the result but not as much as Alex and her family, especially the additional value she has incidentally added to her home.

The Progroup - “making the place you live, a place you love.”

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