Severe Sloping Backyard Landscape Design Makeover (Panorama).
A couple with young children had recently purchased a house at Panorama. There was absolutely no useable backyard space with just a two metre wide path and an unscaleable slope. Not knowing what could be done and worried about large potential costs, they knew they needed professional help.
Searching ‘landscape designers adelaide‘ the clients found the Living Pictures By Tony Stanton website and after reading about the services and design process booked Tony for a concept design session to discuss their backyard landscape design wishes.
During the discussion, the Panorama couple explained that they were after an area close to the house for the children to play and sit outside as a family. They wanted a separate lawn area for the kids, which could also be a place they could relax and take in the breathtaking views, one of the reasons that attracted them to the house in the first place.
As with many Adelaide homeowners, they led a busy and full life so a low maintenance landscape design was to be factored in to the garden makeover.
The plan had to address the current sloping backyard layout causing water to enter the rear of the house during periods of heavy rain and, as they had several projects to complete inside their new home, expenses needed to be kept under control.
Tony also noticed huge Aleppo Pines with thirsty roots and dead foliage covering the ground. The soil was a heavy clay over rock and the neighbours overlooked the garden, leaving the family with little privacy. Access to the top of the garden was currently via slippery concrete pavers and rounds which also required a sensible solution as part of the clients backyard landscape design.
Towards the end, and nearly 2 hours later, after listening and taking down lots of notes for the garden design solutions that had to be taken into account, Tony started to draw up a concept design artistic impression to show what the final result could look like once all the landscaping construction work was finished plus, a concept design sketch plan showing an aerial view with suggested plants and their layout.
Delighted with Tony’s vision and obvious horticultural knowledge, Living Pictures By Tony Stanton were engaged to draw up scaled working drawings that would then enable landscapers to complete all the landscaping work required including the excavation, stormwater, retaining wall, timber deck and seats.
Once totally satisfied and a little excited with the garden design solutions Living Pictures By Tony Stanton had come up with, Tony was asked to handle all the landscaping logistics to turn the backyard landscape design plan into reality.
For the top wasted area, most of the Aleppo Pines were removed. The soil was rehabilitated after being sapped of nutrients from the pines by adding sand and compost to make it deeper and lighter so the new plants would grow quickly to out compete the weeds. A lawn and irrigation system was also installed on the upper level which was groomed to form a minimal slope.
To gain access to the top, access stairs were cut and built. The stairs used perma-pine risers and gravel treads. However, as gravel is easily kicked around and notorious for collecting dirt and leaves, it was decided to mix it with Polyester resin (fiberglass) to make solid but porous steps. It looks like wet gravel. The gravel mix contained beige, brown, white and some black to produce an earthy tone that wouldn’t clash with the surrounding backyard gardens look. The sides of the stairs were edged with a 5mm flat steel bar which over time would form surface rust to a similar colour of the native clay.
On the lower level the slope was cut back to create a metre high vertical face, retained with interlocking concrete blocks. A hardwood deck was built with matching cantilevered benches providing lower level seating and to make cleaning leaves with a blower vac super easy. Colourful perennials and groundcovers were then planted above the wall to soften and decorate, providing a ‘Living Picture’ all year round, looking out the kitchen window from the inside.
By cutting back into the lower slope the view from above was reduced so that the screening plants became more effective.
Behind the wall and under the deck, stormwater pipes were laid to capture and divert water away from the house and decking area.
The landscape design, incorporating many garden design solutions transformed what was an unusable severe sloping backyard into usable areas with stunning plants was a resounding success, and the cleverness wasn’t lost on the clients either, initially worried about the costs of excavating and removing tonnes of earth plus then what could have been staggering retaining costs.
Many people are under the impression it’s too hard and expensive to do anything practical with steep gardens, but that’s simply not true. There are always garden design solutions to turn a vision into reality catering for different budgets. With this project, to keep costs lower, only one retaining wall was used at the bottom, leaving the rest of the sloping back garden to be planted out with colourful plants.
If a larger area was required at house level, more, or higher retaining walls would be called for, increasing the costs of excavation and retaining.
This is the advantage of dealing with experienced landscape designers, who work for you, designing practical solutions to help turn your dream into reality and within your budget.
Would You Like A Backyard Makeover?
Have something in mind but need a plan? Ask Tony for help.
After booking the initial concept design meeting then completion of both your hardscape construction plan and softscape design plans, you’ll have a good idea of what the costs will be to transform your current back garden into the dream outdoor oasis you’re after.
Whether you’d like a formal or informal design, whether you have a small backyard to renovate, a courtyard garden to update or large back garden you’d like to transform, you can trust Tony Stanton to come up with innovative garden design solutions to match your lifestyle.