How to turn a neglected backyard into an outdoor oasis

To keep up with the latest outdoor trends and design a space for those favourite backyard memories, create a well-maintained area that’ll improve your return on investment

Backyard Oasis
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Planning on updating your property?

To keep up with the latest outdoor trends and design a space for those favourite backyard memories, create a well-maintained area that’ll improve your return on investment.

The best working yards are functional and enjoyable.

Think lazy barbecues, relaxed nights on the patio, outside lounging and a shady place to play, if space permits. High-rise living may be shrinking the Aussie backyard, but you can still transform an unloved yard into the ultimate attractive outdoor room with these tips.

Cluster potted plants

Containerscaping is a way to take plants to a new level and offers an alternative where gardening may otherwise be impossible or challenging.

Cluster plants by choosing one large feature pot plant, with smaller plants to place around it. Mix and match colours, sizes, textures, materials and styles to contrast. For easy maintenance, each cluster should have their light exposure tolerance in common.

Make a garden room

Outdoor garden rooms make the backyard feel inviting and relaxing.

Build a small structure for the space or make a destination by using a cosy-looking bench and surrounding it with plants for a dedicated chill zone. Whilst the latter isn’t a room, the seclusion makes it feel like a place to escape to.

You can also divide your backyard into different zones to encourage multi-functional areas to use all year-round. Even balcony gardens may be separated into dining and hang-out zones with screening, seating and built-in planters. Add an entertaining zone with lighting to set the mood when the sun goes down and take advantage of stacking doors. These doors slide away to connect areas and create a seamless indoor-outdoor connection.

Tip: Freshen up plant beds with native plants, mulch and new flowers. Find what grows easily in your local area to choose plants that’ll have the best chance of survival with maintenance.

Add privacy

A level of seclusion is important for building an outdoor oasis.

Attach faux trellis to mesh, metal or wire surfaces for a cost-effective privacy solution. Adding screening plants will also provide privacy and help to establish zoning in your backyard. Use hedging and other fast-growing greenery like Leighton Green, Bamboo and Orange Blossom designed to screen for seclusion and add an outdoor oasis feel.

Invest in smart irrigation

Smart homes have made maintaining the inside of a property more effective, but what about outdoors?

High-tech irrigation takes on the smart system to make lawn and garden tasks sustainable and easier. Smart irrigation eliminates accidental watering on rainy days, saves money and simplifies yard maintenance.

Up to 70% of the world’s water consumption is used for irrigation. But with smart watering systems, consumption is lower and demands on the environment are less. Real-time notifications also alert if there’s a leakage, with valuable insights about soil and weather conditions.

Think vertically

Add garden space out of thin air by growing vertically.

Living walls can be used for privacy purposes or to create greenery in properties with little to no yard space. Attach planter boxes to the fence with drip irrigation for easy care. Plant edibles such as microgreens and herbs, as well as low-growing plants with shallow root systems. Leafy veggies, trailing vines, ferns and succulents are the best plants to grow vertically.

Tip: Choose hardy plants that can survive in compact spaces with less soil. Use the correct potting soil (one that retains water) or add peat moss to the mix to aid water retention. Gravity pulls the water down, so vertical gardens may need more watering than regular plants

Retractable blinds and awnings

Retractable blinds and awnings encourage convenience at the push of a button, whilst trapping the heat in the cooler months and providing shade throughout summer.

Push-button awnings have multiple stages of shade to use the most appropriate. Choose waterproof materials that’ll provide resistance against the elements and protect from mould, dirt and fading colours.

Simple, functional design with accessibility is one of the top outdoor trends for 2020. How will you be making the most in your outdoor space?

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