Updating the front of a 1970s brick veneer and redoing the garden

Karina S
February 21, 2019

We brought and moved into our first home back in July. Since then we have focused mainly on the inside but I think it's time we ventured outside. I am at a loss as to what to do with the front (disclaimer: love gardens but not much a gardener). We are putting up on a verandah/front porch and carport as well as upgrading the driveway. Any suggestions regarding the driveway would be great (have to investigate anything in this area) as well as anything else that might help us update the lovely lady.

This is from google and gives an idea of what it was like pre-sale. The hedge has return to this state over the summer months. Actually don't really like the hedge and would appreciate any alternative ideas

Comments (5)

  • PRO
    Dr Retro House Calls

    I would start by removing all the concrete block walls, lattice work and pool fences to give you an idea of the space and opportunities available. You have a long driveway so replacing it will be a major cost, depending on the type of material you use, so you should probably start getting quotes to get a feel for the options out there.

    You need to think about how you propose to use the space, the privacy and the amount of security you need to your front garden. Do you need a childproof/dog proof fence and gate? Also consider how much time, effort and expense that you are prepared to put into maintenance of your garden as this will affect the design and choice of plantings.

    A more formal garden will need a lot more work than a garden with a more natural feel. Finally think about your climate, amount of rainfall, amount of frost and other environmental factors that will affect the survival of new plants. Do you need to allow for an automatic watering system, or will you be selecting plants suitable for a dry climate? Look at the type of plants that have thrived in your neighbourhood.

    It would be worthwhile establishing a budget and having a chat with a local landscape design professional who is experienced in your area.

    Best of luck,

    Dr Retro

    of Dr Retro House Calls

    Karina S thanked Dr Retro House Calls
  • Lyn Huppatz
    Agree with Dr R. Don't worry about house (looks lovely btw) but a landscaping reno is needed. Nice space so depends how you want to use it. You will need to work out what you want, cost it and see what fits the budget.
    The fences and concrete blocks would be the first thing to go (imo) Good luck and keep us posted on what you decide.
    Karina S thanked Lyn Huppatz
  • dreamer

    From the overhead photo you have posted, there is a formal set out to your garden already with the brick walls. (they look as though they have been lightly rendered) It is the unruly planting that is letting the garden down. I would remove all planting, remove lattice, and pool fencing. I would look at rendering/painting the brick walls, or leave them as is? and replace lattice with hedging. Install lawn on other areas, maybe include garden beds along walls for flowers. As the other posts have said, how much time do you want to spend in your garden? If you are not a big gardener, still render/paint the walls, replace lattice with Australian native hedges and source easy care shrubs with flowers.

    The driveway with the two paths is keeping with the era of the home. I would pressure clean/repair the paths, and plant lawn along driveway paths.
    I have suggested to keep the brick walls, because of the expense in getting these removed, and it might be better to include them in your garden, as they provide retainers to your levels.

    Karina S thanked dreamer
  • PRO
    MB Design & Drafting

    I would recommend employing the services of a landscape designer.

    They are quite cheap being around $1500+-, mine was under a $1000 for a hand drawn 'mud map' which included plant selection and their locations.

    So much easier when armed with a plan from a professional.

    The actual landscaping cost is reasonable until you have hard space like concrete, paving and retaining walls.

    You may even retain some of your existing garden, who knows..... the designer does....

    Karina S thanked MB Design & Drafting
  • Christy Reves

    What a unique space. I would embrace the railing. Actually I like it. To the left of your home I would remove all plants and dirt basically level it out. Your home seems so linear that I would continue those lines. I think replace it with a good sod grass. Create a sharp cut border edge around the railing maybe plant some Hosta plants or low lying succulents or dwarf scrubs and landscape lighting.

    You might consider dark brick pavers or even asphalt for the drive. I might also suggest painting the house trim and garage door. Funny, the two toned color grey of the mud at the drive entrance would look nice. I would place two--three large pots (blue? turquoise?) underneath your window with draping succulent or vine. I don't know what temp. zone you live so that would have to be taken into consideration when choosing landscape plants. What is your front door? Painting it the same color as your selected pots would help create a focal point. Good luck.