ToorakContemporary Garden, Melbourne
What Houzz contributors are saying:
Create drainage Without getting into too much detail here, one of the issues with a paved area is surface water and ensuring there’s adequate drainage. There are a number of permeable grouts and jointing compounds on the market that can be used to make sure the surface water drains correctly. It’s also essential to make sure the paving has an adequate fall, no matter how small the area, in order to alleviate ponding, which inevitably causes problems during heavy rain or icy conditions. Planting between paving not only looks good and retains the green feel of a garden, it can also help with drainage issues, as you’re not sealing the joints between the slabs.
“Lightweight designs are great for small spaces such as balconies as they won’t take up too much space,” says Smith. Powder-coated stainless steel is also low-maintenance and rust-resistant, making it a great choice if you don’t have the time for much upkeep.
Time-saving gardening tipsMowing and edging: Edge first, mow second. This means no time wasted cleaning up edging clippings. Run your mower in mulching mode as this means you won’t have to empty clippings, and it keeps your lawn happier and needing less fertilising and watering.Lawn care: At the very least, feed your lawn in early spring, but ideally in mid-summer and autumn too. A well-fed lawn will look more lush, will keep out weeds and need less maintenance. The average lawn only takes 10 minutes to feed using a hand-spreader. Use a quality slow-release lawn fertiliser (one of my favourites is Scott’s Lawn Builder). Watering: With your garden being cared for by a drip-irrigation system on a computerised timer, the most you’ll need to do is keep an eye on it. Don’t forget to adjust the watering pattern to suit the seasons and the climate. To maximise watering efficiency further, apply a quality soil-wetting product to both lawn and garden at least once a year.
3. Freshen up outdoor furnitureWinter is a good time to refresh your outdoor furniture in good shape for summer. Outdoor furniture is exposed to the elements more than your indoor furniture so it pays to do some maintenance at least once a year. Wash down chairs and tables with hot water and soap, oil hinges and check for broken fittings. If you find cracks in painted metal furniture, touch them up to avoid rust. Sand any rusty spots well and repaint. Tip: Check out the winter sales for outdoor furniture, barbecues and other garden accessories.
MetalMetal furniture has a protective finish, making it hardy and long-lasting. It just needs a little TLC to keep it looking like new. The first step is to wash the synthetic top-coat – simply wipe it down with a soapy detergent. Over the years, the coating may have started wearing away, thanks to all those little droppings from magpies and lorikeets. This acid can eat through any of the furniture’s weak spots in the finish. The trick is to wipe it away ASAP – keep the kids on alert for any naughty kookaburra ‘presents’ on the outdoor couch!If the coating has worn away, it’s time for a paint job, topped off with a clear metal varnish.
Well furnishedIn contemporary gardens, outdoor furniture is often treated as a sculptural element in its own right. This is partly due to the fact that there is often insufficient space for both art and furniture in smaller gardens, which are now the norm, as well as the increased availability of well designed outdoor furniture these days.MORESo Your Style Is: Contemporary Leafy Greens: 10 Ways to Beautify Your Garden With Foliage12 Easy Ways You Can Have a Front Garden to Be Proud Of7 Common Garden Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
The paving by Rhodes Architectural Stone is made of reclaimed granite from old stone laneways in China and brings a century-old tale to the modern Toorak backyard. “When they’re pulling down villages to make way for cities, some old stone laneways are discarded in favour of new beautifully calibrated and flat pavers,” says Broad. The random shapes and length of the planks add an informality to the otherwise structured space.The recurring stone ground cover between the paving is Thymus serphyllum ‘White Creeping Thyme’ and softens the overall look of this garden retreat.