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Garden Path Project

Garden Path Project

Mat Hollingsworth
Mat Hollingsworth

6 min read

When we bought our house in Budgewoi we knew that we'd need to replace the dodgy old asbestos shed at some point. We ended up doing it almost straight away.  

Prue celebrating our first afternoon in the new house. 

The first job was to clear away the scraggy old garden beds, scrappy pavers and shade cloth off the back of the house: it took me many  weekends over many months! Every time I put a spade in the ground, I'd hit building rubble, broken bricks, old ceramic pipes, chunks of concrete or old fence posts. The Yucas were full of wasp nests and had stubborn roots.

Once I'd removed most of the junk from the backyard, we were ready to demolish and replace the shed.

Shed demolition guys on the security camera

We then had a deck built in the outdoor area off the back of the shed. We also installed a trough, a toilet, added some garden taps, external power outlets and shade/privacy screens on the east and west ends of the deck.

We also got a quote to add a paved path to connect the house and add a small deck off the back of the house, but it was out of our budget. So the shed has remained connected to the back of the house with a naturally formed sand path.

So, while on lockdown for COVID-19 and with both Prue and I off work, we decided it was time to take on this project ourselves.

I started by measuring and marking out the path. I then built some frames from 19mm plywood, then dug out the path and placed the frames. I also added in the border edging fro the garden bed. I had calculated that I'd need 2.1 cubic meters of gravel so but I ordered three cubic meters just in case.

I then started digging out the remaining sections of the path and backfilling the hole with quarter minus gravel.

Once I had evenly filled then path I worked on the garden bed. I started by levelling the sand and then laid the weed mat. I then placed each plant, dug a hole and filled with native plant potting mix, planted the plants and then filled the bed with leaf mulch.

I decided to make a little feature out of some old ceramic pipes that I dug up in the process.
Otto was pretty please with the upgrade to one of his favourite nap spots.

For the plants, we chose a Dorothy Gordon Grevillea as the feature. Surrounding it we added a Bronze Rambler Grevillea ground cover, a Roller Coaster Banksia ground cover and another small Banksia shrub and some native grasses. It will be VERY full with pink  flowers from the Grevilleas and yellow flowers from the Banksias when mature. We'll most likely need to heavily prune or relocate some of them in a few years.

I also connected the garden bed with our irrigation system with a variable head dripper to each plant.

I forgot to take any more progress pics, but the next stage was to continue the path along the back of the house.

Meanwhile Prue was painting over the Mission Brown to match the Ironstone shed.

I repeated the above process and then added pavers ( I ran out of pavers, so there are a few more to add to connect with the outdoor shower). I also added a few cheap solar lights to illuminate the path at night.

But it's pretty much done! We're happy with the result. Only final touches that remain are to paint the old concrete steps and pad in the Shale grey of the shed and place the remaining pavers.

Before & After

Total cost was about $600 including ply, gravel, plants, pavers,  weed mat border edging. Plus about three days labour. My calculations for the gravel we pretty spot on. But I still have a little leftover (perhaps one scoop) which I'll use to pad in around the pavers to help keep them in place.

I now have a massive pile of sand that I need to deal with. I think that I'll use it to make a trailer pad on the other side of the shed.

This is about half what I dug out to make the pathway. Probably about 5 cubic meters in total.