Backyard and Outdoor Living Issue #17.6 2020

Welcome to the new-look Backyard, the magazine for those who don’t just dream of an amazing garden, they want to get out there and make it happen. If the backyard is where you gather with family and friends; if you want to do more in your backyard, be that build a garden bed or lay some paving; and if you want to get your kids involved too, Backyard is what you need. Backyard covers a wide range of topics for the consumer who is doing a complete makeover. Including but not limited to Planning a Garden, Makeover Ideas, Design Advice, Water Wise Gardening, Outdoor Lighting, Pool Design, Outdoor Furniture, Garden Art, Shade Solutions and Paving Options. Purchase includes the Digital Edition and News Service. Please stay in touch via our Facebook Page.

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6 Issues

in this issue

1 min
editor’s note

It’s when the intense heat of summer finally passes that outdoor entertaining can become thoroughly enjoyable again, rather than just a) a necessity for those who have no air conditioning inside the home or b) a no-no for those who have. Having friends and family over, whether in large numbers or small, should always be a pleasure and it should also always be comfortable, easy and practical. And if your backyard can look really good while you’re at it, why not? We’re covering all these angles and more in this special outdoor entertaining edition of Backyard, with tips on the perfect outdoor cooking set-up to suit your needs (barbecue or wood-fired oven?), as well as water features (p74), how to get your audio right (p80) and introducing a little sport into…

4 min
don't miss a beat

GAMES FOR LIFE If you’re entertaining families, it’s always important to remember the littlies. Bored children can put quite a dampener on an evening get-together before you can say “tanty”, so be sure to provide something to entertain them while you’re sipping your wine around the barbecue. If you don’t have room for entire sports provisions (though check out page 87 if you do), you could plump for a moveable game such as Planet Finska’s croquet, which only requires a patch of lawn. Plum Products also has some fantastic options for amusing tearaways, including a gorgeous Mud Pie Kitchen and Nature Play Hideaway.; WOODEN YOU LOVE ONE? To truly lounge in style, you need a wooden hammock. It might sound a bit wacky, but if guests clapped eyes on this award-winning…

5 min
the makers

I SEE WILD (2017) In 2017, Phillip Withers Landscape Design captured the spirit of an entire country in its show garden I See Wild. The garden was a celebration of the Australian landscape, taking inspiration from our country’s natural rugged beauty and unique biosphere. Adorned with slabs of bluestone and hand-carved pavers, and bordered by native flowers, plants and herbs, it was a true reflection of Australia’s natural terrain. This was a space where you felt truly immersed in nature and one which remained true to the designer’s testament: “I step out the back door, I see nature, I see wild”. Fourteen boys from Warrnambool’s Clontarf Academy helped design and engrave the bluestone pavers, telling a story using Indigenous symbols. For me, the real triumph of this design is its celebration…

3 min

POCKET PARK Rather than clearing the site for the new house, the home and garden were designed to keep and care for the existing trees. Affectionately dubbed a “pocket park”, the garden is bursting with life thanks to the long-established ornamental pear and silver birch trees. One tree even goes inside an outer screening to become almost part of the home’s architecture. Defying the norm for a typical garden, this backyard enjoys the natural flora of the area, while creating a home around the garden to complement it.; JAPANESE TRANQUILLITY When designing a peaceful haven away from the hustle and bustle of life, what better style to incorporate into a garden than Japanese? Perched 90m up on a clifftop ridge overlooking Onetangi Bay, New Zealand, this garden is full of beautiful…

4 min
a permaculture perma-smile

To say Ben Shaw’s 650sqm Geelong backyard has undergone a revolution is probably something of an understatement. More than a decade ago, the 43-year-old father of two set about transforming his house into “an edible garden oasis”, embarking on a journey into permaculture from which he hasn’t looked back. “I had a clear vision to grow healthy, diverse and nutritious food for my family and friends and I wanted everyone to know that they could do the same,” he says. “The benefits were clear back then and even clearer today — locally grown food is great for families, the community and our environment.” The first couple of years spent clearing, weeding, chopping and attempting to grow various edibles taught Ben he needed more than just enthusiasm for his project to succeed, so…

1 min
ben’s top tips

1 Use and value resources close by. Most of my garden is built from salvaged bluestones, bricks, sleepers and rocks 2 Aim to have as much diversity in your garden as possible 3 Rescue some ex-battery hens! Chooks are brilliant pets — they take care of pests and help produce the best soil 4 Continually improve your soil through composting, chickens, worm farms, chop and drop, green manures and diversity of plants 5 Espalier fruit trees — it’s a great use of space. You’ll have more variety and they’re easier to net…