Backyard and Outdoor Living Issue#14.6 2017

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.

Universal Wellbeing PTY Limited
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
editor’s note

My dad often tells the story of when he was a little boy, and he and his five siblings would dart out the door straight after breakfast to play. They would roam the streets and parks and play down by the creek until sunset, when his mother would call them in for dinner. Sounds a bit like a Mark Twain novel to me, but the point is that kids virtually lived outside back then. Of course, it’s a very different world today. There are more people and cars around. Understandably, stranger danger is at the forefront of every parent’s mind and in a bid to keep their kids safe, modern technology is a welcome distraction. At the same time, a lot of parents are searching for ways to get their…

3 min
don't miss a beat

GET CRAFTY If you’ve got some spare time on your hands or you simply want something to distract you for a little while, a new hobby or craft project could be just what you’re looking for. is a fun new website chock-full of craft patterns and projects that you can download instantly. Garden-related projects include a nifty garden apron and a seed wallet that helps you plan your year of planting. If you’re a dog lover, you can even make soft dog toys or a throw for your dog’s kennel. All patterns are created by industry experts with easy-to-follow instructions, so anyone can have a go. RACK OFF The weather is fine and it’s the perfect time to entertain family and friends in your backyard. Unfortunately, the flies and other pesky…

6 min
the makers

SALVAGE MISSION Introducing recycled style into your garden is a good excuse to tap into your creativity: broken tiles and plates can be used to create mosaic wall art or feature insets in paved areas, old railway sleepers can be used for garden edging or steps, a disused timber door can be turned into a tabletop, an old bathtub can be turned into a water garden, a wagon wheel can be propped in a corner and used as a decorative element, and on it goes. In this garden, designed and built by Phillip Johnson Landscapes, exceptional use has been made of a variety of recycled materials, including salvaged timber which was employed in the construction of the outdoor room. In a space-maximising move, a rooftop garden was integrated into the structure,…

6 min
fairy corner

Hidden behind a distinctive band of forest trees on a winding stretch of road in the hills near Berry, on the NSW South Coast, there is an enchanted garden. It has all the attributes gardeners seek: deep, rich basalt soil, a cool to moderate temperature and usually good, regular rainfall. It could be considered a gardener’s paradise. It was to this gorgeous neck of the woods that Ian and Norma Norris moved in l984. THE NEXT CHAPTER After working and raising a family in Sydney, they were looking for somewhere with good soil, an agreeable “retirement” climate, lovely views and an uncomplicated lifestyle. The property they found, perched on the mountain top, filled the bill perfectly. The small acreage the couple bought was completely bare, just grass. The new house was small but…

7 min
our garden, our passion

As much as we love calling it our garden, we are more caretakers of it. My parents bought this property 14 years ago and began by transforming the very run-down 1930s Californian bungalow into a magnificent, eco-friendly, mud brick masterpiece. Much of the building was done by my father and a team of labourers, who often included me and my three younger brothers. For many years, the “garden” was largely a mass of (regularly mown) grass and weeds with several lovingly planted fruit trees and raised vegetable beds. It wasn’t until 2006, when the house was finished, that my parents turned their full attention to creating a garden space that both complemented the house and provided a space for food production and relaxation. In March 2009, my parents decided to move overseas…

3 min
design a life

“For me, having the right environment means I can create in harmony” Tai Schaffler’s heart has always been firmly rooted in the countryside. However, this New Zealander’s achievements and aspirations are very much big city. Based in south-east Queensland in the beautiful valley of Tallebudgera, Tai operates her international homewares brand, Bandhini, in a setting that could only be described as idyllic. Tai’s passion for good design that is also ethically and ecologically responsible can be attributed to decades of travel and living in countries where a healthy environment dictates wellbeing. When Tai and Andrew Zdanowicz — her equally talented designer partner — first came across their hinterland property, a certain tree caught Tai’s eye. Fondly named Ralph, this beautiful 240-year-old western red cedar ironically survived due to asymmetry. Historically, the stunning…