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Friday, May 13, 2016

Courtyard Garden: Paving, Garden Bed + Grass

As you may have seen snippets of if you follow Jarrah Jungle on Facebook or Instagram you will know our courtyard garden landscaping project has kicked off and I'm so damn excited about the progress we've made in the last few weeks!

The courtyard fence was built at the front of our house a few years ago but we have been focused on other projects like renovating our laundry/powder room, subdividing our block and getting married and planning our wedding. So the courtyard was left as a sandpit until we could turn our attention back to it this year and the time has come to work on this project again and finish off the landscaping and courtyard garden.

Mr P and I did all the preparation work ourselves including drawing up the courtyard garden designsetting up the reticulation ready for the grass and garden beds, installing shade sail poles (the shade sail is still being made) and clearing the area ready for the landscaping work to start.

We decided not to DIY the paving, brick garden bed or lay the grass ourselves and have turned to the professionals for this - our family's landscaping business. The main reason we aren't DIYing is because the pavers are really heavy and we'd need to hire extra equipment to move them, it would take us a lot longer to do the work just on weekends and we worked out it was more worthwhile to pay professional landscapers to do the job.

To save money we organised all the materials ourselves - yellow sand, soil, cracker dust, concrete, pavers and limestone blocks and turf. 

This is the work the landscapers have done over the last week and a bit .... 

Day 1 - Clearing and Leveling the Site

Sand and cracker dust delivered and the landscapers used this to level and compact the ground. 

The sand is used to raise the ground level of the courtyard so it's the same as the pathway to the front door. They compacted the sand down and then added a layer of cracker dust to the top.

Unfortunately they couldn't do any more work as the delivery truck for the pavers and blocks had broken down so we had to wait until the next day for delivery before any paving work could start.

Day 2 - Garden Bed Begins

Limestone pavers and limestone blocks we picked and were made by hand were delivered from our local supplier Dan-Stone.

The limestone blocks were quite cheap and they're not perfect they have some chips out of them but as they are being used for a garden bed we were happy to save some money and use these as the chips can be filled with cement mortar.

Work on the garden bed in the corner started today using the limestone blocks and a mix of cement mortar to stick them down.

Day 3 - Garden Bed Finished & Site Leveled

The garden bed was finished and lined up perfectly with the corner of the courtyard (good job lads!).

Once the garden bed was built the rest of the courtyard ground was leveled again with sand and then cracker dust and compacted flat.

The level was raised up about 5cm to meet the concrete path that runs to the front door so it's all one level - joining the path to the courtyard.

Day 4 - Paving starts

The landscaping lads started to lay the pavers today starting from the pathway to the front door and leading outwards. The pattern on the pavers were laid at the same angle to match as well.

All these little details you never notice about houses until you work on them yourselves!

Day 5 - Another Day Of Paving

More paving was laid today and the tricky bits around the edges which had to be measured and cut.

Good quality soil was delivered today for the garden beds and to lay under the grass areas.

When Mr P and I got home from work and spent 3 hours working by torch light adjusting the new reticulation and sprinkler system we installed around the grass areas.

This is because we decided to lay an extra row of pavers at the top of each grass area - so we had 4 sprinklers we had to cut and re-connect the pipe to shorten it. There were other pipes which were a little but under the paving as well so we ended up cutting and re-connecting most of them.

We also dug out all 8 corners and attached sprinkler heads and dug them in so they are in the corners perfectly - now that the paving is laid you can really see the defined area where the grass will be laid.

Day 6 - Paving Finished

The last of the paving was laid today including the extra paving we asked to be done near the two grass areas.

The pavers were then cemented in around the edges of the courtyard and the edge of the garden beds.

As mentioned, the reticulation we fixed so it was all ready for the grass to be laid. The grass we ordered was cut and delivered the same day and it was laid the next day. It's really important to lay turf as soon as you can and keep it watered so it stays cool, or it can dry out and won't grow as well.

Day 7 - Grass laying day

The turf Velveteen grass was laid today and it looks amazing. Velveteen is a high quality grass, it's drought tolerant which we need out here as it will get full sun and needs to stand up to our tough Aussie summers. It's soft and spongy to touch and is green all year round.

We had about 9 rolls (9m2) of grass leftover (as we changed the design and paved more so there was a smaller grassed area) and we had no trouble selling it on Gumtree in just a few hours.

What a transformation the paving makes - it really shows how large this outdoor space is and it will be a perfect spot to soak up the morning sun or to watch the sunset.

I'm really happy with how the grass patches look, they are both the same size, and make the garden design look symmetrical and modern. I love love love it!

Now Mr P and I are ready to get our hands dirty and seal the pavers to protect them from stains and marks, then we will get busy adding plants and pots and furniture.

Stay tuned for more courtyard garden updates coming this month!

Sharing with link parties:
Curly Crafty Mom - The Creative Corner
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays
The Dedicated House - Before and After Wednesday
The Plumbette - Home Improvement Thursday

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[All images my own]

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  1. Love it! You have been very busy and your courtyard looks amazing! I love the colour of pavement you chose. Looks great! Well done.

    1. Thanks Charlene, we have been busy, I hope we can get the gardens planted out soon!

  2. It looks fantastic Michelle. You must be so pleased. I love your tile choice. It looks better than I even imagined. Well done!

    1. Thanks Bec :) The tiles are really nice and natural looking, we just have to seal them to protect them before we move any furniture or pots out there, I don't want them to get dirty!

  3. We have an irrigation system and just LOVE it! Wow... this really looks amazing!!! I can't wait to see what you plant, etc., too!! You've been so busy! I am sure you've been feeding the hubs well, too during all of this with all of your amazing sandwiches! :)


    1. Yes irrigation is a must as I forget to water by hand and all the plants die! Yes any excuse to have a break and I'm in the kitchen making sandwiches haha :)

  4. Wow, this is fantastic. I love seeing the before and after. Your house has come such a long way over the years! You guys are so clever.
    Thanks for joining the Lovin' Life Linky. I'd be lovin' life too with this gorgeous yard.

    1. You have seen lots of before and afters over the years Leanne! It feels good to be coming to the end of the renos now with just the outside left to do :)

  5. Wow! Amazing transformation! Thanks for sharing. You are one of the features at The Round-Up from the Before & After Wednesday party at The Dedicated House. Here is the link so you can check out your feature. Have a lovely week! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

    1. Thanks so much! I'm heading over right not to check it out!! x


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