The evolving backyard

backyard june the fence 2019

Tips for ensuring your backyard can suit your family for life.

To better understand the role the backyard plays during our lifetime, Jason Hodges, Hodges, award winning landscape designer, worked with Adbri Masonry to create a versatile backyard renovation in Narabeen, Sydney, highlighting how the one ‘base’ garden design could suit a family for life.

“In our Narabeen renovation we built a structural area, a paved courtyard with some planter boxes and chic breezeblock shade screen feature, and then dressed it differently to suit various needs,” says Jason.

Jason summarises the essentials for the three main life stages.

1. The entertainers

Entertaining remains the most popular use of the backyard for many reasons.

The outdoors brings an entirely different dynamic to entertaining family and friends.

One of the most important elements for this space is the foundation and a paved courtyard is a great option for creating a flat, stable platform to define your space.

A courtyard can double as the barbeque area, kitchen and dance floor for the extra special occasions.

The best part about entertaining outdoors is it’s much easier to clean up.

2. Family friendly

Despite 92.7 per cent of respondants confirming that it is “very important” for children to play outside for their development and wellbeing, over a third admitted that their children played outdoors for just one to three hours per week.

This is compared to 44.9 per cent that said their child spent six to 14 hours per week on screens such as phones, TVs and computers.

The main priorities for families creating a kid friendly backyard are safety and style.

Fencing to create a safe place to play is essential and you can dress up these areas with vertical green walls or decorative screening.

In this instance, a clutter-free courtyard, with some informal seating in the way of raised garden beds and plenty of room for sports and games, allowed space for a sandpit that can easily transition into a living herb and veggie garden as the kids get older.

3. Empty Nesters

When your family entertaining area is only used for two, functionality and maintenance become the most important aspects.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but some cosmetic changes will make all the difference to how you can use this space.

The veggie garden can become a fire pit. I love these in backyards, they are natures’ TV.

To truly repurpose this space, invest in a new piece of furniture that perfectly suits the two of you.

It’s at this point that the decision to use concrete pavers pays dividends. Pavers are very low maintenance and easy to clean, allowing you more time for relaxing and less time maintaining!

This article was first published in The Fence magazine.