The adventure of trying to make a house a home that we built for our family of six plus some craft, home décor, recipes & any family fun we might have.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Landscaping Part One - Retaining Wall.

Back in December we celebrated 6 months in our new house and we got to thinking that it was about time we got the landscaping done. There were a few reasons for why it was important for us to start on the landscaping. The children spend too much time inside, so having grass means that they can get outside and play. Secondly, I could start creating a vegetable garden in the hopes that it would start producing vegetables that I can use (thus saving us money) and lastly it will finish off the house while also providing street appeal.

Originally Mr Opoes and I wanted to do the landscaping ourselves but after getting a few quotes we quickly realised that it wasn't as simple as we had initially thought. We needed to build two retaining walls which we would have to get someone in to do due to the fact that neither Mr Opoes or I had the confidence that wed be able to do it correctly. However, what was more of an issue was that with four children finding the time to do the job ourselves was humanly impossible. The other issue we faced would be the weather, especially during summer when the temperatures and humidity can get really high. So after doing some calculations we realised that it could take us anywhere up to 6 months to do the job ourselves and during this time we'd need to have the children babysit which would take sometime to organise.

With less than a week before Christmas our lovely landscaper Barry and his boys arrived at 6.30am to start doing the prep work for the retaining wall. I was a little shocked especially as I'd only just woken up, I was still in my p.j's and I hadn't had my morning cup of tea. So Barry ran us through what they'd be doing in the two working day's left in 2012 and they got to work. We have opted for a concrete retaining wall as it'll last longer than a timber one. The timber retaining walls need to be replaced every 10-12 years and I don't really want to have the grass and vegetable patch driven over with a bobcat so using concrete was a better option. However, although the concrete lasts longer cost wise its more expensive.

So at the conclusion of 2012 we had the retaining walls completed and from here we could see how much backyard the kid's would have to play in. As we live on a battle axe block the majority of the landscaping will be happening at the rear but we are also making a few little improvements along the driveway so that we can add street appeal to the property. Here are a few before and after pictures for you to see.

All the supplies for the retaining wall.

Before: right hand corner of backyard.

After: right hand corner of backyard

Before: left corner of the backyard near rain water tank.

After: left corner of the backyard near rain water tank.

Before: looking towards the front of the house, left side.

After: looking towards the front of the house, left side.

I will share some more pictures and details with you next week as things progress a bit more. I'm hoping that everything will be finished by the end of January so that the kids can spend some time playing outside from about mid-February especially as summer will be coming to an end. Who knows to celebrate we might fire up the BBQ, eat sausages and Mr Opoes might even have a cold beer as he looks over Barry's work.



  1. I cant wait to see how it progresses Megan. So cool!!!

    1. I'm really excited about the landscaping, it'll mean that everything is finally finished and that the children can get outside and run around. One thing that we have come to realise is that we need to put gates on the side of the house to keep the kids in haha.