Landscaping

Be your own landscape designer with our easy step-by-step projects on transforming outdoor areas big and small. Solve problem spots like poor drainage and sloping sites with retaining walls, paving and pathways. Then add plants and ornamental features to make the space inviting.

Build A Picket Fence
A picket fence is ideal for Federation homes and consists of a number of evenly spaced pickets attached to two horizontal rails supported by posts spaced about 2m apart. You can build a fence by cutting all the pickets the same length, or you can...
How To Grow Plants Over A Fence

Flowering climbers like mandevilla look striking growing up wrought iron

Growing plants over a fence can conceal an ugly structure or make a decorative fence look even better. Ensure your fence can support the weight of the plants, as certain climbers like passionfruit vine grow quickly and can become very heavy. On...
6 Fence Styles

The right fence can add great aesthetic value to your property so take your time before making a decision 

A fence separates a property from adjoining lots and also provides privacy and safety at the front of the home. But a fence doesn’t need to make your place look like a prison, and can actually add value. Timber, metal and brick are the most com...
DIY Turf Pavers
For a fast courtyard makeover, you can’t go past pebbles and pavers. We covered pavers with synthetic turf to make stepping stones with a twist. Mark the paver centres 500mm apart and spread a bed of mortar for each one. Tap the pavers down with ...
DIY Turf Cutout Mat
In just an hour and on a DIY budget, you can design and create a unique floor covering for the back deck.  To make an outdoor mat of interconnected cutout shapes all you need is a large piece of synthetic turf. We used fake grass with a long 35mm...
DIY Turf House Numbers
Make eye-catching new house numbers using artificial turf. All you will need for this project are your house numbers, turf, glue and a utility knife.  Only a small list of materials are needed for this project   
6 Ways To Prepare For Bushfire Season

6 ways to prepare for bushfire season. Image: Thinkstock 

Summer is nearing and while this has many pleasant connotations (long days at the beach, barbecues, holidays), it also means the bushfire season is approaching.  In this article we list 6 ways you can fireproof your home.  1. Make a plan Review y...
Glow-In-The-Dark Path
Add a fun touch to garden pathways while making them visible at night with glow-in-the-dark paint. To make a path glow, apply a base coat of the clear sealer, then sprinkle the supplied flakes over the surface, finishing with another clear top co...
How To Install Solar Lights
Garden features can be highlighted subtly using solar lights, which don’t require mains power as they feature internal batteries that are charged by a solar panel. This is usually attached to the light itself or positioned nearby.
Bushfire Preparation

On hot windy days bushfires can move up to 25km an hour 

Another hot, dry summer means the risk of bushfire is as high as ever, so it’s vital you make preparations to ensure the safety of your home and your family. If you live anywhere near the bush, your home is potentially at risk. The majority of ho...
How To Paint Pavers

Brighten up the garden and outdoor areas using paving paint 

Give plain concrete pavers a colour boost with paving paint. First, clean up dirty or discoloured pavers, using a pressure washer to blast away grime. Scrub off any moss or algae and leave them to dry.  Apply two coats of paving paint with a wide...
How To Install A Rain Water Tank
Setting up a drip-line irrigation system on a timer ensures the garden is watered efficiently. To save water as well, you can install a tank and harvest rainwater for garden use.  Slimline tanks range from 480-4000L, with a 2000L capacity storing...
Install A Drip-Line Watering System
Ask any gardener about how to have the perfect garden and they’ll wax lyrical about the right plants in the right place, good maintenance, fertilising and keeping on top of pests and diseases.  Funnily enough, most don’t mention one of the founda...
Pond In A Pot
Water features are on the garden wishlist for most homes, but what do you do when you only have a small space or you need something portable?  The simple answer is to turn a pot into a pond. Using readily available supplies, you can convert virtu...
How To Tile A Front Entrance
Create a welcoming entrance in only a weekend by laying a new tile floor.  Has your front entrance become tired or dated? If so, it might mean your home lacks kerb appeal, but fortunately this can be easily fixed. Tiling is a quick DIY solution...
Exterior Paint Ideas

Californian bungalows are characterised by gabled roofs with overhanging eaves and a large verandah with prominent columns supporting the roof. Image: Getty Images 

Australia’s suburbs are filled with a mix of architectural styles dating back to the 19th century. Renovating a period home can be tricky, particularly where there are heritage constraints. The quickest and easiest way to restore or update a clas...
Create A Bark Chip Path
You can create a garden path in an afternoon using treated pine edging, weedmat and bark chips. This low-impact method is ideal for a pathway through garden beds and it can be repositioned much more easily than other options.  It’s also ideal f...
Guide to Paved Paths

Create a curved or straight pathway with paving bricks. Image: Thinkstock 

A durable and attractive pathway solution, pavers can withstand heavy loads. They are commonly made from concrete, clay or stone and can be laid in a variety of patterns. Paving is time consuming and labour intensive, but it can be done by compet...
Guide To Stone Paths

Add a crazy paving look to garden beds with steppers. Image: Thinkstock 

Stone pathways have a timeless look and even a newly laid path can appear like it’s been there for decades. Each path is unique as the pieces vary slightly in colour and texture. While laying stone is relatively easy, they are heavy to lift and m...
Guide To Gravel Paths

Choose a border for a gravel path that blends in with the surroundings. Image: Thinkstock 

Paths made from gravel are best for light to moderate foot traffic and are a budget-friendly option for flat areas. They require maintenance to keep them weed-free and should be topped up with fresh gravel every few years. Gravel paths need a b...
Click here to subscribe to Handyman Magazine on YouTube In this DIY video, Stuart from Handyman shows how to build a retaining wall. An old paved patio off the back of this home had recently been replaced with a new deck as part of a plan to o...
Click here to subscribe to Handyman Magazine on YouTube  In this DIY video, Adam shows how to make a concrete house number. They serve an important function, yet house numbers are often overlooked as a design feature.   So make yours stand out to m...
Establish A Rock Pool
A landscape of any size can benefit from a water feature, whether it’s a fountain in a courtyard or a garden pond.  Water brings a tranquil element to a yard, with its soothing sounds and the beauty of light reflecting on the surface. It also pro...
Lay Stepping Stones In A Day
Improve access to the house with a budget-friendly path you can lay in a day using pavers.  Garden paths are often functional concrete surfaces that are laid to protect the lawn from heavy foot traffic, and to direct visitors to an entrance point...
Design a wildlife pond
Water in any form in the garden attracts a certain amount of wildlife and adding a pond is as easy as digging a hole and filling it with water. Designing a landscape feature that provides a haven for wildlife requires a little more planning and effor...
Create a pond in a box
Normally, installing a fishpond involves digging a sizeable hole in the ground, which in turn means hours of back-breaking toil with a spade and shovel. This pond requires much less elbow grease, with an elevated design that comprises a simple box wi...
Slatted Timber Screen
Do you have an outdoor area you’d like to cover up or a spot that needs more privacy?  A timber screen is a cost effective, durable and decorative landscape cover-all that can be built in a day.  This suburban home had a large underhouse area t...
Pave A Pathway
Take a weekend to extend a paved area using recycled bricks and improve access to the clothesline.  Aussies love their lawns but in most backyards there are areas where a hard surface is needed underfoot for a barbecue or to provide access to the...
Lay Timber Edging
Everyone likes a carpet of lush green grass but no-one likes runners that creep their way into garden beds and under plants, making it a constant battle to maintain a tidy edge. A simple solution to stop grass invading beds is to install edging. ...
Easy-build Raised Bed
Define a backyard space and add visual depth by constructing a raised planter bed in front of a back fence or boundary wall. Easy to maintain, raised beds are useful in gardens with poor soil or drainage. This planter was built using three course...
Plant A Perennial Garden
Instead of trying to establish a lawn that just won’t grow, plant a perennial garden instead. Perennial plants live for two or more years. Consider the mature size of the plants when spacing and positioning them then cover the entire area with mul...
We show you how to build a pond in a pot in just an afternoon. You can find the full instructions and products used in the May 2016 issue of Handyman, out now   Bring the soothing sound and sight of water to your outdoor space with a pond in a...
Privacy Screen
Make a freestanding fence from slatted timber to shield the yard from view.  We all love spending time outdoors, but without a fence or hedge the yard can feel quite exposed.  Brick walls can have an oppressive effect, especially on a small blo...
How to Install Gutters
Replace the guttering and downpipes on your house to stop them clogging, leaking and overflowing.  The guttering is not a part of the home we often think about until something goes wrong. When gutters and downpipes become clogged or leaky, their...
Dry-stone Raised Bed
Build a stone-walled planter using a traditional stacking technique.  There is always a spot in the garden that doesn’t take well to plantings. It can be because the soil is shallow or the ground boggy.  An easy way to green up a problem site i...
Turn A Garden Bed Into A Rock Pool
In this project we show you how to turn a dried out garden bed into a lush, spring-fed rock pool.  Build an eye-catching, yet serene, artesian-style water feature for your garden in just a weekend.  This pond was designed to mimic a small bush...
Landscape For Privacy

Modern homes can put space above privacy but landscaper Charlie Albone has the solution. Image: Getty Images

Blocks are getting smaller while house sizes are getting bigger, so we’re living closer to our neighbours than ever. At the same time, we aren’t willing to give up our outdoor areas or our privacy. Homes are not just moving out but up to capitali...
Design A Garden Retreat

The look and feel of your garden oasis is limited only by your imagination. Image: Getty Images 

For many people, particularly inner-city dwellers, a courtyard is the only garden option. But even a small and dingy area can be transformed into an enchanting and restful outdoor space. Getting started The biggest part of the job is in the pla...
After concrete steps have been recapped, renovated concrete steps, Repair Cracked concrete steps,
Give outdoor stairs a makeover and a safety upgrade for only $100.  Concrete steps crack and break up over time as weather extremes cause expansion and contraction. Water can also seep in and freeze, deteriorating the edges.  Once the breakup sta...
To lay pavers like a professional, you need to create a detailed plan of the project.  You then need to put some pegs in the ground to mark out the layout of the paving.  Pick a reference point to base the placing of your marker pegs around.  Measure...
Australia’s population has passed 23 million, which means more people squeezing into cities and towns designed for far more modest numbers. About 90% of Aussies live in urban areas, most in freestanding homes, and modern block sizes are being sca...
The hard part of laying pavers is excavating the site and laying the road base.  Make sure you lay the road base to a minium of 100mm.  Before excavating, ring 1100 to find out where your phone, gas, water and sewerage lines are so you don't run into...
Great gardens really can come in small sizes, as having only limited outdoor space doesn’t mean you have to scale back your plantings or your imagination. There are lots of ways to give a postage-stamp size yard the look of a thriving garden feat...
To ensure a professional finish when laying pavers, the first thing you need to do is make sure the stringline is square to any wall you're paving up to.  Next you lay a header course, which is the first row of pavers following the length of the stri...
We show you how to cut pavers to fit around corners and steps.    It is a good idea to keep any chipped pavers for this, that way you can cut the chips off.    When measuring, don't forget to include the 5mm clearance between the other pave...
We show you how to add the finishing touches to newly laid pavers for a professional finish.   To make our edging material, we've mixed four part paving sand to one part cement and combined it using a lariet.    Before laying the edging mix...
House with path of potted plants
The agapanthus at Jecca Blake’s house had started growing across the path to the front door, making access tricky.   Says Jecca, ‘I decided to dig out and divide some of the agapanthus plus pot up a couple of camellias to create a neater entrance.’  ...
When creating a garden, some things take time. Attention to detail builds a quality garden, after all you’re going to have to live with it for a long time.   There are however two things that guarantee you near instant gratification when gardening, a...
Have you seen the retaining wall Adam Woodhams built in the July 2015 issue of Handyman Magazine?    In this video, Adam explains how to build a retaining wall using timber sleepers to make a sloping yard much more accessible and useable.  ...
Handyman Magazine, Create a Rain Garden,

Build a raingarden and help save our waterways

The hot new trend in sustainable landscape design, raingardens are taking off all over Australia, particularly in areas of high rainfall.   Also called bioretention systems, they comprise beds of free-draining soil with sand underneath, planted with...
No garden is complete until you add a water feature. They bring so many benefits including the relaxing sound of water, beautiful reflections, and the opportunity to grow a whole range of stunning plants. You can even add fish and an aquaponics bed t...
Enjoy the garden year-round by installing DIY lighting to create mood, highlight features and improve access.   There are so many different types of garden lighting that all it takes to create ambience after dark is a little imagination.  ...
A full-sized pond in the garden is a serene feature that’s easy to create. It can bring new varieties of plants to a backyard and be a showcase for fish.    Selecting Plants Aquatic plants filter pond water by absorbing metals, ammonium, nitr...
A practical and relatively inexpensive way of providing a walkway, individual stepping stones also have an enduring cottage charm. To lay the path you will need a solid rubber mallet, a spade, a trowel and some sand to stop the stones sinking. You ma...
For a long-lasting path with a smooth finish, concrete is a great option. It is made by mixing one part cement, two parts sand and four parts gravel, then gradually adding water.   To work out how much concrete you’ll need, multiply the area of...
DIY expert Frank Gardner needed to find a simple system for installing a retaining wall in a just a day. ‘The wall had to go up before the house extensions blocked access to the yard so I had to move fast,’ says Frank.   ‘I found the Retain-i...
A garden bench is the perfect place to sit and relax outdoors.

A garden bench is the perfect place to sit and relax outdoors

Effective garden design begins with space for living and resting, with comfort being the number one priority. The best seating area is created as an outdoor room enclosed with walls or foliage for a sense of security, without being dark, stifling or...