Drought tolerant, tropical landscaping

Grand Hyatt Kauai lobby

Often you model the ‘theme’ of your home based around a holiday destination or even an event/time in your life. In our case, this involved both – we were in Hawai’i for both our engagement and wedding. So, naturally we wanted a home that had a similar landscape. But in water conscious areas of the world, a tropical garden is often considered to be bad form. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t have to be.

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How does landscaping add to the value of your home?

Quality LandscapingAs we start our never-ending task of landscaping our home, I did a bit of research around the benefits of having a well landscaped home. Needless to say, the benefits significantly outweigh any pain and hardship you might endure doing it yourself.

There are few home improvements that a homeowner can undertake that add as much increased value and marketability to a property as dramatically as landscaping does. Landscaping provides a number of remarkable benefits.

According to studies (likely funded by landscaping companies), landscaping can actually increase property value by 14 to 20 percent. A simple landscaped patio can add an additional 12.4 percent to the value of a home. Even smaller projects can raise the value of the property significantly; landscaped curbs add up to 4.4 percent in value and the addition of hedges raises value by as much as 3.6 percent. Landscaped properties also sell an average of six weeks faster.

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More soil, more work

Bricks and the house

Our house, before bricking.

I think the grand total to date was 21 tons of topsoil, roadbase, and garden soil. Yesterday that tally rose to 28 tons, with another six sitting in our front yard ready to go today. I must admit though, the yard is already looking different – no weeds, no bare soil. I’ve even started on the brick edging with the left over bricks from our build. Amazingly though, we’ll be able to edge our entire garden bed with bricks, and will still have almost a palette of bricks left over.

So…in an attempt to get rid of our leftover bricks (Whitsundays Range, Brampton colour), I am offering the lot to anyone who needs them, and can move them for us. If you’re interested, comment on this post with how you’d use them and the winner gets them – free. Please note, they’re in our backyard without a way to get anything bigger than a wheel barrow in.

If you guys have any other questions, feel free to contact me with your questions.

Organising our life

Liberty 42 at Stonecutters Ridge

Unpacking is a lot like Christmas – each box you open you find stuff you’ve completely forgotten about. Especially if you build a house and it has all been in storage for months!

We’ve spent the better part of the last few week unpacking the intimidating stacks of boxes in our ‘staging area’, but within the same time period, we’ve done a lot more including:

  1. The fence installed
  2. Concrete poured for the driveway, walkway, front patio, two backyard patios
  3. Shovelling 3 tons of road base for the side of the house (stones and pavers to follow)
  4. Moved 20 tons of topsoil and mixing in to the terrible clay soil we’ve got
  5. Laying 160 sqm of turf
  6. Did I mentioned we moved house?

It’s truly amazing how much more work there is when moving into a new home rather than one that’s been occupied before! You’ve got to think about stuff like the fencing, driveway, mailbox, services (ie. Telstra, Foxtel, etc.) and in our case – turf so the dog doesn’t bring dirt and mud into the house every time he needs to go outside.

In addition to all this, we decided to take carpet and tiling out of contract which meant trying to schedule these guys in as well – all before the furniture even arrived. Phew!

But, we’re in. We are living in our new home that has been a long time coming, and it’s great. Unfortunately with all the activity and the different projects we’ve set upon ourselves, I haven’t even taken my camera out of it’s bag yet, let alone even post for awhile. I do promise to take pictures soon, so stay tuned. We’re still here – and we’ll continue to post about our adventures.

Hope all is well out there in internet-land!

A Balinese style landscaped backyard

As Megan and I continue on our quest to prepare for and create a backyard oasis in which we can enjoy what little free time we have, we find ourselves constantly returning to the resort style living we love so much. It’s something I’ve really liked for a long time, and after getting married at the Hyatt on the Island of Kaua’i, Megan has come around to it as well.

On Boxing Day 2009, we had a BBQ at a friends house here in Sydney, and were thoroughly impressed with the landscaping (and hardscaping) they’ve completed in their backyard. With an amazing timber pergola and lush tropical landscaping, this was exactly the look we’re likely to strive for…

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