Life stages of a backyard


Staying in the same home for longer means good planning is essential. As your life changes, think about how you can change the backyard space to meet your needs.

Landscape designer Jason Hodges 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.

Here, Jason summarises the essentials for the three main life stages:

The entertainers

Entertaining remains the most popular use of the backyard. 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.

Family friendly

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. If you opt for a sandpit, it can convert into a veggie patch when the kids get older.

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; for instance, the veggie garden can become a fire pit.

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 as they are very low maintenance and easy to clean.

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