Whether it’s starting a veggie patch or oiling the deck, we all have a ‘projects to do’ list sitting somewhere — and let’s be honest, it’s probably been sitting there unchanged for quite some time. Well, not anymore!
According to Centenary Landscaping, outdoor projects like paving the patio aren’t as hard or time consuming as we think and can actually be done in one weekend!
So with a long weekend coming up, we asked the Centenary team what projects we should tackle and how we should tackle them.
Jazz up your outdoor space
If you’ve been meaning to do something about your outdoor area for quite some time, pot plants are one of the easiest and cheapest ways to jazz it up.
Adding decorative pots and colourful plants to a patio, balcony or veranda can really bring a tired looking space back to life.
Introduce some colour into the space with potted Dracaenas, which have beautiful patterns and come in electric pinks, purples, yellows and greens or lush green ferns.
For a smaller space, add hanging pots filled with bright coloured flowers like pansies or petunias.
If you’re after a more sophisticated look, group a bunch of silver pots in different sizes in one corner, add a range of lush green plants and then finish the tops with white pebbles. You could even add a small water feature in the middle, for a zen garden feel.
Pave your patio
If paving a patio has been on your to do list for quite some time now, this Easter weekend is the perfect time to do it!
Depending on the state of your yard, an area of about 6 metres by 6 metres is easily achievable in one weekend.
Before the weekend starts though, make sure you’ve ordered and bought everything you need – you don’t want to end up with a half finished job! For this reason, it’s important to write yourself a checklist and a plan!
If you’re starting with an existing paved area that needs clearing, always allow for more time. It’s best to have the area clear beforehand.
First, outline the project area using string and make sure your lines are straight (unless your patio is circular).
To avoid water pooling on your pavers, you want to make sure your patio is on a slight slope away from your home – so you will need to dig out the area accordingly.
Once the area is all prepared and ready to go, you’ll need to lay your base material. Use coarse gravel for the base, as it helps with water drainage.
When that’s down, insert your edge restraints and then cover the gravel with a layer of sand. Now, it’s time to lay the pavers. Using a level, make sure each paver is level and in line.
Once all the pavers are down, sweep the rest of your sand into the gaps in-between the pavers to lock them into place. Done!
Seal your pavers
Just like cleaning your hardwood floors, vacuuming your carpets or painting your bedroom walls, cleaning and sealing your pavers can add an instant lift to an area.
If your pavers are looking a little worse for wear, borrow a high pressure cleaner from your neighbour and blast the dirt right off! Then, treat your pavers with a specialised cleaning solution, let them dry and paint a sealer on the next day. They’ll look brand new!
Depending on the size of your area, doing this yourself can save you hundreds of dollars!
Build a small retaining wall
For a retaining wall in one weekend, it’s best to use link wall retaining blocks, which require no engineering, concrete, mortar or glue.
Like with the paving project, make sure you order your gear in advance. Then, make a sketch and decide on the size and shape you want the wall to be.
Level out the ground, stack the blocks up and you’re done!
Make a day of it and invite your mates around to help – tell them to bring beer.
Plant a veggie garden
Veggies can be planted in just about any container or garden bed, so you don’t need a huge yard, special equipment or a lot of time to get one started.
You can find a range of raised garden beds and pots at your local nursery, and vertical gardens are great for herbs!
All you need to do is fill your pots or bed with some good quality soil and then plant your chosen veggies or herbs!
Some of the best veggies and herbs for beginners are mint, leafy greens, cherry tomatoes, basil and spring onions. You can even throw in some strawberries!
Oil your deck
If your deck is looking tired and old, a new coat of oil is in order and it won’t take very long at all!
Depending on the state of the deck (rotting timber is definitely not good), a good clean and a couple of coats of oil may be all you need.
Start with scrubbing and removing all the dirt and oil. Once dry, apply two coats of deck oil.
Jobs like sanding nail head flattening and board replacement will add time to your project and could easily push it over until the next weekend. For the best results, do all the hard work like sanding and nails first and then apply your cleaners the day before you plan to oil.
Build a timber paling fence
You’re probably sitting there thinking “Building a fence!? That’ll take days of back-breaking work!” Not if you prepare everything beforehand!
All you really need equipment-wise for the job is a saw, a hammer and nails, a shovel and wheelbarrow.
The hardest part of it all is actually digging your post holes, so it’s best to dig and set your posts on Saturday and finish off the rails and palings on Sunday. A great tip to save time is by making sure you paint your palings before installation.
If it’s a boundary fence, split the cost of material with your neighbours to save money.
For more information on Centenary Landscaping or for outdoor project tips and tricks visit www.centenarylandscaping.com.au
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