Backyard blitz advice sought

CJ 1 November 2009 12

After ignoring it for too long now in the hope it would go away, I have decided that the wasteland that was once our backyard needs a major revamp.

I’ve consulted the Yellow Pages and there are plenty of professionals advertising their services – too many, really, to knowledgeably settle on a likely few.

My approach at the moment is to favour those offering free quotes, have longstanding in the business, and (preferably) an insured and licenced operation.

However, if anyone can offer suggestions based on their own experience, I would appreciate it.

For the record, we are on the southside, and the work will likely involve tree/bush/vegetation removal and replanting, putting down a large paved area (where currently there is clay/dirt/dust and weeds, and maybe even decking repair/extension/replacement.

Who knows? I am open to the experts’ ideas (subject to our budget).

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12 Responses to Backyard blitz advice sought
Button Button 5:11 pm 04 Nov 09

Can I suggest you stay away from Prestige Pattern Concrete to help out with your pavers? They caused us nothing but grief and left our yard in a much worse state than it started out in! Including damage to existing items such as the clothes line and colour bond fence!!!

far_northact far_northact 6:40 pm 03 Nov 09

Just got back pavers done by Verity at Dimension Gardenscape. We were very happy with the personalised, quick service and the professional finish was excellent.

Thumper Thumper 8:02 pm 02 Nov 09

Yep, do it yourself. Really, it’s not that hard and the more you do, the more you learn.

And it’s great after a long day of work to just sit there with a cold beer and look at it, whatever you may have done 😉

GnT GnT 7:59 pm 02 Nov 09

Agree with getting mates to help. Professional landscapers fees are exhorbitant. Also agree with getting the plan right – put in a watering system now, and choose native/drought tolerant plants if you are not into spending every weekend in the yard.

You can organise a round of working bees with some friends who also need work done. That way you can help each other out and have a fun time doing it together.

s-s-a s-s-a 1:38 pm 02 Nov 09

Grr… work was SMALLISH in scale.

s-s-a s-s-a 1:38 pm 02 Nov 09

I agree Jason is great. He didn’t do any work at our place, but turned up when he said he was going to turn up to have a look. He was busy and the work was greatmallish in scale so he put us onto a mate of his called Andrew who has done two lots of work at our place last year and the one before.

We did the plan ourselves but got Andrew to do hard landscaping like jackhammering out old concrete, concreting, digging over the front yard, rockery, lawn edging etc. He was happy to give out some advice on plants while he was here, and have an enthusiastic 3-4yo jabbering at him practically non-stop.

Mulching was done by mates/neighbours + bbq and/or beer. The rest has been one-woman DIY.

The trick to getting it right IMO is getting the plan right, especially in Canberra where we have to cater for hot and cold extremes.

burkes08 burkes08 12:07 pm 02 Nov 09

Jason from Jason’s Gardening is good. He did my whole yard after the fires wiped it out. I have a dog in the yard too and made sure she was OK and put her inside when he needed to leave the gate open or was using heavy machinery.

Whatever you do don’t think about Jims Gardening. I got a voucher for them so wanted a bit of work done. Have rung about 5 times. Didn’t turn up twice. Then he finally turned up, said he would send me the quote, but never did. I live in Weston Creek so it’s the dude that does that area. Maybe others are better?

I can agree with all of above re mates and beer. THats what I ended up doing and its been a hell of a lot cheaper.

grunge_hippy grunge_hippy 9:32 am 02 Nov 09

yeah, nothing like an email that says “free beer” to entice people to come out and have a dig. Thats my plan once I get this baby out and have the ability to bend at the waist again.

vg vg 8:47 am 02 Nov 09

Exactly what Special G says. Our landscaping looks a million bucks. The reality was it took 2 guys 2 weekends and a few beers, with all the heavy lifting done by a mini bobcat for cash from a bloke at a building site down the road.

Cost us materials

Special G Special G 9:44 pm 01 Nov 09

Develop a plan yourself – add beers, meat and mates.

Save yourself thousands, have a great day with friends and get the satisfaction of developing your own garden.

Hire a bobcat to come in and do the big lifting work.

I-filed I-filed 9:43 pm 01 Nov 09

I’d separate the weeding/removal part from the landscaping part of the job – or you’ll be wasting “supervision” time.

On that side of the job, I’d go country. Get a rural worker to do the heavy lifting – they charge less (rural wages being atrocious, I’ve paid $30 an hour where an urban “sophisticate” charges $45-50) Make sure it’s clear whether tip fees are included in the quote …

AussieRodney AussieRodney 6:44 pm 01 Nov 09

My neighbour is a qualified landscaper, running his own business, who is unfortunately laid up from surgery until mid December. However, he would love to quote your job (I’m guessing that means a free quote). Lawrence Craig on 0424 972 302.

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