A ‘50s front garden is given a makeover

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Mid-century brick homes are mainstays of our Australian suburbs. Solid and sturdy, they were built with practicality in mind, the gardens often just an afterthought. But you can build on these basics to create a welcoming front yard full of character.

Give the front fence a new lease on life and replace the boring old concrete path that leads to the house with a stylish serving of crushed granite. Spruce up your entryway and patio and complete your revamp by filling garden beds with a few small trees underplanted by clumping grasses and flowering beauties. 

Project: Garden path

Sue Ferris

Sue Ferris

Gather your supplies

  • Paving and brickie’s sand 
  • Cement 
  • Charcoal face bricks 
  • Crushed granite

You’ll also need

  • Crowbar
  • Spirit level
  • Shovel
  • Stringlines
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Rubber mallet 
  • Trowel

Here’s how

Step 1

step 1

Sue Ferris

Use crowbar to break up and remove existing concrete path. Excavate near gate for bricked entry. 

Step 2

stpe 2

Sue Ferris

At gate, lay 50mm thick bed of paving sand that is 80mm below the finished height of the path. Mix a bit of cement into the sand so it will harden when wet. Make the sand level then lay face bricks on top, aligned with the outside of the fence. 

Step 3

step 3

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Dig narrow trenches along the sides of your path. Set up stringlines at the outside edges of your path. Blend brickie’s sand and cement in the ratio of 5:1 and mix with water in a wheelbarrow. Make the mix so it will hold its shape but will easily give when a brick is pressed into it. Shovel mortar into trench, then lay bricks on edge in mortar. Tap down using a rubber mallet until edge of brick meets the stringline. 

Step 4

step 4

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Every so often, lay a row of bricks across the path to break it up and create interest along the length. When finished, spread mortar on either side of the bricks about 30mm from the top. Splay the mortar away from the bricks with a trowel to create a wide bed. Leave mortar to set.

Step 5

Spread crushed granite between the bricks, making sure it is at least 40mm thick. Stamp down granite with your feet as you go. Finish path by sweeping off the top of the granite flush with the bricks. 

final path

Sue Ferris

Add on tech for your home

Even the older homes can be brought into the 21st century with a few nifty add-on smart devices. 

1. Lockly smart deadbolt and latch

tech

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Never search for your keys again! The touch keypad allows access for family and friends, with up to 18 different codes available. Fingerprint recognition adds an extra layer of security. It can all be controlled remotely using iOS and Android home assistant systems, and via an app that lets you monitor activity and grant access from anywhere. 

2. Eufy 1080P Floodlight

man setting up security lights

Sue Ferris

Motion-activated floodlight and security camera all in one. Record what’s on the camera or livestream directly to your phone. Alerts can also be sent and a 100 decibel siren can be sounded to scare off potential intruders. 

3. B-HYVE WIFI Tap Timer

hand holding phone open on app

Sue Ferris

Take the hassle out of watering your garden. Attached to your tap, the WiFi-connected device offers you complete control from your smartphone. Real-time weather updates let you adjust your watering schedule to deliver just the right amount of water to your garden, saving on water and money. 

What we planted

Make a pattern by repeating the placement of different plants.

Foxgloves and agapanthus

Sue Ferris

1. Foxgloves

foxgloves flower

Sue Ferris

2. ‘Baby Pete’ agapanthus 

agapanthus

Sue Ferris

3. Miscanthus ornamental grass

miscanthus

Sue Ferris

4. Coastal rosemary 

rosemary

Sue Ferris

For more garden projects pick up the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine, available now in selected newsagents and supermarkets or buy online today!

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