There are so many materials you can work with to create a space for entertaining or seating. But to do it well and cheaply, you can’t go past deco-granite and recycled bricks. They look great and fit easily into any landscape.
Gather your supplies
• Brickie’s sand n Cement n Recycled bricks
• 40 x 500mm galvanised pipe
• Coloured deco-granite (we used a light brown)
• Selection of plants (we used pittosporum, dietes, elaeagnus, loropetalum Syzygium australe ‘Resilience’)
You’ll also need
Set-out paint; plate compactor (hired); pointed trowel; rubber mallet; wheelbarrow; spirit level; straightedge; shovel; bolster; masking tape; sledge hammer; shade umbrella; rake; broom; garden soil mix; mulch
Step 1 Choose a suitable spot in your garden that’s large enough to accommodate a seating area and garden beds around it. If necessary, remove turf and roughly level area using rake. Mark dimensions of paved area using set-out paint, then dig a shallow trench around inside of marked perimeter, roughly 30mm deep and 300mm wide.
Step 2 Add 4 parts brickie’s sand and 1 part cement to wheelbarrow. Blend thoroughly, then slowly add water until mixture is stiff. Starting in 1 corner and using straightedge as a guide, shovel a quantity of mortar along section of trench and smooth with trowel.
Step 3 Starting in corner, position a brick on mortar and gently tap into place using rubber mallet. Repeat laying mortar and bricks for entire perimeter, checking level as you go. Where necessary, use a hammer and bolster to carefully cut bricks to fit or to sit flush against existing garden beds. Allow to set.
Step 4 In centre of paved area (or wherever you want shade umbrella to stand), dig a 550mm hole. Tape 1 end of galvanised pipe and position un-taped end into hole. Backfill hole and compact with sledge hammer, ensuring pipe sits just a fraction above ground level.
Step 5 Spread deco-granite evenly over area. Wet and compact using plate compactor. Sweep excess granite off bricks.
Step 6 To plant up surrounding area with selection of plants, firstly position plants in their pots on ground and arrange as desired. Then plant, backfill with garden soil mix and dress with mulch. For privacy or to hide services, plant a small hedge. Dig a trench as deep as plant’s root ball, position plants in trench and backfill with garden mix. Water in well.
Step 7 When ready to use, remove masking tape from pipe and insert shade umbrella. Cover opening when not in use.