12 April 2014

My Home: Renovating The Pool & Pool Garden

Okay - you may have been following some of my home renovations and wondering on about our recent progress. If you say 'lets allow six months to renovate', then double it and perhaps add a little more time. Renovating, especially the DIY kind takes time. We have been busy the last few months starting and finishing some projects, but I simply haven't had time to share them with you here. Well today I am taking the time as I know many of you are wondering about our progress and whats been happening around the home! You may have been following our pool garden renovation progress - we wanted a tropical pool area and here is some of our progress photos so far. 

Initially when we moved in it was a sad, overgrown and concrete jungle kin of pool area. Real appealing! You might remember that it looked like this...

Before - when we first moved in - very overgrown and appealing mouldy brick pavers!

After we put a little love into the area, pressure cleaning the brick pavers and removing so many weeds and dead growth from the garden.

Our aim when planning the pool area renovation was to complete it over Winter 2013 so that we could work on it when the area is out of action in the cooler months. It made sense, but it never happened! We were too busy with other projects - the front deck, painting, building gardens and trying to fit a life into all of that!

So Summer 2013 arrived and so did the plan of hosting Christmas for the first time at our house. You know the feeling where you plan for just a small do, then the numbers start increasing, you realise you need more tables and chairs and what will you feed them all?! Well that was me. But there was also a bit of a mad panic of wanting the pool area complete for family and friends over Christmas. Why not make it all a little more stressful than it has to be!! We decided to pull up the brick path around the pool area and lay new foundations...yep we decided this a week and a half before Christmas! Not a good idea, but it happened and we are now thrilled with the outcome and that we had all of Summer to enjoy it. The first task was removing all of the brick path surrounds. After removing the bricks in the back lawn area to make way for new turf I knew how hard it was and knew that it took over a week for my poor arms and legs to survive the workout of brick removal. So we advertised the brick pavers on Gumtree for free, but the catch was that you had to dig them up yourself. Well, the phone ran hot and within 24 hours the bricks had been dig up and removed. Leaving us with this.

Sandy surrounds to our pool area and some buckets of weeds (but no bricks - yay!)...

I wanted to lay buffalo turf around the pool area, to soften it against the contrast of the concrete retaining walls and brick house. However turf around a pool area and its accessibility was impractical, so we looked into synthetic turf. Naturally when you think of a synthetic product you imagine a cricket pitch or similar. Well synthetic turf has developed so much since then and now looks so realistic. I gave Chris from Eco Green Synthetic Lawns  a call to see if he could help us out with the installation of turf. Keeping in mind it was the week before Christmas, he did a great job, installing gorgeous 40mm buffalo synthetic turf to match the buffalo turf we have laid throughout the yard. 

All of the pool garden renovation was DIY, except for the synthetic turf installation. Normally DIY is our style, but when it came to the turf installation and being on a steep slope and needing to ensure the foundations were correct we left it to a professional. The DIY projects we tackled to improve this area were:
- built a garden bed alongside the house
- painted the existing rock retaining walls
- installed the timber privacy screen at the top of the existing pool fence 
- we have planted murraya's and bamboo along the bottom pool fence (below image) which are growing quickly and will screen out the bottom fenceline in no time
- added a tropical garden in the existing garden bed
- painted the exterior house walls which is a massive improvement to the boring brick!
- put a timber topper onto the existing pool pump box

 Coopar loves to photobomb! He is always bringing along a toy, hoping I will throw it for him. 

So in love with this synthetic turf! So lush and it softens the pool area and makes you want to actually lie by the pool and relax!

Tropical plants blooming and shells, two of my favourite things!

One of my favourite bits of the poolside garden - this ponytail plant that we picked up on a Council kerbside pickup for FREE! It is loving its new home, surrounded by blooming bromeliads and a constant run off of water

I am in love with this wild ginger. Initially it was just a few pieces of dead looking stalks, but it absolutely loves the shallow mulch we have planted it in.

I just love this orchid that has spread its roots around the palm tree trunks!

I am so happy with the end result and wouldn't change a thing. The pool area reflects the common theme of the house - tropical gardens full of colour and contrast, wooden features and the magic of paint to transform! Now we just need to have a pool party I think :P


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  2. fabulous Ashlea. What a transformation! And i would never have thought to use synthetic turf.

    1. Thank you! I know who would have thought that daggy synthetic turf had come this far and could actually look good! Thanks for reading x

  3. Oh my goodness!!! What a makeover! It looks AMAZING! You should be very proud. The synthetic turf looks fantastic, I love that ginger plant (I want to grow one now!) and nice find on the bromeliad. I've found a few plants on vergeside pickup and they have all thrived :) Isn't it funny how deadlines like family gatherings or parties can really make us get our butt into gear to finish something. It's always so stressful - but then it ends up not being so bad, because we have something finished and beautiful at the end of it. I hope you threw Coopar's toy for him :) xx


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