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Transform your garden with tips from The Block 2022

Transform your garden with tips from The Block 2022

This year’s theme on The Block was “tree change” so it’s no surprise that gardens took center stage. City townhouses were swapped for family homes on country-sized 10-acre blocks, and contestants took full advantage of the extra space.

So what can The Block teach us about the latest in garden design? If you want to transform your garden, here’s what to keep in mind.

Think about the lifestyle you’re trying to create

The Block’s tree change competition wasn’t just about creating a great interior. It was about selling a new lifestyle. As Judge Neale said, the successful contestants were the ones who “have actually shown us how you live in this space.”

Whether it was show-winners Tom and Sarah, who created a ‘lifestyle resort’ complete with pony pen, chicken coop, pool, basketball court and golfing green, or Omar and Oz’s fun-focused home for the more mature buyer, which includes a sauna, 40-foot shipping container pool and exquisitely landscaped gardens, the judges favoured homes with a clear vision.

Your lifestyle aims may be more modest. What’s important is that they reflect the way you want to live. If you love to host, a fantastic outdoor garden with pizza oven, outdoor deck and fire pit might be the focus. For a home your children will love, consider play structures, a garden that encourages nature play, and a splash pool for summer fun. Foodies can’t go wrong with a greenhouse and organic veggie beds for the freshest produce around. You can even take a tip from Dylan and Jenny and include a beehive for your very own artisan honey!

Have your own clear vision before you start, and you’ll be able to create the lifestyle of your dreams.

A great garden takes time to flourish

The tight timeframes on The Block mean that show-stopping structures won out. Tom and Sarah, for example, presented a staggering garden design that included a solar heated pool, half-court basketball court and pizza oven. Instant impact.

However, if you have the luxury of owning your own place, you can develop your garden more slowly. As Rachel and Ryan found out, a pinot noir vineyard doesn’t grow overnight, and judges were forced to use their imagination.

When you’re designing a garden, remember that slow and steady wins the race. Landscaping slowly allows you to work with your sunlight and shade patterns and soil type, and layer slow-growing beauties among ‘instant colour’ options.

Develop a good relationship with your trades

If you’re planning an ambitious garden design, you’ll probably need to call in specialist help. Omar and Oz wowed the judges with their sauna, mini golf course and full-sized tennis court, but they couldn’t have done it without help.

Both Ankur and Sharon, and Dylan and Jenny, were plagued throughout the show with uncooperative or overwhelmed trades. Jenny ended up in hospital after she put her foot through the unfinished deck, and had to call in family help to finish the landscaping as the gardening company was understaffed. Ankur and Sharon found themselves working through the night on their garden after their carpenters packed up early on the penultimate day. Material supply shortages also plagued this couple.

While you can’t always plan for shortages, there are things you can do to help a project go smoothly. Clear expectations upfront, and a built-in margin for extra time and costs should things go awry, will do wonders for your relationship.

Work with your landscape

Unsurprisingly, all the Block houses features incredible outdoor entertainment spaces. Dylan and Jenny’s oversized deck included a double-sided fireplace, while Ankur and Sharon’s fun pops of colour and raked ceiling made their al fresco design a stand out. Rachel and Ryan kept it rustic with a wisteria-clad arbor over huge flagstones, and Tom and Sarah created a clever chill-out space from a shipping container – complete with outdoor kitchen and bar.

To create the outdoor area of your dreams, work with the landscape you have. Firstly, maximise your views. Dylan and Jenny were dinged for placing their outdoor furniture with its back to the sweeping vista beyond. Find the best view over your garden and, if possible, angle your outdoor area to frame it.

Next, consider the garden as a whole.

For a sloping block, a soaring deck over tiered gardens can make a splash. A family-friendly design might include a semi-enclosed area where kids can play but still be in sight of parents. If your garden design allows for it, a separate entertaining space away from the house creates a sense of peace and serenity.

While most of us aren’t lucky enough to be able to live in one of The Block’s incredible four-million dollar country homes, we can still take the inspiration into our own. See you next year!

Image: Nine