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Tame Your Garden With Concrete

Gardens and outdoor areas can be a lot of work, but you can easily tame your garden with decorative concrete.

Regardless of how large or small the area, landscaping is an exciting makeover process that gives a sense of order and personalised style to your outdoor space.

One of the most effective materials for landscaping is concrete, which can be used to turn any backyard into a modern and inviting garden oasis.

Decorative concrete options such as coloured concrete and exposed aggregate with natural stone can be used in a wide variety of ways to add beauty and functionality, from paths and patios, to retaining walls and pool surrounds.

These are just some of the tips for using concrete to tame your garden, and create a low-maintenance and welcoming outdoor area.

Paths:

Concrete paths are one of the simplest ways to bring order to a garden and draw the eye to a linear passageway through the outdoor area.

Using decorative concrete gives any space a sense of individuality and structure.

You can select from a range of concrete colours and finishes to create landscaping that complements your home and the local surrounds.

The use of decorative concrete isn’t limited to the backyard. Coloured concrete and exposed aggregate are popular options for decorative concrete driveways too.

Plants and foliage:

Concrete planters and pots can be used to bring order and form to a garden, while creating a neutral and natural colour palette.

Textured concrete such as exposed aggregate can be used to decorate empty corners, or to create a focal point in a patio.

Vertical garden walls can be used in small gardens, courtyards and balconies, adding a natural decorative effect.

Using concrete in your garden can also help to control plant growth and minimise weeds, creating a low maintenance space while embracing plant life.

Decorative additions:

Decorative concrete features can be added to any garden or outdoor area, livening up the space while creating unity and flow.

Concrete sculptures and vases can be positioned to create an organised and welcoming look, while garden screens and water features help to section and divide a garden.

If space saving is a priority, then more streamlined or taller concrete ornaments can be used.

Overall, sectioning off and ordering your outdoor area helps to tame the garden, creating an inviting and peaceful space.

Patios and entertaining areas:

Enjoying the great outdoors is a big part of life in Australia. And most homeowners want an attractive outdoor area to entertain friends and family.

Decorative concrete can be used for everything from patios to swimming pool surrounds, allowing you to choose concrete colours and aggregates to complement your home.

There are many ways to further beautify a concrete patio including lighting, furniture and further landscaping. You could even consider a concrete bench seat with added cushions for a luxe earthy look.

Garden beds and borders:

Concrete can be used to create decorative borders or patterns.  Additionally, using concrete to create garden beds and borders provides greater weed resistance, reduced mosquito breeding, and a greater sense of style.

So, is there a limit to just how much of a garden should be remodelled with concrete? The balance is perfected by combining decorative concrete and stone with other natural materials and plenty of fresh natural greenery.

With such a wide selection of colours and finishes to choose from, decorative concrete is the perfect option for creating a unique garden that remains inviting and visually appealing for years to come.

For more information, tips and tricks on using decorative concrete indoors or out, visit the Geostone blog archive or contact us today.

Weatherproof Outdoor Entertaining Areas

Aussies love the great outdoors. So whether it’s a huge backyard or a small balcony, outdoor entertaining areas are a must for every Australian home.

But even the ‘sunburnt country’ is prone to unpredictable weather, including extreme heat, flooding rain, storms and sometimes snow.

That means weatherproofing outdoor entertaining spaces is vital to ensure comfortable year-round enjoyment of your alfresco area.

Creating a truly weatherproof space requires a little more than an outdoor umbrella. There is a wide range of inclusions to consider and a number of materials that can help make your outdoor entertaining area a hit with guests, come rain, hail or shine.

In this article, we take a look at just some of the ways you can weatherproof your outdoor area.

Define the area

While you could put a roof over your entire backyard if you really wanted to, we don’t recommend it. So it’s important to define the area you wish to have undercover as the first step to weatherproofing your outdoor entertainer’s dream. This might be in the form of a veranda, patio, gazebo or other extension of your home.

Choose waterproof flooring

Some flooring and decking options can be prone to rotting, splitting, or termite damage. Decorative concrete is a long-lasting durable flooring option that comes in a range of finishes including exposed aggregate, coloured concrete, and honed concrete. All of these options can be suitable for an outdoor entertaining area, giving you the opportunity to create a welcoming space that is not only visually appealing but practical in all weather conditions. Asking for outdoor sealer on your decorative concrete will also help to ensure longer lasting water resistance.

Think about drainage

The slope of your block, water runoff, and the positioning of gutters, downpipes, and drainage grates should all be considered when building your outdoor entertaining area. Does the space need to be built up? Will the foundations need to be levelled? Are any other changes needed to reduce the chance of flood damage? These are all questions you should discuss with your builder, concrete installer and other service providers.

Temperature control

If there is minimal air flow in an outdoor entertaining area or balcony, the space can get very warm, very quickly. Installing a few ceiling fans can go a long way to helping make the space more comfortable for you and your guests in warm weather. Similarly, having an outdoor heater available for those chilly evenings or winter weekend barbecues will help to ensure everyone stays warm and enjoys their time.

Opt for durable materials

Regular indoor furniture including tables and chairs, rugs and cushions are not suitable for the outdoors. Using materials and items specifically made to be outside will extend their lifespan and aid in avoiding issues like mould growth, rot or fading.

Plan for all occasions

When we think about weatherproofing, we often think about protecting against rain. But it’s also just as important to create an outdoor entertaining area that provides protection from the harsh sun and windy conditions too. Creating an all-weather outdoor entertaining area requires more than just a beautiful view of the backyard swimming pool. When planning the placement of your outdoor entertainment area, be sure to consider the position of the sunrise and sunset, strong sea breezes or cross winds, and take advantage of natural shade from trees.

Visit the Geostone blog archive for more inspiration and information on decorative concrete, and contact us today for a quote or more details.

Cool Pool Surrounds

Before the sun goes down and the barbecue is fired up, it’s your pool that is usually the centre of attention on a hot summer’s afternoon. It’s perfectly understandable that you want the pool to capture that attention in a very eye-catching way, and cool surrounds can help you make that desired impression.

 

One of the keys to creating beautiful pool surrounds is integration with the rest of the backyard. There’s nothing wrong with bold, contrasting touches here and there, such as a brightly coloured feature wall, or clever lighting effects, but the overall impression should be one of a pool area that fits in beautifully and naturally with its surroundings.

 

An intelligent selection of plants can help achieve this sense of integration. Plants similar to the ones already in the garden might strongly emphasise the flow from back yard to pool area. Similarly, furniture that reflects the architecture and age of the home can also help to form a seamless impression. Indoor outdoor flow is seen as a major selling point these days, and creating a similar feeling from back yard to pool area might be seen as just as desirable.

 

A pool’s immediate surrounds should have the biggest visual impact, so pay extra attention to the surface you choose. Timber decking might once have been the “go to” surface, a staple of many Australian pools. Today, however, decorative concrete seems to be leading the charge as people look for more innovative ways to combine looks with practicality. Decorative concrete can achieve this in many ways:

  • Exposed and honed concrete have slip-resistant properties that many other surfaces lack.
  • Coloured concrete can be used as a border or pattern amongst exposed or honed concrete. It can be customised to complement other features of the back yard and tie everything together.
  • Mosquitoes are less likely to breed under concrete surfaces.
  • Weeds cannot grow through concrete pool surrounds.
  • The raw texture of Australian stone in exposed concrete can create a striking visual effect around water.
  • Concrete is comfortable on bare feet, while honed concrete is smooth and very easy to walk on.
  • Decorative concrete is versatile with a wide range of design options.

 

For these, and other reasons, decorative concrete is a smart choice as the centrepiece of your cool pool surrounds. In conjunction with the right plants, furniture and accessories, it has the potential to give you a stunning yet easy-care surface.

One final note, the most important thing surrounding your pool should always be the fence. Safety must be a high priority, even as you’re trying to create great looking pool surrounds. By all means, go all out when designing your pool area, but keep in mind the safety of everyone who will use it. A good idea is to go to the Royal Lifesaving Society’s website for their Home Pool Safety Checklist. When you’re creating your cool pool surrounds, refer to this checklist as often as you refer to your wish list.