Three years ago, snakes were regular yard guests at Nikki and Luke Hobbs’ newly purchased five-acre Gold Coast Hinterland property. The overgrown yard, once towering in lantarna and tobacco trees, had been ‘let go’ by previous tenants.
Rather than start with the interior of their new home, the couple decided to tackle outside first. And they had a great incentive; wanting to get married in their own (substantial) back yard!
After watching back-to-back episodes of River Cottage Australia, three years and a lot of hard yard work passed, and the couple– a builder and a stylist– were ready to unveil their landscaping while they said ‘I do’ from the comfort of their home.
Here, Nikki shares their top five ‘River Cottage’ makeover tips:
- Work with the unique shapes, contours and quirks of the existing parcel of land (ours was once a hydroponic tomato and strawberry farm boasting flat paddocks).
2. Hire in the heavy machinery to do the grunt work (ours included countless excavator bookings and eight semi-trailer loads of forest mulch).
3. Plan your landscaping for success by considering the types of plants currently thriving in your surrounds. (We also opted to hire Ryan from nearby Canopy Wholesale Nursery for expert advice and a killer yard map).
4. Naturally humans are drawn to water including creeks, dams and man-made features and therefore it was important to us to create a space we could enjoy daily (think sunset vino, morning yoga rituals and a wedding ceremony deck).
5. Highlight the natural assets such as river rocks and large established trees. For example, our two DIY rock pillars (now filled with white annual blooms) draw the eye from our house to the backyard creek.
“Learning the ropes of acreage living including operating septic systems, petrol generators and large machinery has been incredibly rewarding,” Nikki says. “Our landscaping and renovation plans for Platypus Valley Homestead will continue to evolve as we now kick off our interior renovation.”
–Country stylist Nikki Hobbs and builder husband Luke, run , an award-winning sustainable home builder located in the heart of the Scenic Rim, Queensland.