Six on Saturday – W50/2020 – Changes in three years – before and after photos

Last week I gave you a little insight into some of the projects we have undertaken in the past three years to create our garden. This week I will do six before and after views to show just how much the garden has changed.

During our first year in Mapleton not many changes were made to the garden as we needed to get a feel for the area, climate and local vegetation. Eventually we began to implement ideas. We systematically removed lawn, improved the drainage and soil, and brought in 4 cubic metres of local lovely red topsoil, plus cow and horse manure and lots of mulch to add organic matter. Borders were edged with second hand bricks, hundreds of them!! The water easement was converted from a lawn to a dry riverbed, which helps slow down the overland runoff allowing more rain water to penetrate the soil.

Our overall philosophy is to provide a haven for beneficial pollinators, birds and other wildlife by planting mainly native and bee friendly plants. The lawn was replaced with garden beds and informal pathways to create a more natural environment which, along with the plants, will hopefully attract a variety of species.

I am using the ‘Image Compare’ block item of WordPress to show the progress that has been made within the past three years. Please note that the before and after images do not line up exactly, but because of the vast differences between the two photos, I feel it does not totally detract from the overall effect.

Here are the changes we have made:

  1. The first view of the garden is from the driveway. The two tall palms planted adjacent to the house and the clump of golden cane palms have all been removed. The original pathways have been retained, but the pathway going off to the right hand side to the pedestrian entrance has been redone and a small bridge was constructed to allow for excess water to flow more easily across the garden via a dry river bed.

2. Standing in the driveway and looking across the front garden towards the north, with the road to the left, and the neighbours’ house in the background. The new pergola over the bridge is up and nearly completed.

Front garden

3. From the opposite side of the front garden, looking back towards the driveway. The palm tree outside the house has gone, the bump in the pathway leading from the pedestrian entrance to the right has been replaced with a wooden bridge and the pergola, and a dry riverbed has been put in running from the driveway towards the camera. This serves to drain away excess runoff from the garden, via the water easement (behind the camera) which runs down the side of the garden to the back.

Front garden

4. The old pedestrian entrance is still a work in progress. Last year the entrance was closed off with the white trellis to protect a beneficial wasp nest that was discovered hanging from the Banksia rose. The wood making up the old pergola needs to be replaced. The new pergola is in place over the new bridge and between the old pergola and the house.

Pedestrian entrance

5. The border on the southern side of the garage has been defined and planted out with shrubs, and extended down into the back garden.

Southern side of the house

6. The northern side of the house has had both sets of golden cane palms removed, and new borders put in. As you can see, this area is still a work in progress as the path needs to be completed, and the dry river bed extended down to the fence dividing the front and back gardens.

Northern side of the house

It is often hard to recall what the original garden looked like before all the landscaping and construction took place, and these comparison photos are a pleasant reminder of what we have achieved so far. But gardens are never static, they constantly change as the plants mature. It is going to be interesting to see what changes will take place in the garden in the future.

A special thanks to The Propagator who allows us to share our gardens with gardeners from around the world. This has been one of my main sources of inspiration over the past couple of years. Guidelines to participating are provided here.


  1. A lovely idea to see the past and present side by side. I’ll set it as my homework (not during Christmas) to use this WordPress feature. Thank you.

  2. Such an interesting post and you’ve created a beautiful garden. I wish I’d taken more photos of my garden over the years.

  3. Looks great, and a lot more interesting than lawn (mine shrinks gradually but we do still like a game of badminton on it in the summer)!

    • Our lawn patch was so small that it made sense to remove it. When I suggested removing the lawn Mr S nearly fell over backwards in shock. He was skeptical, but has been won over. Besides, it has saved him hours of mowing!!

  4. Those Image Compares are a great way to see your progress. Clearly you’ve done a lot of work and your plants are growing very happily.

  5. This is a fabulous post – you have achieved such a lot and your garden is now crammed with wonderful plants. It must be great to look back and see all that you’ve achieved.

    • It is amazing how you forget the small things that were there before the changes. That back garden has also undergone lots of changes…..but that is another story!

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