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Landscaping in backyard made easy

ABBIE NAPIER
Last updated 09:28 06/03/2013
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Ross Baldwin hard at work on his approachable entry to Ellerslie.

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Darfield's Ross Baldwin is bucking the Ellerslie Flower Show trend.

A far cry from the elaborate gardens usually seen at the competition, Ross is going for a more practical approach - something we can all aspire to.

"Out the Back" is a garden centred on the Kiwi love of the outdoors, and a reasonable standard of landscaping anyone can replicate.

In his 40 years' experience as a landscaper, Ross knows the best backyards are made up of the basics - a good deck, a sturdy pagola, a well-watered lawn, and perhaps a few interesting trees.

"This garden is meant to be more about practical landscaping people can actually do in their own homes, " he said.

"They might not want all the elements we've used, but we've put them in there to show what can be done."

Another must-have component is the small, contained vegetable plot. Showcased here in modern corrugated iron barrels, the vegie garden is in line with the latest trends in sustainability and a muck-in attitude.

Ross has used a variety of trees, and used them as a privacy border around a large backyard. For those who want low maintenance, consider extending the deck and doing away with the lawn.

Love outdoor entertaining? Use bi-fold doors and a sun-smart pagola to create a cosy and comfortable al fresco atmosphere.

"I've been to Ellerslie a fair few times, and it is entertaining, but there's not a lot of practical knowledge. The entertainment component, the artistic component, is already well catered for, so we're giving a contrast to that."

"Our garden has evolved as I've gone, so I didn't really have a set plan, " Ross said.
Ironically, Ross' exhibition is right next door to the creative and intricate entry from Ben Hoyle - last year's People's Choice winner. His garden is not for the every man's backyard and is made up of koru shaped islands and exotic plants.

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