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BACKYARD Issue No. 2

Richard Morecroft

Gives You a Rare Tour of His Backyard

How To Build AMAZING STONE WALLS Without Breaking the Bank

Warm Winter Nights Cost-effective heating solutions to keep you cosy

Trend Alert! Issue No. 2 AUS $4.95 (inc GST)

All the latest styles in outdoor furniture

FREE DVD Interested in an outdoor entertaining area? Claim your free DVD, see page 6.

Your Fantastic Backyard 1

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Your Fantastic Backyard

Your Fantastic Backyard 7


EDITOR Penelope Barker GRAPHIC DESIGN Kristina Tindall CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Leone Britt, Jules Fox, Rachel Norris, Sue Korevaar, Scott McGregor, Adam and Roo Guthrie



Light My Fire

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Alison MacKay, Katie Rivers, Greg Twemlow, Patrick Redmond

From The Editor



ello and welcome to Your Fantastic Backyard. First of all, my thanks to all who wrote to say how much they enjoyed our launch issue. We really appreciate your feedback, so keep those emails and Facebook messages coming.

SUBSCRIPTIONS Distributed by Network Services Company Published by Smart Marketing Magic Pty Ltd ACN 145 098 853 PO Box 3408 Helensvale Town Centre Queensland 4212 Phone: 1300 788 850 Fax: 1300 446 714

If you’re feeling the winter chills creep in, turn to our feature on the latest choices in outdoor heating. There’s an amazing range of options available and our feature writer Liz Swanton guides you through finding the right one to keep you cosy outside within your needs and budget.

Copyright 2013 Smart Marketing Magic Pty Ltd

Actor and TV presenter Scott McGregor joins us this issue as our resident DIY expert and takes you through the steps of building your very own impressive stone wall. Having built a stone cottage myself (with the help of a lot of friends) I can assure you anyone can do it!

All rights reserved. Material in Your Fantastic Backyard magazine is protected under the Commonwealth Copyright Act 1968. No material may be reproduced in part thereof or in whole without written consent from the copyright holders. Copyright responsibility for supplied material rests with the provider. The opinions expressed in Your Fantastic Backyard magazine are those of individual contributors and not necessarily those of its editor or publisher. Every attempt is made for accuracy, however information and figures contained in this magazine have been provided to us by the advertisers and their sources. No warranty is given by Your Fantastic Backyard

Also in this issue, I was privileged to speak with the delightful Richard Morecroft about the beautiful bushland oasis he and partner Alison McKay have created on acres at Jervis Bay, NSW. More than simply a backyard, it’s more like a private wildlife reserve – complete with wallabies and red-bellied black snakes.

And don’t forget to enter our subscription prize draw on page 94 or at , Enjoy this month’s dose of backyard bliss,


Editor Your Fantastic Backyard

magazine as to the accuracy of any figure or information contained in this magazine. Prospective purchasers are urged to rely on their own enquiries.

Find us on Facebook at Your Fantastic Backyard 9




Grow Cook Enjoy with Adam and Roo Guthrie





Rubik’s Cube

Relax - Just Do It

Contents Regulars

This Month’s Features

9 13 14 27 29 32 36 40 84 92 94 96 98

From the Editor Meet our Contributors Backyard Booty Backyard Trends with Jules Fox Pet Tales with Leone Britt DIY Dynamo with Scott McGregor Grow Cook Enjoy with Adam and Roo Guthrie Out on a Limb – gardening advice with Sue Korevaar The Design Directory Puzzles Subscribe and you could win a Gazebo or Bali Hut valued at $4,500.00 Books In our next issue



Photograph courtesy of EcoSmart. For full story, turn to page 44.

Light My Fire The latest hot options for outdoor hearing


Back to Nature TV presenter Richard Morecroft’s bush oasis.


Rubik’s Cube A fabulously funky garden by landscape designer Phillip Withers


Cold Comfort How to benefit from your outdoor cabana in the cooler months


My Green Wall Stihl launches a new vertical gardening initiative for school children


Relax – Just Do It Funky new finds in outdoor furniture Your Fantastic Backyard 11


14 Your Fantastic Backyard




1. Hanging Jelly Planters The 18th and 19th centuries saw elaborately shaped jellies as glorious table centrepieces. Fascinated by such beautiful shapes, Australian designers Angus & Celeste have created this functional series of hanging gardens to bring a unique playful feel to your garden or home environment. Both the round bubble and oval pleated shapes are available in a variety of soft pastel colours and pure white to complement any decor. Each planter comes with a super fine, high strength hanging system, in a colourful gift box, and is made from durable high-fired coloured porcelain. They are designed to handle any of Australia’s varied weather conditions. For stockist information or to buy online, visit

2. Outdoor Rug and Cushions The ‘Marbella’ outdoor rug, $69, is fair trade sourced in India and is made of 100 per cent recycled polypropylene bags. Available from Mix it with ‘Coral Faylinn’ outdoor cushion covers, $49 to $59 each, from Beach Vintage, This fabric is also available by the metre. Your Fantastic Backyard 15

Automated Shade Sails by C4sun At C4sun, we create distinctive unique products for those who demand the best and want to stand out from the crowd. Our remote controlled retractable shade sails are made from waterproof material that is of the highest quality available to us today.

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8. Metro Retro Meal Set The right design touch can add just the right spark to an already exciting alfresco meal. This Metro Retro four-person setting in sturdy, easy care melamine, $129.95, is also high heat resistant, shatterproof, fade resistant and dishwasher proof. For more information, visit www.

9. Bamboo Salad Bowl This uniquely designed salad bowl with servers is made from biodegradable bamboo fibre, $39.95, from Optoco. For more information, visit

10. Bamboo Sporks Not a spoon or a fork…but a spork! These handy little utensils are great for lunches, picnics and finger food. Made from a single piece of organically grown bamboo and available from Biome Eco Stores. For more information, visit Your Fantastic Backyard 21


In a country like ours, do we actually need outdoor heating? Perhaps not, but there’s nothing like being toasty warm outside when the weather is cool. Here’s our guide to the right heating solution for you. BYO marshmallows…

44 Your Fantastic Backyard

This bioethanol-fuelled firepit by Ecosmart Fire burns clean with no smoke, soot or ash. For more information, visit

Your Fantastic Backyard 45


he old lyric line ‘burn, baby, burn’ has new meaning

than having something that is literally burning a greenhouse gas.

for Aussies as we boldly head outside on cool days and

However, there’s not necessarily much atmosphere involved and

nights, firing up all manner of heating devices.

you are still chewing up a lot of power – unless you have solar

Adam Woodhams ( is a

panels on your roof.

horticulturist and a specialist in sustainable garden and landscape design. He’s also keen to minimise our impact on the planet, so his thoughts on the best outdoor heating solutions reflect that. “Gas is one of the obvious choices, whether it is bottled gas or mains supply,” Adam says. “However, no matter where it comes from, gas heaters all burn gas – and create greenhouse emissions – and they generally do it very inefficiently. You go through a lot

If you are trying to balance your choice from an environmental and sustainable perspective, the most sustainable – aside from an electric heater offset by solar panels – are the new bio ethanol heaters.

of gas to keep warm, depending on the heater. “They also tend to have a limited heat radius. There’s a very definite drop-off point for the comfort level – you’re either warm or over-toasted or 200mm further away and you’re outside the heat zone.” Adam says while gas is extremely efficient in a defined indoor space because you can get that space to a certain temperature and then maintain it, it’s a very different story outdoors. “Outside, you’re constantly throwing energy at it, because you can’t really warm the space unless you can define it with some sort of curtaining. However, if you add the curtaining, you have to be careful about the ventilation or you end up with oxygen depletion and a build-up of waste gases, and the problems that causes. “That’s vital to consider with any combustion-type heater. While I doubt you would asphyxiate yourself, you could end up feeling a bit more groggy than the red wine consumption would suggest!” Adam says one way to make a gas heater more efficient is a ceiling fan, if you have installed one in your outdoor ‘room’. During the winter, switch it to the reverse winter cycle, so instead of the heat heading for the roof – as it does – it’s pushed back towards the floor. In terms of what’s on offer, Adam says you will be choosing from a ‘mushroom’ type heater like those seen at your local hotel or restaurant, either in large or table-top size, the panel-type heater – wall-mounted boxes that burn gas – or one of the new funky glass-sided gas heaters now available.

“If you are trying to balance your choice from an environmental and sustainable perspective, the most sustainable – aside from an electric heater offset by solar panels – are the new bio ethanol heaters. “Made by companies such as EcoSmart, they burn bio ethanol, which is basically methylated spirits. They’re efficient, they burn very cleanly and they look very cool, because they come in some amazing designs, in different shapes and sizes to suit different situations.” Adam says they are not cheap, but prices are coming down and they are a good choice – unless you plan on cooking marshmallows! “For that, you really need a solid fuel fire and, as it happens, they are still one of the most efficient ways to keep yourself warm. Obviously there is a greenhouse gas issue happening, but today’s fuel heaters are more efficient in the way they operate and there are more efficient fuels available too, such as the almost-smokeless ‘eco briquettes’, made from compressed and shredded recycled demolition materials.” Adam likes solid fuel fires for many reasons and suggests one of the best and most thermally efficient is the ‘old school’ Mexican chiminea because they hold heat well and radiate it slowly. Made from thick clay or cast iron, they provide a strong, steady spread of heat with maximum efficiency. “Another version that is becoming very popular, although it is more of a landscaping decision, is a fire pit. They can be very efficient, because the heavy edging bricks you build them with

The other ‘common’ solution, in terms of an easily accessible

retain a lot of heat, so even when the fire is dying, there is still

fuel source, is an electric outdoor heater. Adam says these are

a lot of warmth. However, you do need to be very careful with

quite efficient and probably a better environmental solution

these if there are children around.”

46 Your Fantastic Backyard


This page: This fitted wood-burning fireplace by Heatmaster is suitable for indoor or outdoor use. For more information, visit

Your Fantastic Backyard 47

This page and opposite, top: outdoor lanterns and Vioflame ethanol fire tables from Black & Stone Australia use clean burning ethanol to create warmth and beautiful flickering flames, www.blackandstone. Opposite, bottom: outdoor ethanol box lanterns by Ecosmart Fire,

He says the old fashioned steel braziers – like a 44-gallon

• Running costs/convenience: What sort of fuel are you

drum – are the easy option if emissions are not a concern: they’re

using? How much will you need? What’s the cost? How is it

effectively a portable go-anywhere fireplace that you simply fill

delivered? Is it practical to be bringing in gas bottles, methanol,

up with fuel and light.

briquettes or firewood?

The Woodhams’ backyard has such a brazier for entertaining on really cold nights. Filled with a mix of hard wood and charcoal bricks for a slow, reliable heat, it adds warmth and atmosphere to the gathering. “When we’ve finished dinner we always toast marshmallows. Such fun. If you want to toast marshmallows, this type of heat is your only option. You can try with the others but you’ll probably end up with a mess!” Adam says there are several things to consider when choosing a heater: • Space: How big a space are you heating? A small heater

• Safety 1: Who is using your back yard? Heating sources that are hot to the touch, or can be stepped in or tipped over may not be a good choice if there are children, the elderly or pets around. A wall-mounted electric or gas heater is out of the way and safe. • Safety 2: Does the heater have an emergency shut-off switch? Do you have a fire extinguisher or blanket nearby? • Storage: How do you plan to store your heater and protect it from the weather? • Price: Cheaper is not better or more efficient. Do your homework and make sure the option you choose will do the job. Talk to the experts and buy a name product. There is no energy efficiency rating and with some models there can be huge

won’t heat a huge space. Fuel heaters work in big spaces because

variations in efficiency – what you save in buying the heater, you

you simply add more fuel.

may spend on extra fuel.

• Ventilation: Do you have curtains around your space? A fan? If so, this may affect the type of heater you choose. 48 Your Fantastic Backyard

• Final choice: Have you done your research properly, or spoken to an expert about your situation?


Your Fantastic Backyard 49

This page: African cast iron firepit by Aussie Heatwave, www. Opposite: ethanol-burning brazier by Brasa from Beyond Cool,







(www. creates outdoor living areas

and has worked with a wide range of heating options, depending on client needs. He echoes Adam’s advice in terms of the need to do your homework to get the right heater for the job and says that also includes paying close attention to your backyard: if there’s uneven

they are a good, economical choice, which are easy to light and maintain, and the mesh surrounding keeps embers and other fallen debris under control. Fire pits are also very much in demand. He has several recommendations for those looking for an eco-friendly option including the infrared Solamagic range (www.

ground, heavy planting, or you are close to your neighbours, and the UK-based Chillchaser (www.

choose a heater that won’t allow a fire to spread. In the near future, he sees more

Dean says the most popular solid fuel heaters he sees are the tall braziers, which throw off a huge amount of heat. He says

50 Your Fantastic Backyard

trendy heaters such as the Kindle Heat Lamp (www.kindleliving. com), literally giant heat-emitting lamps, becoming more popular.


Your Fantastic Backyard 51



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Your Fantastic Backyard 95

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