Utilising landscaping to link the old and the new.


Client: Steve and Lael

Suburb: Wandin

Project: Stone walls, random bluestone paving, brick edging, strip grates and exposed concrete driveway and paths.

Duration: 4 weeks

Scope: Unify older character Tudor syle home with new colorbond barn shed.



Concrete bench top and ground floors


Client: Southern Rainforest

Suburb: Launching Place

Project: Concrete bench top and ground floors

Duration: 2 weeks

Scope: Construct kitchen with, interior stone wall, polished concrete bench top, river pebble mix and ground floor



Nursery foundation

Client: Southern Rainforest

Suburb: Launching Place

Project: Nursery fill pad, stone retaining wall, screw piles and concrete slab

Duration: 14 weeks

Scope: Raise building envelope above 1 in 100 year flood level, retain fill pad with stone walls, then use steel and concrete to provide solid foundation





Bluestone capped dry-stone retaining wall

Client: Damian.

Suburb: Don Valley.

Project: Stone retaining wall.

Duration: 3 weeks.

Scope: Dry stone retaining wall with bluestone capping and base of wood fired oven.




Hawthorn East exposed

Client: Natalie and Dean

‘We’re more than happy with the process, communication, attention to detail, value and most importantly, the RESULT! We not only recommend Southern Rainforest for your garden, but strongly insist you get a quote for your Landscaping needs.’

Suburb: Hawthorn East

Project: Front and back garden

Duration: 8 weeks

Scope: Install exposed aggregate concrete drive and pathways, drainage, irrigation, planting and lighting.


Below: Started by removing old lawn, shrubs and driveway. IMG_5152102103104   Below: Concrete slab for shed base.105   Below: Installing paved edge.107106109110111   Below: Installing automated irrigation system.112   Below: Turf and plantings installed before concrete.113114   Below: First glimpse115116117   Below: Pouring front driveway.118   Below: Expansion cuts.119     Below: Starting to take shape.121122123125127128130131132133135136137138139140141142143144145146147 148

Bluestone exposed

Client: Ann & Ken

‘Brett Cowan and Southern Rainforest have recently completed remodelling our front drive, path, entrance and lawn. The job was started and completed on time, and we are very pleased with the result and workmanship. Brett is very reliable and professional. I have no hesitation in recommending him to any prospective clients.’

Suburb: Glen Iris

Project: Front yard

Duration: 4 weeks

Scope: Remodel dated front entrance and driveway, replace with sawn bluestone and exposed aggregate concrete.


Below: Existing paving, capping and steps removed and recycled.

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Below: Bluestone custom cut and laid as edge, steps and path.


Below: Bluestone and exposed aggregate concrete was then sealed for wet look finish. Synthetic turf replaced pebbles and pavers.IMG_3726 IMG_3730 IMG_3759 IMG_3764 IMG_3767 IMG_3772 IMG_3774 IMG_3775 IMG_3780 IMG_3782 IMG_3788 IMG_3797 IMG_3799 IMG_3800 IMG_3808 IMG_3831 IMG_3835 IMG_3775

Courtyard retreat

Client: Elizabeth & Michael

Suburb: Glen Iris

Project: Backyard

Duration: 11 weeks

Scope: Transform sloping block into a spacious and functional outdoor room.


Driveway and three established trees were retained and pavers were reused.





Side boundary fence was replaced



Excavation work began and over 50 cubic metres of soil was removed




Drainage was then installed



Steps built at each doorway




Herringbone pattern



Starting to take shape



Planting, irrigation and mulch finished the project

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Low maintenance luxury

Client: Winifred

‘I am pleased to say that I have been extremely satisfied with the work carried out by Brett Cowan and Southern Rainforest. The landscape, design & construction work is of excellent standard & I have no hesitation recommending Brett for this type of work.’

Suburb: Glen Iris

Project: Back Garden

Duration: 8 weeks

Scope: Transform labour intensive yard into low maintenance and enjoyable garden


Backyard was a mix of different materials and was constant upkeep, as well as not being very useable. Bluestones were reused as an edge, whilst other materials were recycled.


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Footings were installed and blockwork constructed. Due to narrow access, all material had to be wheeled in by hand.

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After compaction, reinforced concrete slab was installed and paving laid, grouted and sealed. Other additions were, synthetic turf, clothesline, sideway stepping stones, bluestone path, steps, edge and mulching.



Clinker wall and driveway


Clients: Anh & Danh

Suburb: Glen Iris

Project: Front garden

Duration: 8 weeks

Scope: Front brick retaining wall needed replacing and driveway needed widening to suit clients growing family.


After 50 years of weathering, retaining wall and driveway needed replacing.



20120830_173420As the clinker bricks are no longer in production they were cleaned and reused, this added character and matched house. Other additions were, paved driveway on concrete base, lighting, irrigation, instant turf, mulching and planting.






Balwyn Backyard

Clients: Sally & Rob

Suburb: Balwyn

Project: Backyard

Duration: 5 – 6 weeks

Scope: Clients had tried previously to landscape garden, though were extremely time poor and as such could not complete project. Being engineers they designed lay out and positioning of wall. Was quite complex due to clients not wanting drains or grates and so all paved area had to fall away from house and at the same time not pool along wall.

Process: On east side of house  paving commenced with a small courtyard


Then work commenced on westside of house, pool and paving was to remain, though everything else was to go.

Then clean up began and the construction of the great wall began.


Once complete concrete base was installed.


Then paving of 800 x 400 sandstone was laid.

Balwyn front garden


Clients: Sally & Rob

Suburb: Balwyn

Project: Front garden

Duration: 4 – 5 weeks

Scope: Client’s had a very busy lifestyle and over 20 years had no time for their front garden. They requested a low maintenance garden and new driveway.



First glance, 20 years of growth


After vegetation was removed, shaping and excavation began.


Concrete base was then installed.


Then a 3 blend mix of clay pavers were selected. At the time it seemed too much, though as the photos display the 3 blend  creates a striking appearance.


Paving complete, now time for planting.

Project complete and clients happy.