With three couples taking second place, only just behind the winners, the judges clearly thought that the Block 2021 back garden reveal was a very tight contest this week. I thought that all of the back gardens had their merits but none were as close to perfect as the scores would have you believe.
Back gardens are difficult to judge though as they can be very subjective and it depends what you are looking for. If the brief is an entertainer's delight, then of course, Kirsty and Jesse had to take out first place. However, they relied very heavily on the built environment for their back garden to get the wow factor. This is where gardens can be difficult to judge at an early stage as the plantings are so new.
If you are a lover of the exotic and that is your brief, then you would love Mark and Mitch's back garden. Ronnie and Georgia's garden had their classic elegant stamp on it, but no shade for the dining table. Josh and Luke had the nicest garden section but their dining zone was a little bare. This is where it can be subjective though, as many would find this appealing. Tanya and Vito didn't even bother with an outside table and with their heavy reliance on unadorned merbau decking, it was no mistake that they were placed last this week.
The Block 2021 back garden reveal
All the gardens are below together with my comments. Starting with the winners, who had the largest garden by far. Read my comments and let me know if you agree.
First Place: Kirsty and Jesse || Score: 28.5 / 30 || Spent: $86,411
My thoughts on Kirsty and Jesse's back garden and pool
- If you have a large family, then this back garden has it all. The first part that you see is the enormous covered entertaining zone with dining table, wood-fired barbecue, fridge and pizza oven. This is an entertainer's dream. With a large fan and outdoor heating, this is an area that can be used in all weathers and really is that additional outdoor room. Styling wise, I loved it, but I would change the rug. This transitional style flows nicely from the interior but it just looks too formal. A small point, but I keep looking at it!
- The swimming pool is a good size and parents can sit back and relax on the limestone seating area while their children play.
- There is a firepit, chook shed and a pretty arbour to the side of the house. This garden really does tick the boxes for outdoor family living in 2021.
- Kirsty and Jesse did deserve first place as they had a very large block which can be a challenge to fill and design well. However, I do feel that their plantings lost out a little to the heavily built and hard landscaped environment. The whole area needs softening and I know this will happen to some degree when the hedging starts to grow. A couple of trees wouldn't go amiss – this garden needs someone with a passion for plants and it will be perfect.
Second Place (joint): Ronnie and Georgia || Score: 28 / 30 || Spent: $76,033
My thoughts on Ronnie and Georgia's back garden and pool
- This back garden and pool is everything you would expect from Ronnie and Georgia. It has their hallmark of understated elegance all over it.
- I love their style, it has to be said, and buyers will appreciate it too. The decking is very nice, the paving is simple and elegant, and this is a gorgeous firepit.
- These guys didn't have much room to work with, but they have made the best of it, including a small play area, a dining and relaxation zone and of course, the beautiful swimming pool.
- What I like about this garden is that everything is beautifully finished and styled well. If you look carefully at all the areas, they are perfect. My only criticism is that the dining table is uncovered and space is a little tight, but otherwise a really good use of space they had.
Second Place (joint): Mark and Mitch || Score: 28 / 30 || Spent: $46,425
My thoughts on Mark and Mitch's back garden and pool
- If you love a lush tropical look, then Mark and Mitch's garden will be a winner. Was there something wrong with the pool though, it looks like it needs a clean? I'm not a fan of green swimming pools, I prefer a pale blue pool as this looks the most refreshing. I do see what they were looking to achieve though with the lush tropical style, but I don't feel that it has entirely worked well.
- What I do love though is the planting in this space. It is rich and lush, even down to the moss between the pavers. The decking is laid back and natural looking and I love the different seating options.
- The best part about this house is the way that the rooms lead onto the garden. With two bedrooms leading directly out to the pool, this is a huge bonus and a great design. I also like the way the dining room opens up completely to the exterior. At first glance, I thought that this space lacked an outside dining table, but of course with the inside opening directly up to the outside, you only need the one dining space. This is a great use of a smaller block.
- Instead of the traditional outdoor table, Mark and Mitch have installed a funky bar nook, which again is another great place to sit. Or you can lounge by the pool.
- This is certainly more of a grown up house. Remember they installed a steam room instead of a family media space? And the garden follows on in this format. This is a home for empty nesters who still want space for their grandchildren to visit and play, but don't want to downsize and miss out on all the fun themselves.
- The astro turf at the side of the house is a good idea. I'm not usually a fan of anything fake, but often these areas don't get much light and unless you are a committed gardener, these zones can end up looking scrappy and unloved.
- Overall, I love this garden and agree that these guys deserved second place. It's just the pool colour that spoils it a little for me.
Second Place (joint): Josh and Luke || Score: 28 / 30 || Spent: $53,538
My thoughts on Josh and Luke's back garden and pool
- Josh and Luke delivered a very good back garden and swimming pool this week. It has a very calming feel with lots of mature plantings which made the space very appealing to me.
- The firepit, surrounded by lots of greenery and two gorgeous armchairs works perfectly.
- There is room for children to play while there is also a very grown up dining area.
- To my taste, the dining zone is a little bare but it does provide the zen experience that the judges loved and I can see the appeal in this.
- The decking from Outdure is very nice and works beautifully with the colour palette of the outdoor area. This is a beautifully finished space from Josh and Luke this week.
Last Place: Tanya and Vito || Score: 22.5 / 30 || Spent: $45,005
My thoughts on Tanya and Vito's back garden and pool
- The judges were underwhelmed by Tanya and Vito's back garden and pool this week, and I have to say that I feel the same.
- The swimming pool is very nice and I really like the grey paving and the grey edging to the pool.
- There are some nice plantings, particularly around the pool, with the statement tree as a perfect focal point.
- The Merbau decking though detracted enormously from all of these beautifully finished zones. It is just too red, particularly against the indoor flooring. I found it very jarring and hard to look past. When I did, I loved everything else, but it was certainly the main feature in the space.
- A garden like this needs some seating/lounging options and a dining table. With just the sofa in this space, it will be hard for buyers to appreciate how they can live and relax in this space.
You can compare these back gardens with the ones from The Block 2020 here.
More information about the show and the contestants can be found at Nine Now. Many of the gorgeous pieces shown here can be sourced through The Block Shop.
Photography by David Cook Photography
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