In some councils, granny flats can’t be used as rental spaces. They can only be used by members of the family.
Similarly, provisions exist in some areas, that a granny flat can’t be built on a sub-divided lot, and you can’t put a boundary between it and the main house. So initially your landscaping options can seem quite limited. However, with a bit of creative thinking, you can use outdoor décor to enhance the aesthetics of your granny flat.
Turf is a good place to start, and when it comes to laying turf around granny flats, Sydney offers three main kinds: Kikuyu, couch, and buffalo. Buffalo turf is named after Sir Walter Buffalo. This turf is indigenous to NSW and does well in warm climates. However, it’s quite a versatile grass, resistant to heat, frost, drought, and weeds.
Buffalo turf can thrive both in excess sunshine and dimly lit granny flat yards. It rarely needs mowing so it works well for elderly grandparents who can’t keep up with the gardening. Conversely, Kikuyu turf is intensive and high-maintenance, so it’s not advisable if your granny flat is occupied by older family members.
Couch turf is soft to walk or lie on, so it’s great for picnics or just for resting on a lazy afternoon. It needs lots of sunshine though, so it’s a bad choice if your granny flat is in a shaded area. It’s commonly used on golf courses and cricket pitches so that it can be costly. Your granny flat builder is likely to recommend turf because it settles and roots in about eight weeks.
Your granny flat shares a yard with the main house, so its landscaping could be an extension of the primary dwelling as well. Still, you want the residents to have a sense of independence. That’s the whole point of a granny flat. And while water features are great for landscaping, the granny flat may not have enough room.
In that case, you could create a mini-water feature. Everybody loves a fountain, so consider installing a functional mini-fountain. It could take the form of a bird bath. You could also install a decorative bird feeder. It will add some life to the yard, but it may require extra yard work to clean after the birds, which may be a hassle for elderly residents.
Turf will give the yard a nice green feel, but you can also plant some flowers for a touch of colour. Many grandparents love gardening, so plant some low maintenance flowers that they can look after. Examples include bird of paradise, camellia, or lomandra. If space is an issue, and it always is with granny flats, then buy flower pots or flower troughs instead.
For more landscaping tips or to get your very own flat-pack granny flat, call Great Value Granny Flats today on 02 9588 3444.