From the backyard to the backpocket

Do-it-yourself yard branding can pay dividends, particularly if you are in a flight path.
Double-check your spelling before painting something in big letters on your lawn
Do-it-yourself yard branding can pay dividends, particularly if you are in a flight path.

THERE is money to be made from your backyard.

Many might assume I'm speaking about illegal crop production or leasing of a greenhouse as backpacker accommodation, but that's not it.

Take it from someone with personal experience - it's not worth the damage to your orchids with 28 Norwegian 20-somethings crammed into a 3-square-metre space, although the automatic sprinkler system did ensure they were bathed.

I am in fact talking about the latest money-from-your-garden trend called yard branding.

Basically, a company pays you to advertise their product by imprinting a brand in your front and back lawns.

You may be familiar with the technology used on sports grounds whereby major sponsor logos are imprinted onto the field of play.

This is done with special paints and angles and hi-tech machines.

If you have a client with plenty of money to spend (i.e. one of the major banks, a software company or a supermarket chain), they may be willing to use such technology on your yard.

But to increase the chances of you actually securing a contract, you'll need to be able to provide the 'lawn printing' yourself.

Of course, like any advertising, regardless of the media, you have to be careful about what you are advertising and where it will be placed.

There's not much point in trying to pitch your garden to an environmental agency to get them to advertise when you live beside a bauxite smelter.

But there is certainly money there for the taking if you're willing to lease some of your lawn for advertising. Who knows - you may even cover the court costs from your illegal backpacker accommodation trial.

Here are few things to remember about do-it-yourself lawn printing:

Oil paint is best

Oil-based paints and inks are best for making an impact. Acrylic paints tend to wash off when it rains or when you forget that you're scheduled irrigation will come on halfway through completing the logo. Oil came from the earth in the first place so it's basically organic.

Get your spelling right

Double-check your spelling before painting something in big letters on your lawn. Trust me, Bunnings are not going to pay up if you spell it 'Bannings'.

The scorched earth method

If you manage to secure a long-term contract, consider the scorched earth method. Make the outline of the design with petrol, light it and wait for it to burn down. Once it's cooled, dump plenty of salt along the outline. This will ensure it's there for 20 or so years - best get that sort of contract in writing.

Use whole phrases

Be sure you've checked your mowing schedule. If the company's slogan is long, you may risk mowing some words off and changing the meaning. For instance, the health insurance company Aussie Great Health was not impressed when its slogan 'You'll never get better health care' was shortened to 'You'll never get better', which is not a good look for a health company.

Tip of the Month

If you've installed a pathway made from wooden sleepers or logs, glue sandpaper to the bottom of your 'outdoor shoes' so you smooth it down a bit more every time you walk on it. Tremendous!

Follow Gherkin on Facebook ( and Twitter (@GherkinJarvis).

DISCLAIMER: The information within this column is of a satirical nature and therefore the advice within should not be heeded. All views expressed here are the writer's own.

Better Backyards with Gherkin JarvisSelf-proclaimed gardening expert and carpet enthusiast, Gherkin Jarvis, brings you his thoughts on Australia’s great lifestyle tradition, the backyard.


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