Stumbled across this online, and rather liked it, so here it is …
Stumbled across this online, and rather liked it, so here it is …
On Tuesday, 4 large backs of slate chippings arrived and we laid the landscaping fabric and started putting the chippings on it. There are now 3.4 tons of slate in the garden. Thanks to Ciara for coming over and helping, she was distributing the slate as I was barrowing it down.
Took a day out today as I wasn’t feeling that great, but this weekend I’m going to start working on splitting the sandstone rocks (the ones in a big pile by the bike in the below pics) and using them to face the block walls with a natural stone covering to complete the project.
A decade or so back, I wrote a rather thematic piece of music. Recently, an organ voluntary written by my Grandfather in 1938 was brought to my attention and I rendered a recording of it using modern technology. If we make a ‘two part’ piece by using mine as an introduction to his, then I think the result works very well:
Part I: (c) Eddy Deegan, 2005
Part II: (c) John Joseph Deegan, 1938
So there you go, Grandfather and Grandson doing their thing, across a 67 year gap.
Today marks a week of working on the garden, albeit only in short bursts during the week due to having a full time job in addition! Anyway, today I built the last retaining wall, did some serious grading on the top area and added some blocks down the side to prevent spillage when we finish the grading and get the crushed slate in on Tuesday.
Saturday, finally a day where I could get more than an hour of daylight while working on the landscaping! After a lovely family fire in the gazebo last night, I had a bit of a lie-in today then got to it out front.
Took a few photos of the garden at the start of the day, then dug out some additional foundation trenches for mini-retaining walls that will go down the side of the garden, to prevent spillage due to differences in height between our newly terraced garden and the neighbour’s.
Mixed up a couple of loads of ballast-based concrete (it’s sharp sand with little stones in it) for the foundations then filled the aforementioned trenches. Then I mixed a smooth-sand mortar and filled the gaps between the blocks on the walls that I’ve built so far, and also extended the smaller, second wall right to the far side of the garden.
Finally, Willow and I started to grade the top area so that it’s flatter in preparation for landscape fabric and slate cover on Tuesday. There is more work to do there, but it’s a good start and things are now beginning to look tidier.
Spent a productive few hours in the front before it got dark today. Having nearly completed 2 walls, there is a third to do nearest the house but before I can do that I needed to remove the sandstone rock that was part of the original garden installation and dig the foundation trench where the rock was.
Willow helped by starting to empty a big bag of soil thats been on the drive for over a year now. She made a good start on it, and I was able to finish it after she’d gone to bed, so the drive is significantly clearer than it has been for ages. All good progress!
There was a lot of rock, but the the trench is now done. Spent all evening doing that, and also moving the rocks to storage for later. Tomorrow, I’ll pour the foundation and grade the top area of the garden such that it’s ready for landscaping fabric, though I won’t install that until Tuesday as the crushed slate is arriving then.
Pics will follow tomorrow.
As today was a nice day, and as working in the dark (although not so bad with the new floodlights) is fraught with challenges, I took the afternoon off at short notice with a view to getting the retaining walls underway.
After a very productive afternoon, the main wall is now complete, barring a little pointing (though it won’t be visible as it’s going to be coated in stone, I want to minimise the risk of water getting in, freezing and cracking things) and most of the secondary wall is done also.
I like the last picture, the smaller boot is Willow’s 🙂
Recently, as I mentioned in another post, I’ve been doing some work to create audio files of my Grandfather’s works which were transcribed as sheet music by my Uncle. I did this one today, and I think it’s rather beautiful so I’m sharing it here also.
The piece, as originally written, was not intended to have an organ accompaniment as far as I know. It was for choir only, but the sheet music had a piano part for practice purposes. I took the piano part and mapped it to a church organ, and I think the result is very striking. Whether my Grandfather would have approved I don’t really know, but as a musician myself I think it does work so I’m sure he’d understand my motive 🙂
Despite the rain and the darkness descending so early, the last two days I’ve been out in the front garden working in the mire and sludge to get it done!
Not that it’s done yet, but good progress. Last night I moved all the earth and ash that we had piled on the hard-standing area, and put it on the garden in preperation for the final grading. Today we received delivery of materials in the form of a large bag of sand/stone mix, a bag of building sand and 61 concrete blocks that were now able to fit onto the space created where that pile of earth was, and I also finished the top trench.
Tonight installed the datum pegs to get the wall foundation level, then mixed 3 large mixers-full of concrete in the rain and darkness, and got it laid in the foundation. There’s a little more concrete to go, but not a full mix, so next will be to start the lower trench and get that foundation in as well.
Some pictures below – none of the concrete yet, as it was too dark and wet by the time I was done, but I’ll add more pics tomorrow.
Update: (7th October)
Second trench done, and concrete poured in that also. Ju sourced some excellent proper lighting so I can work after dark, and Willow helped by cleaning some rocks <3
Additional pictures added to gallery below.
Woah, much has been happening.
So, first of all, as per usual we have been very busy actually doing stuff as opposed to writing about it!
Ju’s studio is coming along well. It’s been weatherproof for some time now, and I’m working on insulating the roof. I also have a couple of minor tweaks to make to prevent a little moisture seeping in on the brick columns surrounding the glass blocks that form the top of the wall which separates the inside of the building from the ground below the lawn.
In addition, we took delivery of two huge bags of ash logs today for burning throughout the Winter in the firepit within the gazebo. Willow was very helpful in relocating them from the front garden to the back.
In other front garden news, it’s been a jungle for the last… well, ages. So yesterday Ju took various tools to it and got it into a much better shape. We had a big burn-up/bonfire in the firepit to get rid of the extracted greenery. Then we both took the bull by the horns and decided we were going to enact my landscaping plan for it which will mean it looks great and requires almost zero maintenance for the foreseeable future.
To that end, I’ve removed all the rocks in the garden and dug a trench ready for foundation concrete which will support one of two retaining walls that will neatly divide the garden into three flat sections, a broad top, slightly narrower middle and then a lower terrance. The wall will be built of concrete blocks (the same size as breeze-blocks but make of solid concrete). On each terrance will be a layer of landscaping fabric (permeable to water but does not let weeds grow). Overall about 4-5 tons of crushed purple slate will cover that plastic, and only our lilac tree, ‘red plant’ (I can’t remember what it’s called), a holly bush and our Hydrangea will remain, apart from the shrubs and bushes on the boundary between the garden and the road.
The front of the retaining walls (facing our house) will be covered in sandstone that I extracted from the previous arrangement, and the top of the walls will also be covered, so that no brick/concrete/blocks etc. will be visible.
Hey presto. Super neat garden, no maintenance