Welcome back!

It has been quite a fulfiling weekend! We completed one important and pressing project, cleared up some material and made some good important decisions!

We have an ever growing pile of clay at the top of our garden. Originally we wanted to use it to level off the garden, but now we know there is too much clay. Additionally,  the clay would also have awful drainage causing us more problems than anything. As a result, we have decided to get rid of the clay and for that purpose we got five big bulk bags from the internet.

Top of the garden at present

One of the bags already full!

We have placed the bulk bags at the front of the house in the hope that we will be able to contact someone to take it away from us and it will be much easier to access them from there. From that point on, we started to bucket all the clay we piled at the top of the garden into those bags. We spent a good part of Saturday moving a portion of the clay into two of the bags. The work is hard and the clay did not get any lighter from the first time we moved it, but at least it is much easier to dig up now that the frost broke the clumps into small particles 🙂

For the rest of Saturday, we both focused on finishing the wall. There was only one layer of concrete blocks to lay and then filling the back with gravel. Since G is now a master concrete block layer, he was chosen for this prestigious task. Following the same technique as before, he marked the location of where the rebar would go for each block, and then with drill and hammer made a hole at the bottom of each cell block for the rebar to fit through. There were two blocks that did not fit well with the rebar, so with the help of the angle grinder, they were cut down to make them fit. The very last block was cut in half because it was too long, this final block proved to be a little annoying because once G started hitting it with the mallet to position it, as well as level it on the mortar the half-block broke in half 🙁 . Really not ideal, but considering this was the very first block that had broken while we had been punching holes at the bottom of each block, it was not so bad. G cut another block to size and this time it went into place without splitting in half! With that final half-block in place, the wall was complete! Well, at least it had reached its final height… because to be ‘complete’ it will still need to be rendered and then eventually painted.

With the help of R, we took gravel, gave it a quick wash and then backfilled the back of the wall to complete our drainage gap. As we approached the top of the wall we ran out of landscaping fabric! As a result, we decided to top it up with gravel just half way the last line of blocks so that we still could fold over the two ends of fabric and cover the gravel. We also had to clear some earth on top of the wall to be able to properly access the back of the wall, but the whole process went very smoothly. We even managed to use up every last stone from our gravel bulk bag! This is good because it frees up some space in the front of the house for a future delivery of goods; probably more gravel and concrete blocks 🙂 .

Another task we decided to start on was digging up earth for new garden stairs. This task has to come next because:

  1. it will allow us to extend drainage behind the wall and finish backfilling it with gravel
  2. the top of the first part of the new stairs will tell us where the foundation of wall holding the top lawn area should be (and we will be able to start building that wall)

R undertook this task which went rather slow due to many stones, bricks (and rubble in general) hidden in the dirt, which also proved to be mostly the unwanted clay. She has removed enough dirt for the first step however, G advised that bottom and top steps would have to ideally overlap hence next week R will have to dig a little bit more before we can lay the first step.

Just like that, another weekend is finished. This was a great weekend, the weather was pretty nice, and we finished our first wall! We are making some very visible progress which is great!

G, the lizard 🙂

Thanks for reading, see you next time! 🙂

To view the next article click here Weekend 15 and 16 – Levelling of the garden, making space for garden stairs and plenty of team work!


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