Monday 18 August 2014

The Brick Edge

Completing the brick edge to the bottom half of the lawn has been on the to do list for a long old time. This year we were determined to get it done.

Whilst we had done the top half of the garden ourselves with the help of some good friends, the bottom bit was bigger and we couldn't face all that digging out.

We managed to source the same bricks and rope edging, at a much higher price, as we'd used the first time, and we decided to get our man in to do all of the hard work. It was not going to be a cheap project, but we thought it would be worth it to just finish off the hard landscaping.

The chaps had convinced me we wouldn't need a skip to get rid of all the turf and soil that would be dug out and, as this would save us about £120, I let myself be convinced that we could re-distribute the soil around the garden and take the turf to the local tip.

I should have stuck to my guns.

After digging out a fraction of the footings for the edging there was no more room for distribution of any more soil. From doing a ring round it would be at least five days before we could get a skip as we would have to apply to the council for a permit as it would have to be left on the road. Luckily we had a stack of rubble bags in the shed and on day one we managed to get two sides of the edge dug out and to fill about 25 bags with excess soil and turf.  Actually, when I say 'we' ........ well you know what I mean.

As Martin was working away in London, I lugged them all to the top of the garden and we did one trip to the tip and got rid of seven.

Boy did I ache.

Day 2 and Martin was back and on a 'rest day' as he'd been working nights over the weekend. He left London at the crack of dawn and was home for about 9.30 - What a trooper - I tell you now, there was not much rest for him. He arrived back to be greeted by a delivery of bricks and slabs that needed moving from the front to the back of the house and about 35 bags of soil to be taken to the tip. Well, he should have listened when I said we'd need a skip. We drafted Dad in and got cracking.

We got in three trips to the tip and all the bricks, slabs and edging stones from the front to the back.

By the end of the day the extra slabs we were having laid were down and we were just left with 12 bags of soil which were being recycled to my sister, Sarah's garden, to fill her new raised bed. They picked them up later that evening, 12 bags in the back of a Mazda 3, we'd only risked 7 in the back of the CX5. Hopefully they didn't have to encounter any speed bumps on the way home.

Day 3 and time to crack on with the actual laying of the brick edging. We were really looking forward to seeing this go down as this was really what this job was all about.

One thing I hadn't really thought about was dust!!!! Well, I did want mitred corners, both on the bricks and the rope edge and you can't get those without a bit of noisy, dusty angle grinding. It didn't take long before my well nurtured baskets and tubs were all looking a bit of a dull grey colour.

Now I know you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs but this did make me feel a bit despondent.

Up to now we hadn't really seen much mess and we'd worked really tidily, bagging and clearing up as we went along. By the end of Day 3, the garden looked a bit like a war zone!  There was going to be some serious hosing down needed to get us back to full technicolor.

Day 4 and I was hoping we'd be finished today, as we were off for the weekend on Friday and I didn't really want to go away with the job not quite finished.  The morning went really well, with the majority of bricks laid and just the final and smallest edge left to go.

I nipped off to B&Q for more ballast and cement whilst 'my man' cracked on with the final bit of digging out to enable the laying of the last strip.

All was going really well, it looked like we would be on for an early finish.  There were only a few more bricks left to lay, before a mammoth clearing up session could being.  Then the rain came.

Luck was on our side.  After sheltering under the trees at the bottom of the garden for about half an hour and putting the World to rights, the rain passed over and we were back in business.

One last push and we were done.  Yay!!!  Another job off the list.

I think it looks great by the way!  Unfortunately I can't say the same about the grass - now we really need some rain!!  Crikey, I sound just like my mother!!

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