Category Archives: garden
It has got to that time of the year where the mower is used on a weekly basis. We leave the cuttings to rot down (with just over 2 acres of grass to cut, we don’t really have a choice), so the grass needs to be cut regularly to ensure that the clippings don’t get out of hand. It is amazing what a difference a bit of sun and rain has on the grass!
Yesterday we had a minor incident as an old climbing rope (used for attaching our dog to a tree!) was left in the grass. It didn’t take long for it to wrap itself around the blades of the mower deck and bring proceedings to a swift halt. Fortunately, the dog wasn’t still attached to it!
It didn’t take too long to sort out this morning, but it meant taking the mower deck off the Z425 to cut the old rope away. While I was at it, I thought I just as well give the underside of the deck a good clean as well as lubricating the spindles. The problem with grass cuttings is that they are very alkaline and attack the paint and metal of the mower deck. Although the underside gets a new coat of yellow Hammerite every year, it doesn’t do any harm to give it a bit of a clean every now and then.
The flagstones went down on the new patio before Christmas, but unfortunately the weather wasn’t good enough to be able to point them at that time – it was either too cold or too wet. Well, the weather has started to turn (I did say “started”!) and we started pointing the flagstones this week. We are using the same lime based pointing that we used on the house so that it all matches. Even at this time of the year, there is a risk of rain or frost getting to the pointing before it cures. The pointing is protected overnight with a large sheet of hessian. So far this has worked well for us.
It has take a week or so to complete the pointing on the lower (and larger) of the two terraces. I reckon that the pointing will be complete on the upper terrace too by the end of next week. You wouldn’t think that it would make much of a difference, but it really has pulled the whole area together.
The lime pointing is being mixed to the same proportions as we used on the house:
1: 1: 5 1 portion 3.5 N /sqmm Hydraulic lime : 1 portion white cement : 5 portions Nosterfield River sand
The materials have all been acquired from Womersleys that specialise in materials for restoration projects.
These photos are courtesy of Paddy Martin who did the work in the garden. These before and after shots just show how much work has gone into sorting out the sunken garden.
At last all of the ashlar is in place and all of the flagstones are down. There is still pointing to do, but that is going to have to wait a bit until the weather improves – it can’t be too wet or too cold when doing the pointing.
There was major relief today when the final set of stone steps were installed in the garden. Installing these steps has been a monumental effort on behalf of Paddy and Jonny. Most of the stones are well over safe working loads for two men, so that have had to use the ingenuity to get these in without any major incidents.
After 5 weeks of waiting, the ashlar finally arrived for the stone steps in the sunken garden. We need to get the steps into position so that we can flag up against them and get the flagging finished.
The weather this week hasn’t been great. And the weather today has been great either. The fog never really lifted at all. However, we are continuing to make progress in the sunken garden and it is starting to feel like we have turned a corner. The main thing that is holding us up now is the delivery of the stone steps from the quarry. This was meant to take 4-5 weeks, but we are now on week 6. I am guessing that by the middle of next week that we may run out of things to do if the stone doesn’t arrive.