Friday, 5 December 2014

Winter exercise.

We have just had the first frost and this time of the year is now best reserved for going through the seed lists and ordering for next year. If you are feeling energetic this is also the best time of the year to make your structural alterations and I thought it might be of interest to show you one I did on my own over the winter about four years ago when I was pretty much retired. The site is at the foot of Kinder Scout in Derbyshire and had very limited access, all the materials had to be brought in from the front of the house and through the neighbours yard, and, as you can see, was so steep you could not actually climb it without something to lever yourself up with. The weather didn't help and the cottages were cut off around Christmas time and the snow was frequently too deep to work.

The rise was actually 18 feet from the yard floor.
Everything had to be brought through the gate via. the neighbour's garden.
 The retaining walls were essentially of drystone construction with some areas reinforced by concrete to the rear, unfortunately the budget wouldn't stretch to using York stone for the steps but the Indian Stone flags were more than adequate.

All the fencing was renewed.
A deck was installed at the top of the steps giving the client a leisure area which was actually in the sun as opposed to ground level which spent a great deal of the day in shade.

The whole of the lower level of paving was relaid and about six flags had to be replaced. Please ignore the plastic troughs but the client couldn't wait to add their own touches.

12 comments:

  1. Superb Rick. Brenda and myself have been staring at it with admiration.
    We chose Indian stone for our own hard landscaping for similar budgetary reasons. Unfortunately I do not have your skills and local landscaper Martin Smith did it for us!

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    1. Thanks Roger, I am pleased that you were both impressed. To be frank I don't think anyone else would take this on as it was so awkward but I did it for a young couple who were keen to have a decent back garden so it was a bit of a labour of love, I only worked about six hours a day on it when I could.

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  2. Cmon Rick, seriously impressive but afraid I am not up to that, maybe ten years ago** well on second thoughts! Like Roger we also used loads of Indian stone for the front and back of the house. Now, i'm thinking, maybe a lick of grey paint on those planters will make all the difference..

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    1. I can see where you are coming from with the planters Alistair, they did make me cringe a bit.

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  3. What a beautiful garden you created the Rick. Wow! Just about covers it I think. I'm sure the young couple could not have envisaged just how great it was all going to look. Now, if ever you are in the Edinburgh area ;) Joking aside, I suppose 4 years on those terraces must have aged wonderfully.

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    1. The question is Angie, should all that beautiful walling be covered up even though I love the plants?

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  4. I love it! And it is much more practical than the original wall so why not – this is a tiny garden after all, it has to be useable for the people living there, and what a wonderful job you did for them making it practical and useable and also making an access to the top. Great!

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    1. Thank you Helene, it did change a piece of hillside into a usable space plus it made the house more saleable for the future.

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  5. Your photos are lovely, Rick.

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  6. It is most impressive Rick. I wish I could do something this attractive. Did you have to cut the stones or did they come like this? How did you "anchor" the whole thing? It seems to be almost completely vertical. I hope the owners do not cover it all with plants.

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    1. Thanks Alain, this is a relatively modest project, unlike yourself I didn't build a whole house! The stones were brought in from a local reclamation yard and are basically from building demolition, I hand loaded my trailer with around 500 Kgs. at a time then had to load them off into a barrow, up a ramp and round the back of the adjacent property to the job so it was quite a labour intensive undertaking. There are about 6 tonnes of stone in the job mainly constructed as drystone walling in terraces although there is some mortar added to the back of the wall in key areas to help stabilise it, the walls are not actually vertical but have a "batter" on them, so they lean back into the slope.

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