In theory, today marks the arrival in our hundred square metres of the first and most crucial bit of landscaping: the fencing and privet removal. This change at the boundaries really has to be put in place first, so that we can then start to modify the contents without getting in the way of the boundary work.
On Saturday, I started to prepare the garden for such a shock. All of my plants in pots are hiding around the front, and all of the items I care about in the back garden are hiding on the decking, well away from boundaries:
I also felt it was key to provide the fencing landscapers with clear visual cues of how our garden’s levels would change, once we had put the new terracing in place. Concrete “gravel boards” would be needed up to the height of the ground on either side, as wooden panels would just buckle and rot, and buckle some more.
However, my experience has been that often you can tell tradespeople how things should be until you’re blue in the face, but if it conflicts with what they think you actually want, they’ll go with that instead. Visual cues are much better, as it makes it clear as they go on working, where things will be.
Here’s a few rows of bricks, and a tomato growbag tray, marking the likely height of the terrace at the top of the garden:
And here, at the bottom of the garden, I dug out a trench to the depth of the first terrace, then stacked bricks on a broken terracotta pot to give the height of the middle terrace; behind the pot, hidden from view, are a few more concrete blocks, marking the same height:
The earth working was surprisingly easy, boding well for when I will need to start doing some serious digging to build retaining walls. But today I’m resting up with a badly bruised Achilles’ tendon (otherwise I’d take a better photo of that boundary) so I’m glad I got the digging out of the way over the weekend!
At least there’s some structure in place now, for the landscapers to work with and towards. Whether or not they end up doing the right thing is another matter, and depends also on whether or not they even turn up. It’s now 9:17am. They’re meant to be here at 10am. For now… we wait….