Do you remember the rest of the rotten decking from this picture in “Operation treegone” where I looked on helpless as it rained on my mud?
Well, after I took the tree out, the builder called round again to see what I’d uncovered, he seemed quite happy that the footing for the back wall on the left looked sound so he arranged to arrive on the following Monday morning to start his part of the preparation. He left me with just the one instruction… No more digging.
Monday morning arrived, and so did my builder, I started work at silly o’clock so he let himself in the back gate to begin without me. When I arrived home, he’d taken down the little wall on the left and discovered as expected that the footing was sound, and was hammering away at the right side, which was giving him more of a problem than he had expected so I lent him my sledgehammer
Oh, didn’t I mention I’d bought a sledgehammer? It’s a wonderful toy, I’m having no end of fun playing with it.
Anyway, with the wall down, and the three extra trenches dug out for the new footings, the builder left us ready to arrive the following morning with cement etc to start building.
There go the mice and men again with their plans … My poor builder dislocated his finger picking up the bits and pieces he needed for Tuesday’s building and couldn’t work for two weeks.
At the end of the first day, my garden looked even more like a building site.
Well, while the cat’s away, the mouse will play… And I wasn’t planning on digging as such… .
The red brick back wall was now in a heap in the garden and the bricks themselves featured in my thoughts for another part of the garden so I set about breaking up the chunks of wall with my sledge hammer, then chipping at the remaining mortar with a slightly gentler hammer and placing them this way and that to build the foundations to my steps.
I contacted my builder again and it was arranged that if I prepared the next stage while he was off, he would build my dividing wall to split the garden into two main levels. At least this way I could claw back a little of the time lost.
With permission granted to start digging again, I moved the pieces of broken patio slabs to a safer location and set about the rotten decking with a crowbar, uncovering a new multitude of sins.
Oh boy !
Oh boy was I glad I’d bought my sledgehammer. My mission for the day was to take out some the rubble from under the decking and bring it down to the same level as the little wall at the front. I had a sort of plan, the bigger chunks of rubble got moved to the pile building up behind the shed and the smaller chunks got hammered, the mountain of good soil got sifted into IKEA bags to be put safe ready for transferring to the flowerbeds, and the gravel mountain I’d built from taking up the old patio area came down into the decking pit to level things off.
What a sight I must have made, stamping around in my green, yellow and orange wellies crushing the gravel as if it were grapes.
Well, never one to pass up the chance of a jigsaw, I jiggled the pieces of broken paving this way and that to fit them onto my new patio. They’re not yet level, I’m expecting the ground to drop slightly beneath them, no, I’m counting on the ground dropping beneath them because I need to add a thin layer of sand under the slabs to level them out.
I still have some more seiving to do to stop my mountain of soil falling into the trench the builder will have to dig before the foootings for the dividing wall can be laid, but I’m almost there… And it did feel good to finally be making the new garden instead of just breaking the old one.