Friday, 9 May 2014

doing the garden - the rise of the wall

Cross section of the garden (with extra
turf).  You can see toward the bottom
the black landscaping fabric and gravel of
the drainage channel.  Above that is clay
soil and random bits of pottery.
I'm sorry.  I left you wondering what had halted progress on the foundation digging.  Don't worry, we didn't dig up a dinosaur or anything, rather, we finally found the drainage which our house-builders had always alleged was built into the garden.

It was about four feet down, underneath clay-soil.

There was no hope of it actually working, in removing water from the water-logged top of our garden, because that clay soil stops the water from draining away, creating a quagmire on the top.  

We also found layers of compacted earth, and previous turf, so we've filled in the blanks and come to the conclusion that our garden was not always so high (and the drainage was once in the right place), but the builders must have decided at some point to add soil to the garden, making the slope more consistent, and perhaps avoiding having to put in a retaining wall.

We couldn't dig any more foundations until it was time to put that retaining wall in, because the drain is not a good support for the earth above it.  We are very lucky in that it is just behind where we want to put the wall in, so it can stay put.

The wall so far (with the batons still in place)
However, we did press right on with getting the retaining wall in.  We are using sleepers, following a curve.  Kenny and his Dad used a baton to get the sleepers to the right level and the right angle.  They tacked it on to the sleepers to hold them steady, and then poured in concrete to keep it steady.

This is the main bit where the sleepers will be the same height.  Around both edges of the wall the height will drop down, but that's still to do.

Personally, I would quite like for it to stop raining for a few days, so we can do some of this in the dry.

How's the weather with you?

Other posts you might like:

The book challenge
Words at 9/5/14 - 75,000 (please note that his has dropped because of reallocating some stuff to another book).  
35,500 words done since the challenge began, 5,000 so far this month.
Where I'm at in First Draft - beginning of Chapter 18.
What I did last - My favourite having a cup of tea.