View Full Version : If I'd known it'd be this hard..

26th May 2008, 09:48
Still, quite chuffed at the result. Although, it's a bit shy in the shed department.
The big dig, two skips of earth, the old slabs & the foundations from an old outhouse.

Two tons of mot1 & a ton of sand later.

Getting there, Indian sandstone is HEAVY!
Nearly done. Relaid a few wobbly ones, got the fall to about 1:60, just a bit of pointing, painting & a pebble border & job done. I shall never look down my nose again at the lads who dig up the roads, it's blimmin hard work all that shovelling.

26th May 2008, 09:52
Is quite a shocking experience to engage in real heavy lifting. Makes everything else seem rather light and slack.

26th May 2008, 10:03
FLAGSTONES?! := harrumph - wot's wrong with a nice pink carpet?

like the walls but can't see any windows to hang pretty curtains in though? :ugh:


:p ;)

Good job btw Parapunter! :D

26th May 2008, 10:43
And where is the telescope pedestal?

Big Tudor
26th May 2008, 10:52
The real quesion is, what has happened to the barrow? It starts off in Pic 1 as nothing more than an extra. A bit of a walk-on part in Pic 2 then by Pic 3 it has been elevated to front stage right. Pic 4 IT'S GONE! What happened Para, was it demanding more money? We should be informed. And yes, it does need a shed. :ok:

26th May 2008, 10:55
It's checked into the Priory. Well it was caning it for a week or two.

Neighbour has a shed that he never uses on t'other side of wall. One wonders if he'd notice if I knocked down a bi of wall & added a door. This is definitely a good idea. There's no way this is not a good idea...

Big Tudor
26th May 2008, 10:58
Perfect solution sir. Adding the storage space (and not forgetting the social standing) of a shed without loosing any ground space. Justdon't forget to lock the inside of his door. Wouldn't look good if he wandered in and found you with a copy of Horse & Hound in hand. ;)

26th May 2008, 10:59
Its a bit late now but one way of preventing the wobbles is to run a garden rake over the leveled sand leaving it with shallow furrows which allows the pavers to bed in better.
You'll know for the next time.

26th May 2008, 11:10
One did that Mr. Solar:ok: Definitely good advice, plus a drymix as added prior to laying for that extra stickydown feeling. On reflection, one or two mortar mixes were a bit on the feeble side & were laid a little wobbly. The stones are riven too, so not level on the undersides. Fortunately, it was laid over three days, so one had the chance to learn on the job.

Top tip that worked very well - my builder mate said add a teaspoon of fairy liquid to a barrowful of mortar as a plasticiser. That worked a treat, much much easier to work the mortar after that.

My dilemma now is whether to point with a wet or a dry mix - I'll definitely take a few suggestions onboard for that.

26th May 2008, 11:16
I shall never look down my nose again at the lads who dig up the roads,
That was tongue-in cheek wasn't it? :uhoh:

26th May 2008, 11:39
I tried to do a dry mix of just binding and very little cement. That was rubbish.
Then tried again with just cement, brushed it all nice and tidy the gave it all sprinkle with a watering can. Don't know if that's the approved way, but it worked. I didn't want to use a wet mix because there would be a fair to middling chance of me making a pig's ear of it.
And yes, lifting paving slabs is at best, torture.

26th May 2008, 13:10
Looks good - as long as you laid those slabs the right way up.

26th May 2008, 13:30
I hope you fully realise the true significance of laying all those slabs over the garden like that?

Yes indeed. A mass slaughter, nay, a veritable genocide of all the earthworms that used to call that small corner of subterranean-Britain home. No longer will they aerate the earth, keeping it fertile. Nor will blackbirds, magpies or other magnificient flying creatures alight there on damp early-mornings hoping to catch a meal of some squiggly thing, their droppings fertilising the soil for all future generations.

Yet another 20mē of our good planet condemned to eternal darkness, devoid of all life... :sad:

PS. You'll be sorry when drought comes around again one day and the cracks in the walls begin because the house is subsiding because the earth under the house is parched and there's no more earthworms and... :(

26th May 2008, 13:37
Is that the toilet or the bathroom?

26th May 2008, 13:41
You mentioned a 1:60 fall. Where is the water running off to?

26th May 2008, 14:02
Airship, did you notice the pile of slabs in the first piccy? Thems were there for thirty years before I came along:ok:

Frosty, they are indeed the right way around - I asked the nice man in the stone masons before I threw them on the floor. Sally Ann, it runs toward the rear of the garden, where there is a nice 10 inch gap for runoff, whcih will eventually have a pebble border to hide it. Bins, it has in it's time been both. One appreciates that the garden does lack a shed, an arboretum, a folly, ornamental fountains & a lake.

26th May 2008, 15:42
For the pointing I was advised to spread the dry mix over the paves with a brush ensuring the joints are nicely filled and then to sprinkle water as in a gentle shower and this seemed to work well for me but I would stress the gentle bit. The theory is that the water will wash the mix residue from the top of the paves and saves a lot of cleaning as well as setting the mix.
The fairy liquid is a excellent idea but again a minute amount is all that is required, now how do I know that.

Rather be Gardening
26th May 2008, 15:46
Parapunter, it looks great. Are you going to put any plants in containers out there, or do you have other plans for the space?

26th May 2008, 15:51
Don't forget the well worn bit of advice from the doyenne of gardening, Gertrude Jekyll (spoken in a Margaret Rutherford voice) "However small your garden, DO try to set aside an acre or two for trees......." Them were the days.
The Ancient Mariner

26th May 2008, 15:58
Excellent work - looks good.

Just a tiny issue, where is the shed ?

26th May 2008, 16:00
...or do you have other plans for the space? Parapunter's "Amazing Amazonian rainforest garden" (but without the trees, jaguars, creepers or eathworms) - you might find the odd 5-toed sloth about the place (or some ants) though. :{

At least, if it had a shed on it, someone might invent the 21st century equivalent of the lightbulb in it. Or if it had a garage, it might someday become the birthplace of a future Microsoft. One can only cluck in annoyance along with the blackbirds at this latest infringement on personal liberty... :)

26th May 2008, 16:02
Airship, is it the case that cos I forgot the shed, I'll never make anything of myself? damn.:{

26th May 2008, 16:19
Not at all. But if you built a shed or a garage, you could insist on a "with profits" rental agreement in return for a lower monthly rental up-front from your local university students or Sir Clive Sinclair.

Or you might simply abandon all unnecessary labour, leaving the piles of paving as they've stood for such a long time. And obtain the unspoken, yet obvious gratitude of fore-mentioned flying creatures and creepy-crawlies for as long as you (all) shall live...?! :8

12th Jun 2008, 19:47
Couple of weks down the line - pointed he stones, the walls are painted, the borders in, done a bit of planting got a bit more to do & a little furniture is in...and it's started chucking down.:{


12th Jun 2008, 19:57
Those are the most beautiful pictures I've seen on here for a while nothing like a bit of decent landscaping to wet a mans eye.:{ Nice job. Almost a work of art.

How did you get things so level initially? Subsoil looks a bit heavy on clay.

Don't worry about the shed mate, it'll happen one day.

12th Jun 2008, 20:55
Two tons of hardcore & a wacker plate. Should do it for thirty years or so...:bored:

12th Jun 2008, 21:05
That looks very Zen, but where is the Buddha???, you have to have one, really!

John Hill
12th Jun 2008, 21:18
Rather couth if I may say so.:ok: Nice job of the pointing too!

12th Jun 2008, 23:10
Parapunter, well done, I have that Indian sandstone all round my place, some of it multi-coloured; it looks great just after a rain shower when the colours really show up. You'll probably find you need to pressure wash it a few times a year to keep it looking at its best.

A question: What is that nice little plant with the red spiky leaves you've planted under the slate border? If it's what I think it is, I'll post you a picture of a similar one in our garden..... ;)

Standard Noise
12th Jun 2008, 23:16
That Indian sandstone is a right bugger. Moved 35 sqm into the back garden last week and came out of it with an aching back and a trapped finger (dropped a 900x600mm slab on the end of a finger:ouch:). After five minutes of turning the air blue, heard the voice of my elderly neighbour drift over the fence - "I take it that hurt then Standard!?":mad::mad:
End of said finger is still sore to the touch but at least I kept the nail.

Parapunter - what drymix ratio did you use to fill in between slabs?

12th Jun 2008, 23:21
It's a Cordyline Australis - Red Star...apparently. The stone is dirty from compost & the inevitable overspill of bits and bobs of cement & mortar. I'll give it a clean in a few weeks when it's all settled down - you're right though, it looks magic after a rainshower.:ok:

4:1 on the drymix, although I swept it in on a forecast dry day & ten minutes later it rained, so it had to be dug out & done again - which is why it's missing from some of the ends - another little job for the summer.

12th Jun 2008, 23:27
Thought so!

Our "nice little red cordyline"........only about six years on from the same size as yours....

is now nearly 12 feet high with a six inch diameter stem and a two foot long flower stem thing on top...... ;)

Like a bloomin' palm tree!

Saab Dastard
12th Jun 2008, 23:43
If I'd known it'd be this hard..

... I wouldn't have taken the viagra! :}

Seriously, though 'tis a grand job, and one you will doubtless be very proud of every time you sit out there with a brew and the paper. :ok:

Did you have to cut the flags to fit, or did you manage to assemble it all like a jigsaw puzzle (without the picture)?


12th Jun 2008, 23:52
No cuts, it measured up quite neatly, but there is a side return still to do, which has a drain cover offset at an angle & a partially collapsed drain surround. It's 1/6th of the overall space but I reckon with the remedial & the cutting of stone it'll take as long again.

I'm seriously considering renewing the drain cover so as to avoid having to cut the slabs to awkward shapes. I'll want a builder for a day for that I think, it's a lovely feeling to know you've done it all, but knowing one's limitations will prolly pay off in the long run - I could just see myself breaking the drain:ugh:

Besides, I'm usually too busy dishing out wrong answers over on Computers & internet!