Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Retaining Walls

I will warn you now that this entry will not have any finished photos (I still haven't been out to take some) but I thought I could do some progress shots. Just to prove and remind us that we have been busy and we have made progress. This is the side of our house, this side faces North and when we moved in it was a mess. We don't understand why someone would build half a wall and then stop. Where the wall stops they placed rocks in an attempt to finish it off???? It was not nice, wood chips and little terracotta rocks, weeds, blue fence and blue gate. So we started the long process of cleaning this area. Given that this mess was at the side of the house and out of the way it was a job that kept getting put aside for other jobs. On the other side of the gate at the front half of the house we had this mess. More rocks, more blue fence and the neighbours driveway. First we cleared the rocks from the back half and moved them to the front half. We decided to work with what we had and create a rockery on the front side of the fence. We used all of the good sized rocks to create our edges and our wonderful Nan and Pop provided us with cuttings and plants from their garden to get us started. We bought some Pittosporum that we planted as a hedge along the neighbours driveway in order to create some privacy as it grows. Pittosporum is a fast growing hedge (about 1 metre a year from memory) that will grow 4-5 metres high. We will keep it trimmed at about 2 metres high. With some help from our brother Tom we began to finish of the brick wall. Tom dug and poured our concrete base then started us on the brick work. The brick wall that we began working on at the side of the house runs right to the back of the house and looks like this. This part of the brick wall is right outside our bedroom window. One day we will replace our bedroom window with french doors that will open up onto a little courtyard just for us, only big enough for a three piece table and chairs. Picture morning coffee and paper reading. In order to have a courtyard we need to make space so we started digging and knocking out bricks.
This photo gives you an idea of the layout. My WH is pouring the concrete footing for the new wall in the courtyard.
After a few Saturdays of work we finally have a brick wall all the way to the fence. Yes it is a bit wobbly but it was the first go and it isn't in a highly visible spot and we have rendered (photos of that another time) and I will be planting creepers over the wall to disguise the crookedness.
We also have a courtyard.
Proof that we finished this a while ago, there is only one old shed in the background.
At this stage of the backyard we left the walls as they were and then worked on replacing the rotting deck. I have already blogged about our weekend with the Dingo Digger and then our shed erecting.
So we have been working hard on bits and pieces, sometimes it feels like it will never end but slowly , slowly it is starting to come together.

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