An insight to the daily life of a garden design and landscaping build up on a rear garden located in Cullompton, Exeter, Devon

View previous day here.

Day 5


Mixing Concrete

Mixing concrete

Whilst one member of the team sets about mixing the concrete, 5;1 ratio, for the feature walling and outdoor kitchen area, the other moves 5 tons of building sand from the front garden to the rear, this is covered as I dont want the sand soaking wet when I start the block work walling on Monday.

Mixing concrete near the property can incur small splashes of mortar on the walling or surrounding areas. The heavy rain a couple of days ago also left alot of splash backs from the sub grade.

My ethos is very simple, Your property and your landscaping garden build will be treated as if it were my own.

Cleaning the clients property

Cleaning the property

I'm religiously clean at all times so there's no unsightly marks of any kind left on the property or any of my tools, each day cleaning will occur. No client past or present has or will walk onto my project and trip over stray materials or put their foot on a piece of wood which hasn't been de-nailed. etc

Yes we do make a mess, of course we do, I have to pull your gardens, landscape projects to pieces, its a controlled mess if that makes sense.

Levelling concrete

Levelling concrete

 The 360 degree laser level has been set to top of concrete, the laser makes life so much easier, years ago this concrete levellling would have been done by means of a spirit level and plastic float.

Tamping Concrete

Tamping concrete

Once my concrete has been levelled I tamp the area, this tamping motion does not need to be a hard tamp causing concrete to be splashed every where, I hardly bring the base of the tamp off the concrete, this will cause a wave motion in the wet concrete and therefore give me a consistant level across the entire area.

Remember, the more you play with concrete the wetter it becomes.... when finishing concrete or power floating this could be the difference between going home at 8.00 pm or 4.00 am, all because the fat was brought to the surface, get it in, level it, tamp it and leave it alone.

The levelling and tamping of concrete will save me time once block works commence, theres nothing worse than bumping up or grinding down the first couple of courses of block work.

I believe firmly that if the groundworks are correct then so the landscaping build project will run smoothly, after all the entire landscaping works comes up off the groundworks.

Colour coded ducting

Colour coded ducting spurs

The colour coded ducting spurs are wrapped each end with plastic so theres no chance of sub base, concrete or any other material falling into the duct and causing me problems once its time to feed the electric cable inside.

The ducting spurs will be connected to the main line of the ducting at a later date.

The simple colour coding will assist the electrician.

Consolidating the sub base

Consolidating the sub base

I'm running the wacker plate over the sub base as the weekend is virtually upon us, this is whats known as sealing the sub base, Ok, so we all know it wont seal a pourous sub base its just a common trade practice.

Concrete blocks loaded out

Blocks loaded out

In order to have a flying start for Monday we have loaded out 200 blocks, All the block stacks have a covering, have you tried to lay wet concrete blocks, it's not a good practice when the mortar is oozing out every where.

Tomorrows blog:

Block work building a garden feature wall

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Peter Cermak replied to John F's discussion Customer Cash Flow dilemma .
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Honey Badger replied to Peter sellers's discussion Planting spade
"The burgon and ball transplanting spade is the one for me, it's super strong.
I've had mine for about seven years and it probably see me out. I'm one of those thugs that snaps handles/ spade blades, breaks prongs of garden forks.
Ok it's not pointy.…"
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Adam Woods replied to Peter sellers's discussion Planting spade
The best spade I have ever owned by far....."
Glen Stillman replied to Peter sellers's discussion Planting spade
"Yes it's my do everything spade. It's proven to be pretty tough. If the planting spade has a longer socket I'd have thought it would be bomb proof!"
Rob Davies replied to Peter sellers's discussion Planting spade
"I used to use that rabbiting spade for many years,for planting and root balling field grown conifers, absolutely top piece of kit and also had ours fitted with fibreglass handles for added strength "
Sam Bainbridge replied to John F's discussion Customer Cash Flow dilemma .
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Ben Carter replied to Luke brooks's discussion Hose use
"Thats a shame, Planting in mid summer dry period or not doesn't show a lot of sense.  Autumn is only a few weeks away."
Peter sellers replied to Peter sellers's discussion Planting spade
"Thanks Glen, I had looked at this, have you got or used? I'd more or less decided on the Bulldog Premier Treaded Tree Planting Spear code 5518112850 as it has a longer socket. It's difficult to judge from internet photos, can't find a local stockist…"
Glen Stillman replied to Peter sellers's discussion Planting spade

Hose use

My fellow pro gardeners raised the question during a hose pipe ban Are we allowed to use domestic clients hoses as professionals carrying out our work to keep a planting job alive ? I understand nurseries garden centres etc can and via a standpipe u…

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