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

Day 7

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Laying blockwork

Laying block work

Using a Marshalltown bricklaying trowel I apply the 4;1 ratio mortar to the top face of the plumb 225mm wide 7 Newton concrete blockwork, the thickness of the mortar bed on which each block is installed shall be 12-15mm.

For brickwork the bed and uniform perpend thickness will be 10mm.

Laying on the mortar

Laying on the mortar

I construct the two ends of the landscape rear garden feature wall, these are known as quions. Two courses of concrete blockworks are constructed on top of each other, staggering the blocks by means of two hall blocks on the next two courses insures this bond is locked together giving maximum strength to the overall bonding.

My mortar is creamy and easy to use, I'm not breaking by wrist trying to take a trowel full each time.

Plumb block wall

As I build by quion I insure the block work is level and plumb, by taking care constructing both quoins means I can use brick pins and a string line and run the block work in quickly, the larger the run the quicker you become as the preparation of the plumb quions allows you to use the spirit level less.

However, I do like to check my work every 20 / 30 blocks... habit or ocd.. I don't know.

Final sub base levelling

Sub base levelling

As I run the blockwork in, one member of the team sets the laser level receiving eye at the top of raised paving level from the datum, four road pins are installed on each corner of the Marshalls fairstone caramel cream raised seating area.

The two pins next to the open footings are set to 75mm below finished paving level, allowing 50mm full mortar bed and 25mm for the Marshalls high quality paving slab product.

Yes, we know the patio paving is 22mm thick !!.

The level for the two pins at the point of the step are adjust to allow a very slight run off for the surface water, I cant have my clients wine glass sliding off the glass top black rattan table can I?

You'll note that all levels are marked TOP OF TAPE for all string-line work.

Any person that walks through my string lines and snaps them are in debt to me by £10....

Final wacker compaction

Final wacker compaction

The raised seating area now has two consolidated layers of 50mm hardcore sub base stone material and each layers has a minimum of three passes of the wacker compactor plate to each layer.

This sub base is ready for patio paving, just not yet, I have footings, block work, lighting, beadwork, scratch coat, top render and two coats of very dark graphite to paint first.

Clean site, fill up water butts, cover walling with Hessian, etc, and clean tools.

Tomorrows blog:

Landscaping on a Marshalls kitchen garden

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Peter Cermak replied to John F's discussion Customer Cash Flow dilemma .
"2 things happened to me that still really make me so angry. The first only related to money and trust- I was selling a house I owned in France via an English estate agent who wrote for the Times and sun regularly and appeared on TV. Long story short…"
19 hours ago commented on Fleur Voice's blog post STIHL GB Remembers Eva Mayr-Stihl
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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.…"
Honey Badger replied to Peter sellers's discussion Planting spade
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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 .
"You are a business not a charity go and tell them they need to pay their bill if they have had their 28days if they say they can't just take them to small claims court. They obviously knew they couldn't pay before you had done the work so they…"
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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8 Replies · Reply by Ben Carter on Saturday
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