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 C replied to Jim Gibbon's discussion Secateurs
"Apparently only 4.7% of people in Japan are left handed, in the uk it is 11%.  Until around 20 years ago in Japan left handedness was frowned upon and considered ill mannered. Children were corrected if they used the wrong hand for chopsticks etc. M…"
2 hours ago
Ali Launder replied to Fleur Voice's discussion Black Lives Matter
"I am not surprised but I am disappointed to find this in our gardening forum.
Whilst it is sad that James Wong has had those experiences, we have to consider that, as with most things, humans focus on the negative aspects of life rather than the goo…"
2 hours ago
Kris Baker replied to Jim Gibbon's discussion Secateurs
"I've moved from Felco to Okatsune too. Sure you can take Felcos to bits and service them, but I never really got mine sharpened, sorted and back together as well as "when new". I'm sure other folk do a better job than I ever did on mine ... and send…"
5 hours ago
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Fusion Media posted a blog post
More and more greenkeepers are talking about problems with parasitic nematodes affecting their turf. Seaweed could provide a sustainable, novel solution for reducing plant-parasitic nematodes in turf grass.Without previous extended research into thi…
7 hours ago
John F replied to Jim Gibbon's discussion Secateurs
"I have a pair i keep at home which are vintage c.k secateurs made in Italy with a clip at the bottom , you can pick them up for around £10 or less in antique shops , cracking secateurs ,a bit on the heavy side , steel handles not easy to grip unlike…"
9 hours ago
Kevin Bradnick replied to Jim Gibbon's discussion Secateurs
"I have a set of of the Tobisho, which I keep at home as they're the premium ones. My work ones are the Okatsune and if I had them at home too, I'd prob use them over the Tobisho. They are easier to use, slightly smaller grip on them which suits me a…"
19 hours ago
Jim Gibbon replied to Jim Gibbon's discussion Secateurs
"That's definitely part of why I'm tempted Jonathan, they just look and feel really nice. I'm a sucker for nicely engineered tools."
19 hours ago
Jim Gibbon replied to Jim Gibbon's discussion Secateurs
"You're right Geoffrey,  locking when I don't want them to can be a pain sometimes. Especially when wearing gloves. It would be great to have a go with all of the secateurs mentioned on this thread."
19 hours ago
Jim Gibbon replied to Jim Gibbon's discussion Secateurs
"Thanks John, maybe I will double up and have two holsters hanging off my belt for a quick draw lol."
20 hours ago
Jim Gibbon replied to Jim Gibbon's discussion Secateurs
"Thankyou everyone, I really enjoy pruning etc. with a decent, well maintained set of secateurs. I  am left handed like you Dave and mostly use Felco 9s. 
The Okatsune secateurs don't appear to have a left handed option. In fact the cheapest left han…"
20 hours ago
Dave Colton replied to Jim Gibbon's discussion Secateurs
"I have felcos because they do a left handed version of most of them and I have not had any issues with them, I have 9,10,16 and a pair of 13s and they do me Stirling service bit I do like the look of the japanese types so  will maybe get a pair if I…"
20 hours ago
Jonathan Davidson replied to Jim Gibbon's discussion Secateurs
"I have felco 2, 5 & 7 i think the pair with the rotating handle make a difference, I do get them serviced every now and then.
What I have discovered is that some recently purchased niwaki snips are amazing for tight snipping and deadheading etc they…"
21 hours ago
PETER C replied to Jim Gibbon's discussion Secateurs
"I am another convert from Felco to Okatsune ( several years ago ). I find  them a pleasure to use, they keep an edge longer than Felcos, they feel more robust and have only needed replacing  when I have pushed them beyond their limits too often. The…"
21 hours ago
Seth Burgess replied to Jim Gibbon's discussion Secateurs
"I used to use Felcos but much prefer my Okatsune."
22 hours ago
Jim Gibbon replied to Jim Gibbon's discussion Secateurs
"Thankyou Graham, I already know all about Felcos and have no problem with them, I didn't actually say I was going to change.
My questions, as you can see, were aimed at people who use Japanese Secateurs and I was asking purely out of interest and fr…"
23 hours ago

Black Lives Matter

In light of recent events surrounding Black Lives Matter and issues of racism within our society, I thought it was important to have a short word on the topic.Back in February, I posted a blog post delving into the lack of diversity within the…

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20 Replies · Reply by GaryRK 41 minutes ago