Our garden project - Retaining walls

After starting the foundations we had to wait a week for the cement to dry properly before laying the breeze blocks for the retaining wall. They're hideous but they're sturdy. Eventually I'll buy something more aesthetically pleasing to cover them up but that's not what this part of the project is about. Nothing is particularly gorgeous right now.

Compared to the digging this part was actually not too laborious: We had all of the blocks delivered at the same time as the sand & cement so they were neatly tucked away in the area that will eventually be my kitchen garden which meant that the only heavy lifting was lugging each block from one end of the garden to the other.

More cement was mixed & each block was laid. A professional would probably make short work of this but it took us the better part of the morning as we had to keep checking that each brick was exactly level & changing whatever it was that was stopping it being so.

I've been super impressed by the way that Andy (George's stepfather) works & it's been really cool seeing George get involved. Hopefully he'll remember some of the skills for whenever we might need to do anything like this again. Or maybe by that time we'll just cave in & pay someone, but it's nice to know that he's a little bit 'wiser' for the whole experience.

After another week of waiting for the cement to dry I was aloud out of the kitchen to get involved a bit (I'm only half joking.) I started filling up the gaps that we had dug between the lawn & the wall as well as the gap between the fence & the wall. When we dug the trench we were a bit overzealous on one of the sides- as you can see - so around a tonne of soil was shifted back, which is great as that's a tonne less that we need to take to the dump.

We were playing with the idea of hiring a skip to shift the soil but the only skip that would fit would be too small for of the soil so we've been filling up the back of George's Ranger instead. As of writing this post we've taken two full truck loads to the dump & we think we may have another 5-10 trips to make.

It's tedious work but I'm thoroughly enjoying being involved & I still find it amazing watching the progress. I think that we may be shifting soil for another few weeks so I may not post an update for a month or so, but if anything amazing happens or we find something more interesting than bits of old vinyl tile & scrap metal while we're digging I shall post something sooner. We shall see.

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