Saturday, 30 July 2011

Landscaping Made Hard….

For our wedding anniversary, Mom gave us some money, and we decided that, rather than blowing it on one nice meal out, we would do something we could enjoy for a long time.  Some of the garden.

The plan was to build some decking in the one corner, however, having priced it all up, it was coming up at about £500 for 7m2. Obviously this just was not practical.

We then spotted a fixed price pack of garden slabs that would cover a 7.2m2 area. It was only £125.00, and as Mom’s money pretty much covered the most of this amount, this was the way we decided to go.

The pack contained two sizes of slabs, 600x600, and 600x300.  We were supplied with a plan to work from for the layout, that would give us a very nice random pattern effect.

We were not at all daunted by this, as we had dome a very similar thing at our previous house, using a 3 slab size pattern, and it was a great effect.

It all began with the delivery of the slabs, sand and concrete.  The nearest we could get was a tarpaulin at the rear of our home, in from of our garage door.  this meant, relocating the sand, shovel by shovel, into the back garden! I placed the sand into the wheelbarrow, and Paul transferred it all into the bag in the garden.


Then we placed the slabs on top of the grass, in the general area they were going to be placed, to ensure we understood the pattern layout.


Having got it all sorted in our heads, it was then Paul’s time.  Pick axe in hand he pulled up the existing plain grey concrete slabs and broke up the ground underneath, keeping some as hard core.IMG00227-20110728-1620IMG00229-20110728-1656IMG00232-20110729-1822

All of this groundwork was completed on the Friday afternoon, and so, bright and breezy on Saturday morning, we began to lay the slabs, centrally to the rear of the house, so that we could lay a second pack along side when we were ready, creating a nice central square design (fingers crossed) when it is all finally completed.

Paul’s job was to lay the slabs, and mine to mix the muck, using a borrowed cement mixer from one of Paul’s friends.IMG00233-20110730-1008IMG00234-20110730-1009

We got the first 5 or 6 slabs down, and then I had to leave Paul briefly, in order to meet up with Jamie, Phill, Simon, Vikki, Sara, Pam, Sally-Ann and Mike.

Everyone was down to see Pam as a surprise.  Pam was exhibiting some of her art this weekend in the Millennium Hall in Portreath, and they came as support, and to help set up for her.

We all drove in convoy to Falmouth, where we stopped for a cuppa and a chat at the Falmouth Watersports Centre, and a few of us then headed into Trago for a quick mooch.

An hour or so later, I bid everyone farewell until later, grabbed a couple of pasty’s from Oggies, and headed home to feed and continue helping Paul.

I arrived home in time for the worst slabs to go down.  The area we are currently working on has 3 manhole covers to cut around, so not the easiest to deal with.  Having suggested we use the man hole cover as a template to get the circle correct for the cut edge of the slab, Paul got out his angle grinder and began making noise and dust.  Of course, he also got a perfect curve to go around the manhole too!IMG00238-20110730-1550IMG00240-20110730-1717IMG00242-20110730-1726IMG00244-20110730-1727

Suddenly it was 5pm, and we had to quickly pack up, and get showered, as we were going down to the opening of the art exhibition, as Pam’s guests, and also meeting up with everyone once more.

We had a lovely evening looking at the art work, and casting our votes for most favoured piece, and a few of us even bought some paintings.

A tiring but lovely and very productive day.  Hopefully tomorrow we will be able to complete the laying of this pack of slabs before the second lot is delivered on Monday morning!

Jo Anne


  1. Great to see what you were getting up to!

  2. What a lot of graft, especially shifting the sand. Me and my OH once had to barrow 5 TONS of stones from front to back to make a surround for our terrace and by the end we were crippled, so well done you for still having the energy to go out in the evening :)