Monday, 17.09.2007

Another back breaking weekend.

Last week we got the bricks delivered to continue the edging around the front driveway. We started it last year with some leftover bricks from the back garden. But now it was time to finish the rest and complete the front yard.

We picked up the compactor on Friday from the rental place to pack down the driveway fill once the bricks were in place. Saturday got off to a good start by bucketing down all morning. It finally let up about lunch time after turning the driveway fill into muddy soup. That afternoon Pia split all the bricks in half (they come in a pair and have to be broken in half to reveal the rough face) and I started doing the edge around the front flower garden. This went quiet well, although keeping the curve and height correct is time consuming. The worst came when going up the side of the driveway and where the height of the wall went from two bricks tall down to one. Once that was done we finished the day by compacting most of the driveway and yard. It went quite well considering how wet it was during the morning. But at least part of it was like trying to compact porridge and left a layer of fine mud over the surface behind the machine. We got the lightest compactor they had, 60kg, but even so it turned the kivituhka (stone dust) into quite a hard surface.

Flowers are still blooming!

Sunday was off to an early start. We were out starting on the other side of the driveway by about 9am. The first part went quite quickly, but it soon became clear that the ground level there was much higher than it should have been and the bricks would need to be set into the ground a bit to line up with the eventual ground and grass level. Unfortunately the ground there is very lumpy gravel and rock left over from the house construction. Trying to clean it away with the shovel was extremely slow work. We also found a huge lump of concrete buried there that we couldn’t dig up. The only solution was to chip enough out to get over it. And with all that and trying to line up nicely the large curves there it took until late afternoon to finish the brick laying.

Have to patch that brown spot...

Once the bricks were down we still had to level the rest of the area where all the dirt and sand had been dumped over the last couple of years and then lay the rest of the kivituhka. The compactor was due back at the rental shop Monday morning so we didn’t have any time to spare. Moving the top layer was relatively easy, being a layer of sand and dirt over the gravel. But the gravel itself had to come down a few centimetres and that was really painful to skim off with the shovel. But after and a couple of hours we had the surface relatively flat and used the compactor to knock the rest down to size (useful machine that).

Next we spread the remaining kivituhka around and also used it to fill in all the low spots, leveling the whole thing out with a plank. After flattening out the last of the soft spots with the compactor we finally finished about 7pm.

The whole kaboodle.

The final things to do are fill in the areas behind the bricks with dirt for the garden and to rebuild the lawn behind the rest.