Tuesday, July 08, 2008


In my last post I mentioned that I’d hit a couple of snags in my plans for global garden domination.

Snag number came when I planted my aerial hedge. The trees had rootballs slightly larger than a basketball, so they needed fairly decent-sized holes. But just a couple of inches under the surface of the soil I ran into a line of jagged concrete chunks. At first I thought they might be the footings for the garage, but they seemed too haphazard. I eventually managed to unearth one of the chunks, and discovered that it was, in fact, most of a cinderblock.

Once again I’d run into the curse of my garden. When the house was renovated by the previous owners about eight years ago, they decided that hiring a skip to take the rubble away was unnecessary when they could just bury it all in the garden instead. I’m constantly finding lumps of bricks and pieces of glass whenever I do any digging. This, however, was my biggest find yet.

After I’d pulled up five or six broken cinderblocks, and discovered that there were still more of them buried lower down, I lost patience and just planted the trees anyway. I’m trusting that their roots can find the many gaps between the blocks.

And now, of course, I have to find a way to get rid of the big stack of broken cinderblocks sitting on my front path. Perhaps I should bury them in some out of the way spot in my garden?

Or better yet, in my neighbour’s garden…

Snag number two came on Friday, when the limestone blocks I’d ordered a week earlier finally arrived. While the Golf has on various occasions carried four trees, a two metre by one metre sheet of plywood, and two armchairs, I realized that asking it to haul more than 600kg of limestone blocks was probably out of the question. So I had them delivered, at vast expense and an inexplicable delay of six days.

When I helped the delivery man unload them from the truck I was sort of alarmed at my apparent lack of strength and fitness. The last time I bought the exact same blocks for a different garden project they’d felt heavy but manageable. This time I felt as if my back was going to snap like a frayed piece of bungee every time I lifted one.

It wasn’t until after the delivery man had left that I double-checked the measurements, and discovered that he’d brought me the wrong blocks. The ones I’d ordered and paid for were 500mm by 250mm by 100mm. These were 500mm by 250mm by 150mm, or basically 50% wider. The original blocks weighed 20kg. These weighed 32kg. I had more than a ton of limestone sitting in my garage waiting to be manhandled into my garden.

Still, the new blocks were probably better suited to the job, and I realized that I could get The Flatmate to help me get them into place. He has the benefits of being a) young, b) fit and c) bereft of a social life offering him better things to do. So I did as much as I could (nine blocks’ worth) on Friday, and The Flatmate and I wrestled the remaining twenty three blocks into place on Saturday.

I suppose, however, that these snags are fairly minor when I consider the lucky breaks (like discovering that the reticulation lines didn’t need to be moved) and the fact that the new design looks better than I’d imagined. Now I just have to grind my teeth and wait impatiently for the weekend so that I can finish it.


Anonymous fishgosquish said...

Hmm... We have just had our pool taken out and we are filling the hole with rubble before covering it with sand, fortunately it is still over a metre down....

11:17 AM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

If you need more rubble to fill your hole, I have some broken cinderblocks going cheap!

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Emma said...

Photos please blanders. I love limestone, living down Freo way it is very much around me, and I would like to see your interpretation of it. You must be a bit sore here and there from all that hefting.

12:00 PM  

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