Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Walkway in front of the raised garden

While waiting for the telephone company to fix our land line phone cable, I've started digging out the area where the walkway will go in front of the raised garden. We already have the area behind and to the North of the raised garden, so we have the front and to the South to do.

The first problem is to mark the area to be excavated.

Next we remove all the grass, exposing the dirt to be moved.

We dig down with the dirt. In some places, we only go a couple of inches before we hit rock. One day of digging gets the first half.

A second day of digging gets the second half.

As you can see, rocks lay just below the surface. So now we need to take out those rocks. We were hoping that we could use the dirt edge as one side of the framing for pouring a vertical cement wall, but it looks like the rocks do not happen to separate where we want them to, so we will need to extract rocks that will leave a void under the ground in the yard. Eventually we will want to dig out the yard too. It may be sooner for parts of the yard than we wanted.

So far we've done pretty well with just taking the rocks out of the desired area. Most of these rocks are too big to manage as is, so I've brought out the jackhammer and split them at the edge of the trench.

We have about half the rocks out now, and just need to continue to split them and remove them.

Continuing with the excavation, we are down to one (big) rock to remove, right at the corner of the walkway and the North Pit. In preparation for the cement wall defining the boundary of the walkway, we have to consider how the walkway continues from the raised garden to the back patio, so we have laid that out and will need to excavate the extended walkway, probably 3 feet or so, to provide the right support and connection to the extended walkway.

The objective now is to fill this trench with rock, ready for flagstones to make it a walkway. To do this, we need both sides of the trench well-defined. So we are going ahead and putting in the retaining wall that will separate the yard (dirt) from the trench (rock). Once we have that wall in place, we can fill the trench with rock. We use our standard technique of using the dirt for one side of the frames and the masonite boards as the other, separated by multiple 1x4 boards, and held in place with our bags of compost/manure.

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