Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Decomposed Granite for the path

With the path sides complete, I can now fill the area between.  Most of it has been filled with limestone rock rubble from the digging, but now for the top we put down a layer of decomposed granite.  We needed about half a cubic yard to finish it.  We got that from Whittlesey Landscape Supplies, for $17.11, putting it in plastic bags from the hardwood mulch and carrying it in the back of the Forester.

 This should finish off the pathway, at least to make it usable, while everything settles.  Eventually we will put flagstones down on it.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Laying down the limestone blocks on top of the cement walls

On both sides of the new path, and alone the fence, we have poured cement walls, down to bedrock, leaving enough room to put 4x4 inch limestone blocks on the top.  All of this will be underground except the top surface of the limestone blocks which will be the dividing line between the path and the beds on both sides.  For this last set of stones, it seems we want it to match the quality of the stones for the patio, so I figured I should hire a professional, rather than doing it myself.

I hired two guys, working as Saul's Masonry, 512-939-7656.  They came out and we talked over what I wanted, and agreed on a price of $400.  I figured there was about 100 linear feet of stones to be laid.

The most important part is of course the path. 

So they started there, putting down a bed of mortar and laying the stones on that, keeping everything level.

Going down the long side and then coming back and doing the shorter piece.

In addition, we have the cement wall under the fence.

This is easier, since it's just a straight line.  But still, doing a good job is important.  And apparently I should have made the wall slightly higher so they had to use more mortar to make up the difference.

The whole thing took about 6 hour, and looks good.  As they were finishing up, it starts to rain, but only enough to keep things wet.

Finishing the main backyard pit

Having dug out along the fence, and finished putting in a cement wall to outline the backyard along the fence, we then want to finish digging out the main pit and start filling it back in.  We had left a peninsula sticking out into the pit.

 It seems it would be easier to restart the digging if this edge of the part of the yard that has been processed if this was a straight line, so we began digging out that part.

 It took about 3 days to dig that out, separate out the rocks and mix the dirt that remains with leaves and spread it all out.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Burying the Cat (again)

Back in 2002, our cat, Pepper, died.  We buried her in the backyard, along the fence.  I'm now digging up along the fence.

I think I know where she is buried, and after some work, I found her.  Or at least parts of her.  Her skull was the most obvious part, and once that was located, other bones -- ribs, backbone, hip, legs -- were located.

I put her remaining bones into a nicely decorated clay pot

and reburied them at the bottom of zone 2.

 with a flat piece of flagstone on top.

This should be a quiet spot for her remains, out of the way, and unlikely to be further disturbed.

Digging along the fence, Part 3

Back to digging.  The goal is to get to the rock wall, so we can install the edge wall along the fence.

After another day, more progress.

 More days, more progress.


 And finally, we have it dug out all the way to the stone wall.

Once we have it dug out, we then go back and work on trimming it up so that it is straight down from the fence.  One day got us about 2/3 of the way to the end, but that's enough to start pouring cement.

Straight down the fence, all the way to bedrock.

Now we can frame it up with our standard pieces of Masonite sheets  using 1 x 4 wood pieces to separate it from the fence, and then using compost and mulch bags to hold it all in place.

 This first part took 15 bags of 60-pound Quik-crete and 2 and a half hours to mix and pour.

Now we can dig out the remainder while this sets up.  Then we can remove the framing and move it down to the remaining section.