It has been a slow job but we finally got all the vegetable beds setup at Jackdaw Ridge.
Using recycled railway sleepers – these solid pine sleepers have great character and are well weathered. We’d looked for oak sleepers but they were elusive and after waiting for weeks we finally opted for the pine. The sleepers were sourced from Europe and delivered by Roskam Farm Enterprises near Tuamgraney. Jan Roskam was very good to deal with and I’d recommend him. They are fairly hefty 2.6m x 0.25m x 0.15m and took a fair bit of manhandling to cut, set and fix them in place.
We’ve got spuds, tomatoes, strawberries, courgette, squash, salad leaves and rhubarb underway and a few more beds to plant over the summer .. looking forward to a few fresh veggies in the months to come.
Once the footpaths were completed we had our excellent blocklayer back to build the retaining walls around the entranceway. A few weeks later we had then rendered with the same external finish as the main Aquapanel walls.
The area was filled with coarse gravel and topped with the same black chip used around the rest of the house perimeter. The radon vent pipe was left just above the top of the gravel – but later a vent cap was fitted to the top of the pipe which allowed it to be put just under the top of the gravel and hidden.
The weather is clearing up and the patio layout got underway.
We have opted for a blue limestone from an irish quarry with a flamed surface finish which makes is safer to walk on when wet.
The stone features a wide range of natural shell, coral and other fossil inclusions which adds lots of interest. Looking forward to our first meal outside this weekend. Summer dining in the sunshine here we come.
It took about 4 days and a bit to complete, and although the edges need to be filled with gravel and grass around the outer edges which will be planted in the autumn, the patio is ready to use.
Before the winter sets in I managed to get out into the garden and plant 3 apple trees. We have a cooking apple ‘Bramley‘ and two eating apples ‘Beauty of Bath‘ and “Katy/Katja‘ planted on the south east corner of the garden.
Looking forward to an apple or two in 2014 and years of jams, pies, chutneys and WASPS at Jackdaw Ridge.
With the autumn upon us … it is time to set the lawn and finish around the exterior of the house. The front patio will wait until next year but in the meantime we need to get the grass and gravel set down.
The lawn was sprayed with weedkiller in mid-August and, with a nice spell of dry weather last week, it has done the job of killing most of the weeds. A local landscaping professional Paul Gleeson and his crew have spent a couple of days working on the lawn and it is now largely complete.
After removing all the large boulders, rotavating the lawn it took a couple of passes with a grader/rake to get a level finish into which the seed can be sown. A good dose of rain in the coming days will get it started and hopefully we will have a nice, rich, lush lawn by the time spring 2014 comes around.
The strip between the house and footpath has also been filled in with a local stone chip which will permit drainage but keep the weeds at bay (fingers crossed).
After the fabulous weather of the previous week .. we managed to pick a wet/rainy few days to get the topsoil spread across the site which made for less than ideal conditions.
Joe McNamara, who has worked on the foundations, footpaths and other siteworks was back on site with digger, dumper and some help to complete the work.
The rear boundary has been clearly defined with a small mound which will reduce any rainwater run-off coming from the hill behind the house. Treated posts with wire mesh and barbed wire were also set along the rear boundary.
In the back garden, we have a set of terraced beds for vegetables and such along the northern boundary which are south facing and should gets lots of sun (when it shows its face). Joe did a great job of shaping the rear garden to give us the maximum flat area through the side and around to the front garden. Out front the lawn is set slightly higher than the patio area and it is sloped gently towards the road boundary with steeper sides for the car park.
We have to wait now for a month or two for the topsoil to settle before we get any weeds sprayed and the lawns raked, rolled and seeded in time for the autumn.
The scaffolding is now being installed on site. Should be ready just-in-time for the arrival of Kingspan on Thursday 11th next.
After a few weeks where not much happened at the site, we are now back in action and the next few weeks promise lots of changes as the frame of the house takes shape.
We went with Assured Access Scaffolding from Ennis for the supply of our …. scaffolding. Nigel of AAS has been a pleasure to deal with and very good in getting onsite and erecting the scaffolding in time for our frame installation next week.