Sunday, 6 July 2014

Before And After

The following photos may well leave you rather uninspired but you will just have to believe me that major things have happened over the last two days.  Mark the earthmoving guy turned up for 11 hours with his bobcat, digger and tip-ute to complete the long awaited task of moving the dirt we didn't want in places, and put the dirt into places that we did want it.
This is the back of the house, before shot above and after shot below.  Since the house was built the soil behind has gradually crept downwards and was starting to cover the concrete paving.  The whole area was very lumpy bumpy and the slope from one side of the house to the other was more than we wanted.  Mark moved the excess soil from the front of the house to the back, including plenty of kikuyu runners mixed in, smoothed it all all and altered the levels so the end nearest us is now higher.  The majority of that area straight ahead will be grass, nice smooth grass.
Still at the back of the house but from the other side.  The sloped area there, shown firstly with the creep of soil towards the house, will become a double level of garden beds, sort of kitchen garden/cottage garden is my plan. 
The after shot showing how Mark has pulled the soil back a fair way, which gives Steve plenty of room to build retaining walls and a strip of gravel drainage between the walls and the concrete paving.  It will be much easier to push the soil down behind the retaining walls rather than dig it out and upwards - all hail the mechanical digger!  We are also going to fence the back garden although we are still undecided whether to just fence the terraced garden beds or go further back and fence the grassed area as well, watch this space.
The before shot of the corner of the front of the house.  It may not look like much but there is wayyyy too much sand here, it is too high and it has crept and spread all over the driveways.
Believe me, mega amounts of dirt have been shifted in this photo, heaps!!  As our septic tanks are under all that Mark had to use a small digger, rather than a heavy bobcat so it took a bit longer.  We are so happy it's all nice and level along there now, all we have to to now is wait for the grass to grow. 
Another before shot of the front of the house, from the other end.  Messy, too high, and spread going all over the driveway.
And afterwards, lovely and flat with loads of kikuyu runners dug in with Mark's equipment - he dug it out where it wasn't wanted, spread it along the top here, then patted soil down over it with his mechanical digger's bucket.
This is where the kangaroos have been jumping up near our car parking area for their breakfast.  As there was no grass there they are gradually destroying the hill and making a big mess.
Mark has made me three tiers of kikuyu steps, banged down firmly with his bobcat.  All hail the bobcat!  Providing we can get this grassed solidly it should be a strong wall (will put a temporary fence up for the rest of the year to persuade the roos to hop up somewhere different) and will avoid us having to buy more very expensive huge rocks.
This before shot gives an idea of the sand spreading down and across the driveway.  Messy and ugly and a pain.
Digging and bobcatting and scraping done, and lo and behold a driveway reappears!
With the leftover sand we got Mark to build a bank for a future pond.  As it goes with men and their big machines, the pond has got bigger than Ben Hur, having been dug out as well.  It's hard to see properly in the photo below, but that is one big hole!  Mark has sculpted the soil around it so the rain runoff from the driveway will be steered towards the pond, to top it up.  The Hole can sit there for quite some time, but eventually we will turn it into a big pond with a liner in it, and add rocks and plants around the edge.  We plan to put yabbies in it.
And here is Steve, deep in thought, no doubt contemplating all those new jobs bestowed on him! :-)
And here is sir, in demon mode.  A split second after the photo, those claws attacked my hands at the top of the chair, then we had a fisticuffs battle on either side of the chair with wiggling fingers and paws poking between the wood slats.  :-)
He looks the picture of innocence....  He has taken to awakening me in the early morning by diving his paws under the covers at the side of the bed, to attack my feet.  We end up sleeping with no part of our bodies near the edge of the bed!  I believe the quoted expression heard pre-dawn recently was "piss off you grey turd".  I confess, it was me.  :-)

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