The Great Wall

Between the earth bank on which most of the garden sits and the barn lies a narrow strip of earth, perhaps 6 feet wide. The path runs just over half way along this wall and the strip of earth beyond that has been left pretty much untouched except for a small concrete plinth laid to tidy-up the foot of the walls. Just before the path ends there used to be a concrete machinery stand that was removed leaving an untidy area where the ground levels change. There was also a piece of perforated pipe that feeds into the land drain that runs under the path that needed to be laid.

So to lay the pipe and tidy up the site of the old machinery stand I got to work with my pick and shovel. As you can see the results got messy…

From Barn Conversion 2011

As I’ve previously mentioned the the soil is very stratified and contains layers of clay interspersed with lighter soil and a lot of stones. In places it holds a lot of water. As you dig, small streams of trapped water are released – adding to the mud.

But eventually I got there. The pipe is in place, over a ton of drainage stone has gone in the ground (and more is needed) and I’ve used both water permeable and non-permeable membranes to hopefully keep the water and mud where I want them. I’ve also managed to use the ‘flag on edge’ wall building technique that I discovered on the great website – I’ll use this more extensively as I work around the garden. I even managed to reuse some of engineering bricks that were the old kitchen floor in both the internal structure of the wall and to give a base for the flags to rest on.

From Barn Conversion 2011