Ok, I’ve mentioned that I had been sorting my garden out on the odd thread here and there, and last weekend I finally finished. So the following is what I did from start to finish. I’m not saying it will work for everybody, but it may give people a direction to start from.
The garden is 9m wide by 7m long, with a large wall to the back as the house behind me is on higher ground. I got the house in December 2004 and it was pretty clear from the first time I went into the garden that the drainage would be a problem. I was quoted €3,000 to have the garden sorted, so I decided to have a go myself
This pic shows the garden before I did any major work. The previous owner had cut some railway sleepers up and had used them as steps to the shed which I have filled in. The shed itself was surrounded by some trellis which was held in place by 2x4 steaks which had been concreted in.
This gives a better look at the holes left after I had dug the concrete out. The hole in the bottom right was from two concrete posts that I merged together to form my soakaway hole. As I dug this hole, after about .4 of a metre, I had to use a pick axe to make any progress as the clay was too hard. After a metre, the muck turned into regular soft muck which was no problem. In the end the depth is about 1.4 metres. Note the water in the hole on the left, this is from rain from over a week previous, whereas over the Winter the big hole filled up a few times with heavy rain, but drained off after a number of days.
I have cleared the grass at this stage, rotivated it and have started on the trenches which will lead to the big hole. Looking back I may have got a couple of the directions wrong, as the slopes are not the best.
After my Winter break I got stuck in and made some good progress. This is just before the pipes stage
The piping which I used was made by Wavin and is perforated with about a 10cm diameter. At the join points I cut the end of the joining part in two, and tie wrapped it to the main pipe in the middle.
This shows how I laid the pipes a bit better. On the base of the trench I placed the same type of material to stop weeds growing in flowerbeds, as it will stop the soil getting into the stones, but will allow water to flow threw. I’m told that this material will degrade over a number of years, but I think it’s the only thing that can be used to stop the two mixing. The stones I used are 20mm in size and come in 20KG bags.
This shows the main hole being filled up with the rougher type rubble at the bottom. As I got to the top, I mixed in the smaller stones. You can just make out some chicken wire around the edge as well; I used this on top of the porous material to give a stable and flat surface to finish.
I’ve started to fill in the holes at this stage, and have used topsoil which I got in 30kg bags which I got from the local garden centre. In the end I used about 40 bags, and would have been much better getting it delivered in bulk at the start.
This was just before I laid out the new grass. I had thought about planting seed, but the ground is still very hard in areas, and I don’t think that seed would take that well.
This was my day of triumph after nearly a years wait. Laying the sods was hard enough work as they had been rain soaked and pretty heavy, but was nothing compared to the last years digging etc. I got them from http://www.summerhilllawns.ie
I would roughly make up my costs as the following:
Top soil €230
TOTAL = €950
I have some of the piping left for sale (free) over on the FS section if anybody is interested.
Feel free to ask any questions as I have been pretty brief in what I have done and have probably missed some info.