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Patio Choices: Black Limestone

black limestone naturalAlbeit used in a totally different context, I had noted this stone before when I used it on another garden project. Fair to say, I really, really like this one. What I had noticed however was that the stock images used by the stone companies all [generally] tend to show it with a high gloss finish. Like a new car in a show room. And really they should show you the images with ice cream and crisps and wailing kids squished in the back seats bawling whilst you are stuck in traffic; or something like that.

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Patio Choices: Sandstone Paving

sandstone patio

Laid well and chosen correctly sandstone can make one of the nicest outdoor spaces you’ve ever seen. There are however a few things that I chose to do on this project to make the finished garden look and the creating of just that little bit smarter.

Of note, you will find in sandstone that there are ruffles in its surface which do add character to its finish. Also you will find no matter which way you lay them, you will get some puddling of water within the slabs because of that; note again: no matter which way you lay them it will retain some water. That said it should also freely drain by the levels you set.

Aco Drain Channels – In reality I’d rather not have any drains but entirely necessary in this case I chose not to use the silver steel version but instead the matt black plastic just to fade it, as versus highlight. That said it does look quite smart.

The Sandstone Circle – was going to be 3 metre in diameter. A really smart call was made on this part way through to change to the 2 metre diameter. It comes as a set, so the only thing I really had to do was remove the outer third tier of the circle. We also made a smarter call to put it off centre ~ when it’s not a ye olde type formal garden, central rarely works out. Gardens for the long-term, good calls are very necessary. Great clients [I’d have preferred a friendlier word] really do help when it comes to things like this.

sandstone circle

Fuge – was also used in between the joints of the paving. In the context of time cost/ man hour units versus a more expensive product [?] it was for more reasons a far better choice than the old days of filling mortar into the joints by hand. The video explains that a little bit more.

The mix of slab colour was also a good choice as versus going with the one colour theme and I personally find it almost changes colour as the light descends upon it. I also used an old timber edge as the surround. From a logic perspective, this will allow the pebble to be retained on the peripheral beds and from a design point of view the colours tie in quite well with the stone colours.

note: the garden was created 2nd week in April and in the paving images, the sand/ grit had literally just been brushed in.

 * all pics courtesy Donegan Landscaping

The SodShow – Dublin Garden Radio – Sept 2nd 2011

The Sodshow Garden Podcast – every Friday – in iTunes, www.sodshow.com all good podcast stores.

The SodShow – Dublin Garden Radio Podcast – Sept 2nd 2011 (mp3)

The SodShow – Fridays 3pm Live – Dublin City Fm

peter donegan brian greene

With thanks to this weeks guest:

John Farrell of Atfar Construction starts off with an intro to a new weekly segment session talking all things hard landscaping.

And of course I will be talking all of the thing you can be doing in your garden this September.

Listen to The SodShow Live @ 3pm:

  • Tune in: 103.2fm on your radio dial if you are in the Dublin area
  • Listen live online: every Friday 3pm via TuneIn.com – on your phone or desktop

Listen Later:

Making Contact:

How To Make A New Patio

 

NB: This post is not a post about the most beautiful patio competition ~ or anything like it. It is a short post on how to lay a patio.

This area was where a sunken shed was. It flooded. It was to be raised. It was a sun trap. Grey slabs were asked for. Fancy giving it a go ? Until you give it a crack – you can’t really ask the questions…. Images below.

  • the shed/ area cleared
  • the base for the patio was put in using new sleeper timbers

Then…

  • 9 square metres of paving were ordered
  • the frame for the base was complete using 6 new timber sleepers
  • a little over 1 tonne of hardcore was using for the base

Then…

  • the whacker was hired for a half day for €26 [thanks Elayne!]
  • the hardcore is wacked first then the sharp sand is wacked after
  • screeding is also done until the surface is ready

Then…

  • the patio slabs are then laid
  • about one bag of fine patio sand is then brushed into the gaps

In short and in brief – there you have it. My other advice

  • make sure that spot is where you really want it to go
  • always order a little more than you need – spare slabs will always be required and extra delivery of minute amounts is a bad idea
  • ‘measure twice and cut once’ – so to speak when making your list of materials and order it all in the one go
  • shop local if possible – it may cost a few cents more but free advice when you are stuck is well worth it

what I ordered for a 7.8 metre squared patio

  • 9 no. metres squared of slabs
  • 2 no. bags of 6″ nails
  • 7 no. 2.2 metre new railway sleepers
  • 65 no. 25kg bags of hardcore
  • 15 no. 25kg bags of sharp sand
  • 2 no. 25kg bags of fine/ brush in patio sand

organic, recycled gardens …?

...unless you own a truck that is

...unless you own a truck that is

Why is there a picture of a man sitting on a truck at the bottom of this post…? The man is my good friend Thomas. You may know him from his most unusual garden guest post here. But you may also know Thomas from the much famed Irish Allotments – something, unknowns to most, he does in his spare time. All told that makes him a pretty good guy. And he is. Genuinely.

Anyhow Thomas and Máire [another story, but, via genuinely the sincerest gesture of genorosity I’ve ever heard – yes niceness still exists 🙂 ] have just moved out of their apartment and into their first house home. Naturally, like all young couples – the extra dollars didn’t exist for their first garden to look like Southfork immediately… and Thomas being an eco-geek like myself wanted it to have a story anyway charachter.

Tommy, would you like a recycled garden… ?

...organic gardens

...organic gardens

To answer the original question… We had taken apart a garden recently and rather than dump the stone to landfill, I called Thomas. Client also agreed and felt it was very much the ‘thing to do’. A truck was hired for one hundred euro.

What had actually accumulated was

  • 45 metres squared paving
  • 2 tonne of decorative gravel
  • 20 metres squared steppings
  • 25 metres squared cobbles
  • and some chicken wire
  • …and a half sheet of trellice
thomas...

thomas...

I thought of some of my friends, years ago, when the starter home and mortgage deposits were being paid back to the sibblings they were borrowed from [funny thing, a story like that would probably make the news today 🙂 ]. A shed, a fence, a something to enhance the eyesore was required and we all chipped in. All of the friends. There were *no* complaints, it was the done thing. Feng Shui’s weren’t on the wish list. Thomas was starting were I started 🙂

As a by the way he lives in Cork and although I will be there whenever he needs help… I will not be responsible for the final outcome of the ‘design’. Note no.2 is that apart from the truck hire of €100 all materials were taken/ given free gratis. More important. There was a massive feel good factor for all parties concerned. Everyone felt good about this story. Thomas has also agreed to write a little story with pictures of the complete garden and its progress on his weblog:)

So from now, if I do a garden and the client decides/ agrees with the decision to do so – I will take the ‘whatever it is’ to my home rather than to landfill [where possible] and write a post on my blog to see if we can find a good home for it.

What do you think?