Pictures: New patio project – part 1

Here’s a little time lapse of my latest project to remove the fanciful (read: craptastic) little garden that the former owners had put in and replace it with a proper granite patio.

This first picture is after about 8 hours of digging — the bare spot by the wheelbarrow had previously been a roughly 1 meter high hill of giant rocks and deep rooted grass. 20 wheelbarrows carted.Image

8 or so hours later — tree cut down (and cut up), discovered cement edging (wheelbarrow on top), discovered that pond is in fact a solid cement baby pool of unknowable provenance. 40 wheelbarrows carted.Image

Detour #1: Tree stump.  Tried digging under (can’t – solid layer of packed aggregate topped by plastic), sawed through a few roots, Gave burning a go. Filled up box with charcoal and burned for 12 hours straight. Result: slightly warmer stump, and a week’s supply of roasted potatoes. Later returned to digging and cutting roots – one by one…
6 hours of digging later. Discovered that plastic tarp in fact covers the whole square – leading to the surprising revelation that someone had actually landscaped the place. Had been under illusion that it was just piles of random dirt.  Began sawing through and pulling out giant mats of roots from pond. Note growing pile of rocks in background.

Detour #2: Delivery of three tons of granite. Really, it’s a LOT of granite. ImageImageImage

Saturday morning: Ground now roughly level — except for the giant rocks and the pond itself. Total of 60 carts of dirt have been removed.  Invested in sledgehammer. Discovered that the pond is made of REINFORCED (!) concrete, and that the big rocks are all cemented together.

Saturday afternoon: top level of pool has been broken up. Giant rocks separated and removed. Still to go: remove another fifteen cartloads of dirt, break down another few inches of pool, remove remaining plants and plastic (it’s one giant piece–I may end up just burning the lot), poke hole in bottom of pool (won’t be easy, but it’s either that or break the whole thing up), fill in pool with remaining dirt.  Cut remaining roots on stump and pry the fucker up.  That’s another two days of work.

So I am just over half done with a project that has turned out to be a lot more work than I had ever expected.

On the plus side, swinging around a sledgehammer never stops being fun. It’s exactly like a kettlebell workout, except that you want to hear the sound of things breaking.