Helen's Garden Renovation Project

Thursday 3 April 2014

Return of the Renovation Project

Filed under: Pond,Progress — Helen @ 1:41 pm

From this week onwards I am no longer doing extra hours at the day job. Until now it has been impossible to find time to do anything significant in the garden, and the winter rain and storms have also prevented any progress. But now I am back to 18.5 hours a week, and I am back in the garden!

My opening move was to pressure-wash the patio. This is more of a health and safety issue than a cosmetic one. Pressure washers were on offer at B&Q, so I went and bought one, and here are the before and after photographs.

Patio before pressure washing

Patio before pressure washing

Patio after pressure washing

Patio after pressure washing

After reading the dire warnings about being careful not to wash animals, car tyres or myself with the pressure washer, I thought it would be fearsomely vicious and would have all the grouting off as soon as look at it. But when I tried it with the standard “spray lance”, I was underwhelmed. Although the original colour of the slabs was appearing again, it felt a bit like cleaning them with a toothbrush. However, when I tried the “Dirtblaster”, I made much faster progress. I think it took about an hour to do the area photographed. I now need to wait until the patio dries, and sweep off the loose dirt. And, unfortunately, some bits of grouting. The grouting was in a poor condition before I started, and redoing it is another thing on the list.

It’s a good thing that the instructions do remind you to be careful what you wash. Once the sprayer was in my hand, it was very tempting to use it on things that weren’t really dirty, like the drainpipe, or mains cable, or the camellia. Fortunately I was able to to resist and focus my attention on the sandstone.

When I had finished the pressure washing, I turned my attention to my attempt at making an octagonal pond edge. I had decided in a review on Sunday that it was such an awful job that it was beyond redemption and I would have to start again. I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to remove my work, but it turned out to be a doddle – a few taps from the pickaxe and it was in pieces. The mortar didn’t even stick to the concrete blocks, so I can use them again. It just shows that if a job’s worth doing badly, it’s worth doing really badly.

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