April 2017 was the month we paved the garden path.
Our regular spring visiting friends Richard & Elaine (who most conveniently for us happen to love getting stuck into a project!) dug the side trenches to put in place the wooden edging planks (which hold back the earth in the rose boarders by being just 2cm above the final path level) whilst calculating and doing the lining up of string under tension to guarantee the correct drainage of the path away from the middle (and I had naively thought we would simply be slapping down the slabs willy nilly!).
This meticulous preparation made digging out of the old path to the correct level fast work for Briar after they left, creating a ‘fete a complis’ for Michel on his return from a business trip to Paris!
We put down a plastic liner, to prevent those pesky weeds that inevitably set into the tiniest of cracks to annoy for eternity, and then we placed our bricks down the outside edges (which are deeper than than the slabs) with a wet cement mix, to be sure they would not be moving over the years in the event of the flower boards eventually moving, and then filled in between with a sand base, onto which we sprinkled a dampened dry cement mix followed by the paving slabs. It’s a bit of a struggle positioning these weighty slabs perfectly (a finger or two got squeezed in the process) – so you need to be well co-ordinated as team mates – which I won’t go into here!
Briar, being a dab hand with a kitchen piping bag and nozzle, cleanly filled in the joints, and Bob’s your uncle, a lovely fresh looking path which is now flatter and wider than the original gravel path with the advantage of preventing the rose boarders from encroaching.
The paving slabs were left over from a previous terracing job and the old bricks were saved from a mini demolition job – so we now have a beautiful new path for the cost of some sand and cement! Not forgetting a huge thank you to Richard and Elaine for their expert calculations, getting the ball rolling and general sporting effort – plus their enduring loyalty to the Beaujolais!