The Patio area

The patio area at the top of the garden needed a lot of work as it consisted of a small patch of nondescript scrubby grass. I planned to remove this and replace it with a real stone circle with steps down to the house and up to the tea house and pond. It is hard to see from the photos, but the ground rise and falls significantly on all side of the area.

The area of grass where the stone circle will go - the
iris pond is on the left.

The first task in hand was to locate a stone circle. As it turns out I found a couple of places that sell these and it seems they are all imported from India. Anyway, I ordered one that turned out to be exactly the size required - 2.8 metres in diameter which necessitated yet another delivery by lorry. As you can see, a crane was required to lift it from the lorry. The suppliers were:

Kent Blaxill Ltd
e-mail:
sales@kentblaxill.co.uk

Tel: +44
(0)1206 216001

Another supplier that have a wide selection of Indian stone circles is Pinks of Guildford (UK): http://www.pinkshill.com/ .

The real mint stone circle imported from India.

Coming along nicely

Laying the circle was a fairly straightforward task. Well I say that, but.... each stone is of a different thickness making quite difficult to align with each other.

Completed!

It only took a morning to complete the jigsaw. Well another day and another lorry! This time I had ordered ten reclaimed railway sleepers that wanted to use to make steps up the patio. These are made of oak and quite heavy - 100kG each. Fortunately I own a chain saw and it pretty straightforward to cut them in half. I certainly wouldn't like to do this with a hand saw.

The reclaimed railway sleepers after
being craned into the garden

It took but a couple of hours to clear the bank and the steepness of the bank can be seen in the photo below. Fortunately I did not need to move either of the rhododendrons on either side.

Clearing the bank ready to build the
stairs out of old railway sleepers

The steps were laid on sand but as they were so heavy none of them wobbled!

The stairs to the mint stone circle patio completed!
(The maple shows that the autumn is coming in October 2002!)
A chain saw is a mandatory tool for cutting the sleepers.

A photo taken from an upper window of my house shows the steps and the stone circle in place.

The stairs as seen from the house...
(I wonder what the oil derrick is on the left?)

The first set of stairs from the patio to the pool only consisted of four steps.

The railway sleeper steps to the pond

The set of steps mirrored the first and will eventually lead to the tea house at the top of the garden.

The second railway sleeper steps to the tea house

To the left of the tea house staircase I need another small soil retaining wall so this will beuilt from a mixture of materials to mirror the other walls in the garden.

More foundations...

January 2003: The retaining wall on the patio just finished!

Showing the iris pond, patio and steps

The sleeper step onto the patio.

Some of my bonsai trees with large white pine at the back

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