Just Merveilleux

Life at № 42

Landscaping at Number 42

The sprinkler system is in:

Olivier has now finished removing all of the old lawn and he’s levelled the land.

gardenoct (1)

The border for the driveway is now in place, and the future flower beds by the steps are also done.

Everyone’s been incredibly patient with my demands throughout, which is excellent. I know I sometimes come up with ideas that aren’t that easy to execute. Drawing out the curve for the driveway took a whole day because we started with perfect semi-circle measurements and then had to compensate because perfect measurements don’t always look perfect to the human eye (visual illusions). Now the measurements are a bit off, but it looks visually correct.

The mason was great and understood what I wanted very quickly. I asked him to keep in mind this was an old house, so I wanted him to incorporate defects where they’d be were the borders 100 years old. A bit of movement of earth, somewhere where someone drove over it and so forth. Later I’m going to stain the borders with iron sulfate.

Tomorrow the gardener begins laying the new turf. He says that’ll be done in two days. Then he’ll order the new plants I want. Italian cypresses of the stricta variety will feature heavily as will white gardenias. There’s a variety that resists frost well called the Crown Jewel.

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11 comments on “Landscaping at Number 42

  1. Arkenaten
    October 19, 2015

    This is beginning to look something very special. I never would have considered ‘aging’ the stones for the driveway. What a clever idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      October 19, 2015

      It’s a start. I think it’ll probably still take two or three years for it to look the way I want.
      Iron sulfate does wonders. New cement stands out much too much against greenery and giving it a natural colour just makes things much easier on the eye.

      Like

      • Arkenaten
        October 19, 2015

        It’s nice to follow the progress.
        And having a photo blog to look back on is probably as much fun for you as it is for us around the globe following.

        Like

  2. Helen Devries
    October 19, 2015

    Thank you for the tip on the iron sulfate. I have any number of concrete columns and a large balustrade to deal with…I had planned the wrap the columns in jute and plaster with dung and yogurt to get a medium for plant growth on them…but the balustrade was bugging me.
    No longer…many thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      October 19, 2015

      And thank you for mentioning the Choisya. It turned out we had one that was hiding by the gates. Now Olivier is looking for another of the same size and I’m planting both by the steps. The one we’ve got has been flowering since August. Love the flowers and the smell of the leaves is just wonderful.
      Go lightly with the iron sulfate. I overdid it once and ended up with orange.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Helen Devries
        October 19, 2015

        Thanks for the warning! Husband has now reached the iron chloride section of the article…perhaps if he goes down that route I won’t have any balustrade left to worry about!

        Like

  3. That is a mighty small tractor he’s got with what looks like a pretty good tiller on the back. I would have liked to have seen the trenching equipment as I’m always interested in the equipment being used. What I am interested in seeing is what you are going to do about the detached patio, if you are going to cover it, and if so with what.

    If I may ask, how did the mason lay the stone for the driveway border? Into a fresh cement base?

    Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      October 19, 2015

      Isn’t it cute!!! It’s the size of a lawn mower. Right now it’s sitting in the garden with the keys in the ignition and I spent all afternoon controlling my impulse to try it out.
      The detached patio is going to have a wrought iron pergola on it like the one at Villa l’Africaine. You probably noticed it’s already got the same table and chairs that were there in Spain. In the front corners I’m planting star jasmine, at the back by the camellias it’ll be chocolate vine.
      The driveway border was laid into a fresh cement and gravel mixture (aka concrete.)
      As for the trenching, it was all done with the tiny tractor!

      Like

  4. acflory
    October 19, 2015

    I was very interested in the iron sulfate as a colouring agent. In time, your borders could well look like sandstone and will definitely enhance the lawn area. I like. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      October 19, 2015

      That’s what I’m hoping for. At the moment the house isn’t blending with the garden. I need to bridge that gap. More plants near the house and more of the house colour in the garden.

      Like

      • acflory
        October 19, 2015

        Mmm…yes, I know that problem well. When I first built this house I envisaged it as somehow rising from an exuberant, cottage style garden with creepers on the walls, blah blah. Before any of that could happen, the reality of living in a bushfire prone area hit me and I had to revise all my plans. Now my house rises out of a rockery and a dry, pebble strewn ‘creek bed’. Not sure how successful I’ve been but at least the house doesn’t look raw any more.

        Liked by 1 person

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