About half a year ago we dared to give you a tour of our dandelion farm garden (You can read more about it here). Since showing you around, we haven’t really done much to the garden – and let’s be honest, it’s just been too cold to work outside.
One of the things on our ridiculously long to do list for this year is to at least try to sort some of the issues in the garden – starting with the dilapidated garden wall (you can read more about our project plans for the rest of the year here).
Now, with spring officially underway and the sun shining, we decided that we couldn’t ignore the wall much longer have started taking it to pieces.
There are loads of chipped and broken bricks that need replacing and, as the original Edwardian bricks are practically impossible to source, we’ve decided to take down the wall and then to rebuild it about half as high as before. This should hopefully allow us to salvage enough usable bricks to build the new wall.
The wall around our front garden is already lower than the wall around the garden at the back of the house, so rebuilding the wall to match the height at the front should hopefully give everything a more coherent feel. We started by loosening the bricks one by one with a hammer and chisel.
Some of the bricks were really loose and easy to remove, others were covered in so much mortar that we needed to chisel away at them for ages before they budged. Because we are reusing the bricks, the next step is to make sure that they are completely clean and ready for our builder to lay.
This involves chiselling away any remaining bits of mortar that are stuck to it and then just giving them a quick scrub with a wire brush.
In preparation for rebuilding the wall, we just stacked the finished bricks into a few small towers.
We’re have a bit of a confession to make…
…we’re not actually planning on rebuilding the wall ourselves.
We’re just doing as much prep work as we can, because it’s surprisingly expensive to have a wall taken down and re-built.
It took us about 4 hours to take down the first 1/3rd of the wall. As long as the weather is okay (you know we’re wusses when it comes to working in bad conditions) we hope to finish taking down the rest of the wall this week.
Are there projects you just don’t feel confident in tackling yourself? Have you ever been surprised about the cost of seemingly simple jobs? Do you have any tips for cleaning bricks?