Ruston House

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Go to Top Construction of Retaining Wall Started

Photos: 9 October 2018
Text: 30 September 2022

It had been a long standing plan to level the path around the back of the lake. It was a job that required the construction of a wall to hold back the soil. David, our builder, who was adding a balcony above the lounge in the house the was able to advise and obtain the specially sawn and tanalised timber that was needed. But it was Andi, of the Green Team, and I that were to do the work.

Retaining Wall

Once we'd got all the timber on site one of the first things we discovered was that we seemed to have many more boards than had been ordered. So much so that there would be enough to create some very tough edging for the opposite side of the path. You see it here laid in position confirming that we'd have more than enough.

Retaining Wall

As with all the paths, they are designed to wiggle so you can't see too far ahead at any time along your journey.

Retaining Wall

There's a small amount of rise and fall along the length of the path. You can see that in the steps between each post. The height of the embankment varies too, so there was a certain amount of test and debate about whether it was better to drop the wall to three planks for part of its run.

Retaining Wall

There was also the issue about how to handle the situation where the larger trees were very close to the path. In a couple of case the decision was taken to cut notches in the planks so that roots could protrude through the bottom of the wall.

Retaining Wall

There was also some concern about how to handle the turns in the wall. One idea had been to lean the wall slightly towards the embankment in anticipation that the weight of soil would tend to make the wall lean over the path over time. The trouble with that would be that we'd need to trim some boards slightly at the bottom of the wall or accept that the planks at the top might drop out of the slots if they bowed. In the end it was decided to keep the wall vertical.

Retaining Wall

There was also the worry about whether there would be a need to chamfer the tips of the boards so they could fit in the slots in the posts on the tight turn at the far end of the wall. That turned out not to be needed.

Retaining Wall

There was never a decision about what to do with the surplus of boards and they remained in their little stack for some time to come.

Retaining Wall

The final image is looking back along the path. It shows the how much it was planned to cut the path into the bank. This was intended to align it in a gentle curve as you approached the boundary fence and gate that separates our ground from that let to the cottages.

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