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Reading and Fibrecrafts


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Adventure playground – landscaping day three

Late shifts and rain have prevented me from posting the daily progress on this, plus the guys couldn’t work on one day due to unforeseen problems.

We do have lots of progress though. The gravel has been put down around the three sides, outside the enclosure, and it looks great. It’s still to be tamped down and levelled but we’re really pleased with how it looks.

The hardcore has been put down inside, leaving gaps where the planting will be. A finer layer was added after it was tamped down.

The slabs have been laid round the inside edge. They look great!

The step has been re-laid, with bricks beneath it and an extra step, partly because it looks nice, but mostly because otherwise we’d have had a patched bit of artificial turf as the roll isn’t quite long enough.

They’ve also weeded the patio and jetwashed the soil from between the slabs. They’re going to put some stuff down there to deter further weed growth as it’s a pain trying to get the weeds out of those fine gaps.

Looking good so far but lots more to do.

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Adventure playground – landscaping day one

I got home from work to find that lots had been done through the day. Just look at it now.

Stephen took a couple of photos during the day to send to me at work. At this point they’d put down the weedproof membrane.

They did a great job, tucking it under the enclosure so no weeds could come through and it’s tucked under the sleepers outside the enclosure too.

Talking of sleepers, don’t these look so much better than those old bricks that were on the verge of falling down.

And there are more sleepers supporting the slabs on the other side.

They’ve made a start on putting the hardcore down inside the enclosure, ready for the slabs and turf.

So far we’re really pleased with their work. I can’t wait to see what it looks like tomorrow night!

 


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Adventure playground – lots of progress

We’ve been trying to find the time, and the energy to get this bit of the garden landscaped for a while now. It hasn’t been easy, so we’ve given up on the idea of trying to do it ourselves and have found some nice chaps to do it for us.

It desperately needs doing and at the rate we’re working, it’ll still be a work in progress in two years time. Every time it rains it turns into a mud bath, which is why we have lots of cardboard down at the moment. My kitchen floor is permanently covered in muddy paw prints, or so it seems. Rosie loves the cardboard and burrows underneath it to dig in the soil. Not a great look on a cat with a white front and face.

I thought I’d take photos before, during and after as it’ll be fun to see the faster progress made by professionals.

This is how it looks this morning before the chaps start work.

The inside –  The safety porch –The left side – The right side – The back – The outside edges were knee-high in weeds but I had a good couple of days out there and got rid of them. Hopefully, once the chaps have finished, we won’t get that problem again.

Weather permitting, there’ll be more photos tomorrow.


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Adventure playground – progress

We’re still landscaping the new cat enclosure and it’s taking a long time. We’ve had to remove the top layer of soil to make room for the hardcore that needs to go underneath the artificial grass. That’s pretty much done now but it still needs a bit of levelling.

We’ve had plenty of help from the cats though. They love it if one of us is outside with them especially if there’s a wheelbarrow involved.

Rosie has definitely got over being nervous about going outside. She runs up and down the ladders as much as the other two. Frodo loves to lounge on the shelves and keep an eye on what’s going on.

Sammie loves it up high too.

The shelves make a great spot to watch the birds and squirrels from as we’ve got bird feeders outside the pen.

We have had a bit of a problem with dirty cats as both Rosie and Frodo think it’s great fun to roll on the ground and Rosie has been digging for worms which she then plays with.

We’ve started to get a few grasses, ready to plant once the artificial grass is down. I’ve got them on the patio for ease of watering and the cats love to get in between them. I can’t wait until we’ve got them growing all over the garden so they can hide in them.

The enclosure was definitely worth getting. The cats love being outside and we’re happy knowing they’re safe.

Hopefully it’ll be landscaped soon it looks a bit nicer than it does at the moment.


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The cat pen

I thought it was about time that I showed you what we built in the garden so the cats can get some fresh air. We looked around for ages to find a reasonable sized cat enclosure but the only ones suitable were way too much money and were pretty basic.

We knew what we wanted so I started roughing it out on a pad and came up with a design that would be sturdy enough without costing too much. We made it all ourselves which took a few days, spread over a couple of weeks, and it may be ever so slightly wonky, but it does the job.

Cat pen 220815-01_bIt’s 4m long by 2m wide and has a slabbed base. That looks a bit mismatched as we used whatever slabs we had lying about in the garden.

Cat pen 220815-02_bWe wanted somewhere that the cats could go to shelter from the sun (if we got any) and hide in if they wanted to have a nap. We found a rabbit hutch on Amazon that looked ok so installed that. They like sitting on top of it so they can see what I’m doing.

Cat pen 220815-03_bAt the other end we’ve put some wooden staging that was in the shed. They enjoy sitting on that too as like most cats, they like being high up. Frodo likes to do acrobatics on the bars beneath the top of it.

We also made a climbing frame for them out of logs from a tree that we had cut down. It’s bolted together and has thick string wrapped round in places to give extra grip when climbing and for scratching. I’ve also hung some balls from the staging and climbing frame.

cats290815-02_bSammie is a bit of a climber and she’s explored every inch of the pen. She does get a bit nervous if there are children making a lot of noise in the nearby gardens so we try to only take her out if it’s fairly quiet. We only take them out if one of us is working in the garden, or if I’m doing a lot of cooking and can keep my eye on them from the kitchen.

Cats290815-01_bI don’t suppose we’ll get much more use out of it this year, but hopefully we’ll get a drier summer next year and we can all get outside more.