My house is now connected to mains water – update

The front lawn of Stará Oleška 44 on 13th December 2020 © Ricky Yates

As is illustrated in my previous post about how, on Sunday 25th October 2020, my house was connected to mains water, part of the work involved digging a deep trench right across the front lawn. Because late October is the end of the growing season here, I realised that I wouldn’t be able to do anything to repair the grass, until the Spring of 2021. The photograph above, taken on 13th December 2020, after I had finished severely pruning all the bushes down the right-hand side of the lawn, shows the extent of the damage.

Excess earth from digging the ‘shaft’ © Ricky Yates

As I wrote in that previous post, there was also excess earth that needed to be taken away from where the contractors had dug the hole for the ‘shaft’.

Strip of public land in front of my front hedge on 6th November 2020 © Ricky Yates

And the strip of public land between the concrete gully and my front hedge still needed to be made good, which also involved removing excess earth and rubble.

Earlier this year, I decided that I would use the need to repair the damage done to the grass, as an opportunity to make other improvements to the front garden. I wanted to get rid of two unsightly trees, a half-dead bush and a shrub. I also wanted to remove three lumps of concrete near the house, two of which I believe were the base of steps up to the original front door, which was on the far side of the now enclosed verandah.

Believing that some of these tasks were beyond my capabilities, my friend Kát’a kindly found me a landscape gardener, Mr Bezdekovský, and in mid-April, he came to look at what I wanted doing. He gave me a very reasonable quotation and promised start work on Wednesday 5th May, providing it wasn’t raining heavily 😉

The front garden before work commenced © Ricky Yates

This is how the front garden looked on the morning of Wednesday 5th May, before Mr Bezdekovský and his colleague started work.

The front garden a few hours later © Ricky Yates

And this is how it looked a few hours later, after the unwanted trees, bush and shrub had been removed, together with the addition of a pile of fresh earth to help with reseeding all the bare patches.

Concrete block refusing to move © Ricky Yates

But what I and Mr Bezdekovský had not realised was how deeply embedded two of the three lumps of concrete were. Here is the first one that they tried, and failed 🙁 to remove, using a pickaxe and spade.

Part of a concrete block after being extracted © Ricky Yates

So the following day, they returned with a pneumatic drill/jack-hammer and eventually managed to extract all three concrete lumps. Here is part of the first one.

The resultant hole © Ricky Yates

And here is the resultant hole! However, the excess earth that the contractors never came back to take away in October/November 2020, proved highly beneficial, as Mr Bezdekovský was able to use most of it to fill three large holes 🙂 The remainder, he loaded onto his trailer, along with the lumps of concrete, and took it all away for disposal.

Front lawn on 6th May 2021 © Ricky Yates

At the end of day two, this was how the front lawn looked with all holes filled and the bare earth seeded.

Area around the shaft seeded © Ricky Yates

The area around the shaft seeded with excess soil removed.

Public strip of land levelled © Ricky Yates

The strip of public land cleared of excess earth and rubble and levelled.

Front lawn on 31st May 2021 © Ricky Yates

Fast forward three and a half weeks and this is what the front lawn looked like after I mowed it for the first time in 2021.

Front lawn on 20th July 2021 © Ricky Yates

And here is a more recent photograph, taken on Tuesday 20th July 2021.

8 comments to My house is now connected to mains water – update

  • That looks great, Ricky! What a major difference in so little time. Must feel nice to have this all done and dusted.

    • Ricky

      It does look great! As I’ve just said in reply to the previous comment, I’m very happy with the end result. If you compare the first & last photos, there is an amazing difference over a time span of nine months. Yes, it does feel good to finally have the front garden looking like I want it to look.

  • Great story with a happy ending ?

    • Ricky

      Glad you enjoyed the story, Titus! There is no need for the question mark. I’m very happy with the end result.

  • Sean Mccann

    Hi Ricky,
    Thanks for the update; The Beatles were right “I’ll get by with a little help from my friends”, or my friends and their friends and their friends friends. 😉
    The end result looks great and it was convenient to have the extra soil on hand to fill the ‘bunker’ where you mined the concrete. Unless you are dealing with a truly ‘greenfield’ site in pristine countryside none of us know what lurks under the surface of our gardens. Irish builders have a reputation for burying on-site, items which are tricky or expensive to dispose of at the end of a building job. Anything from lumps of wood or concrete to broken down tools and machinery can be resurrected when trying to plant a hedge or sow a lawn. 🙁
    I see you’ve decided to continue using the ‘vineyard’ camouflage netting for your verandah. Your new lawn looks lovely and I wish you many years of happy and healthy gardening.

    Take care,

    • Ricky

      Hi Sean!
      Yes, I’m most grateful to my English-speaking Czech friends who have helped me find people who can do jobs for me and help me communicate to those people, exactly what I want doing.

      I’m very pleased with the end result & thankful that I still had the excess earth to fill what you rightly describe as a ‘bunker’. The three lumps of concrete weren’t actually buried but were protruding just above the surface, meaning I had difficulty to mow around them. But two of them did go down a very long way!

      You are quite correct in your observation regarding the vine on the front of my house. I have cut off several protruding tentacles not bearing fruit, but it still covers most of the windows. However, it does appear that I’m going to have sizeable grape harvest 🙂

      Thank you for once more visiting & commenting and for your good wishes.

  • Stephen Morris

    Congratulations on the new yard! ?

    Lots of rain here in NYC the last few days… everything is looking green and lush except for two birch trees out back that seem to be dying. Alas.

    Hope your new grass thrives!

    • Ricky

      Thank you Stephen for the congratulations. Courtesy of the amount of rain we’ve had this summer, everything here is looking green & lush & the grass is thriving. But just like your birch trees, some of the roses by my front door appear to be dying.