March 2012
An Amazing Facelift

Ever since we have lived at the Duckpond, I have longed to exchange the mournful grey gravel
for something of warmer colour, which would offset the shrubs even on the bleakest days.
I've never been a fan of Lilydale toppings, as they are also rather grey.
Castella toppings I find generally too red.
Eventually we settled on Tuscan toppings, which thankfully don't come all the way from Italy

For the third time, Casey Clements (here with his offsider Marty) was my choice to do the job,
even though it was a long wait, due to his being in great demand in the Yarra Valley
(must be due to his exposure on this website!)
I preferred to wait for Casey, as I knew he and his team
(which includes his brother Rion) would not disappoint.

In preparation for Casey's work, I'd done a great deal of trimming of overhanging branches
and was astounded to find many small ferns happily growing in the shadows of the rocks.
Those encroaching on the paths to be re-surfaced were gently dug out and placed in
suitable spots until I could replace them later.

This is a 'before' photo of one of the garden paths which was previously
covered with small river pebbles. Several torrential rains had washed most
of them either completely away, or into the pond.

So here's the replacement Tuscan toppings path - all compacted with one of those shaky machines.

With the river pebbles all but washed completely away, it's been an ongoing
battle to keep down the weeds in the pathways around the house.

I think this compacted surface will stand up to the weather pretty well
and it certainly looks much brighter.

As you can see from this photo, the overall effect of our driveway and car parking area
has not been exactly attractive. We need a large area for friends and family
to park, as there are ditches on both sides of our access road
making it unsafe for cars, people and anyone driving up and down the narrow road.

I just couldn't be happier with the appearance of the Tuscan toppings.
Now it just needs the overhanging plants and shrubs to gently hang over the edges again.

Marty and Casey's brother Rion had also worked hard to get three huge truckloads
of toppings laid on the areas they'd also needed to first smooth out - and this was
all compacted down and hosed to wash some of the fines down in the spaces between the stones.
An amazing and beautiful days work - so cheerfully carried out.
next - Autumn Once More

The Duckpond Home Page | The Garden | The Vegie Garden | The Frogpond