We have finally got around to sorting out building the 'walkway' structure that will lead from the pergola back to the 'nook' by the house. We have decided to continue 'building' in solid oak, because we want to match the pergola wood, and also because the local sawmill's price remains so good and that it is a totally sustainable local product. So, we measured everything up (gulp!), placed the order and on Tuesday hired our good friend Nigel's trailer to collect the wood:
Then it was a question of digging all the holes, running from the pergola back to the house .... the earth, heavy clay, has been very dry and like digging into oak itself ... but last week we had a couple of days of rain, and - hoorah! - we had a visit from Theo who was immediately hired to help with the digging!
Then it has been the same discipline as the pergola - so, ensuring the posts were correctly aligned down the line of the pathway and the posts are exactly opposite one another, so that the cross-pieces are parallel:
The one difficulty has been that down half of one side we have the stone slope up to the upper barn - and this slightly 'interrupts' the line of the walkway. So, on the last part of one side we could not dig holes and concrete the posts in, but had to place steel fixings into the bricks of the walkway and then the posts are mounted on these:
So, once we had all the tools and fixings in place it has taken only a full day to complete all the uprights. The next stage will be to fix the horizontals - that will take a bit more time!
And this Sunday we are off to a big plant fair, where there are (we hope!) some experts on climbing plants (grimpantes) so we can plant out all along the walkway by mid-October, so that by next Spring the overall shape will be taking off!
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Simon lives at Nichoir, Le Bruel, with his wife Noella. They moved here in May 2013, with their Newfoundland dog, Oska, and their cat, Snufkin. Together they have set out on an adventure to create what they hope will be home from home for family and a rather special Chambres D'Hotes for guests.
Simon & Noella Mauger, 'Nichoir', Le Bruel, 81340 Lacapelle Pinet, TARN, France