The last few days has seen some serious progress on the back yard. The yard was a bit of a disaster zone. The back corner of the house is right on the 80 metre mark while the boundary of the back fence falls away to the 77 metre line. This is a 3 metre fall in a distance of 20 metres. In terms of making the yard accessible we can’t have any slope greater than 1 in 14. So our slope is more than twice what is mandated by the access code in Australia.

So the answer was to put in a series of retaining walls in a switchback type arrangement. Boral make a retaining wall system using keystone blocks that can be laid in curves. We have both convex and concave curves in the design.

Boral Keystones laid in a convex curve     Boral Keystones laid in a concave curve

You can clearly see both the concave and the convex curves in the above photographs. We are yet to put on the capping stones to finish off the walls. You can also start to see the switchback arrangement which allows us to reduce the slopes to less than 1 in 14.  The ramp is on the right side in the photo on the right. To do all of this earth moving we have bought in a small bobcat. Otherwise it would take days.

View of the yard from the back deck. Retaining walls taking shape.     Preparing for the Boral Keystones

We are now at the point where we need to make a decision on the grass  species that we are going to use for the lawn areas. The lawn will be on the ramps so the considerations are that it needs to be hard wearing, but also not too spongy. Spongy and wheel chairs do not go together well. The two species to consider were kikuyu and buffalo. Both would have been suitable, but kikuyu forms a harder surface, which is good for wheeling over. So kikuyu it is.

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