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Saturday, 27 July 2013

Laying a boarder with concrete cap stones - PART 2

In the past I have used old 2 x 4 and even logs to create borders which have proved effective in all practical aspects of having border (definition, anti-encroachment and protection) the only problem has been that in general they are not particularly aesthetically pleasing unless you get some decent pieces of wood or logs. 

Old Poumuli tree trunk being used to mark border of an area to planted with Ti Plants and Egyptian Start Clusters (parallel to the Rain Lily flower bed)
The other material that I have used to some measure which has been effective although not as attractive as I would like has been old tires. Although in this case tires were not an option either.
Scrapping out of Navua Sedge, Kyllinga polphylla rhizomes and other grasses in order to extend the Pink Rain Lily Zeperanthes rosea flower bed. The aluminium sheet in the foreground was used to kill off grass underneath.

Fortunately after a visit to Apia Concrete Products I decided to try out concrete cap stones. Although use as flower borders is definitely not their intended use I found that they were perfect. They were just wide enough to create a nice wide but not too wide border and low enough to not overshadow the plants. At $1.90 Tala a piece they were reasonable although given how big the flower bed was I did end up spending a bit on them. Over several months ACP staff got used to me turning up to procure 10 or 20 cap stones at a time which was all I could fit in the back of the Terius.

Pebble inspecting laying of concrete cap stones
 I started by laying out one edge, then the long outer boarder. I did not have an equipment to make the corners etc so I just used a board, laying it inside the bed and laying the cap stones outside. Then I used that same board to make sure I had a straight edge.
Use of board to lay concrete cap stones (I know cord and pegs would have been better)
I alternated between laying the boarder and digging out the lawn infested with Kyllinga polphylla and Kyllinga nemoralis as well as pulling up clumps of Rain Lilies to separate and replant, although I also had hundreds of seedlings from seeds I had collected and planted earlier in the year.
Pebble inspecting works
Pebble inspecting works
 It was slow tedious work and I was working on other projects, garden and other so it took forever but little by little the border and bed took shape.
Newly laid border with extended bed planted
 I also had constant help from my furry assistants whose enthusiastic contributions ranged from closely supervising me, checking to see if the boarder was properly laid and even assisting with the planting by quickly fertilising the upturned soil before I planted the bulbs, a practice which resulted in much washing of hands with bleach and offended looks from the kittens when I complained and begged them to at least wait until I had planted the bulbs before they made their contributions.
Third corner added
I had planned on getting some sand and relaying the concrete cap stones on it but due to time constraints and difficulties in getting the sand I ended up not doing this although ideally that would have been the best thing to do as I ended up with about 3 broken concrete cap stones due to small unnoticed bumps or in one case a small pebble which were harmless as they were until someone heavier than my feline assistants walked on and the weight of that against the hard packed earth was too much.

Pebble's assistant Puppywuppy inspects the corners

Additional Information:

Binomial Name: Zepheranthes rosea
Taxonomy: Phylum: Angiosperms – Class:  Monocots – Order: Asparagales – Family: Amaryllidaceae – Subfamily: Amaryllidoideae    Tribe : Hippeastrea   – Subtribe: Zephranthinae  – Genus: Zepheranthes – Species: Z. Rosea
Common names: Zepheranthes, Fairy Lily, Rainflower, Rain Lily, Zeypher Lily, Magic Lily, Atamasco Lily (English) kili’o’opu (Hawaiian) mo’u’upo’o (Tahitian)

Binomial Name: Kyllinga polphylla
Taxonomy: Phylum: Angiosperms – Class: Monocots – Subclass: Commelids – Order: Poales – Family: Cyperacea– Genus: Kyllinga – Species: K. Polyphylla
Common names: Navua sedge(English)

Binomial Name: Kyllinga nemoralis
Taxonomy: Phylum: Angiosperms – Class: Monocots – Clade: Commelids – Order: Poales – Family: Cyperacea– Genus: Kyllinga – Species: K. Polyphylla
Common names: ??? (English) kili’o’opu (Hawaiian) mo’u’upo’o (Tahitian)

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  1. Thanks for the article! It was a great read, and had a lot of good information. I am, in fact, doing research for concrete resurfacing sydney

  2. Glad I was able to help. All the best.