Tuesday 7 May 2013

Dips and bumps on the way (Week 5, Tuesday)

The David Nash at Kew exhibition has just closed, so sculptures and installations throughout the gardens are being dismantled, leaving behind rather large pits in the ground that need filling. So I am learning the art of filling holes, as part of our team days :)

The main issue with filling holes is to make sure they do not sink, leaving unsightly and potentially unsafe dips and bumps where people walk. Therefore, one has to make sure the filling is quite compact. In order to achieve that, a process was developed:
  • Soil is taken in with tractors and spread in layers;
  • The layers are treaded on, with a typical heels-in walk to ensure that the most weight is applied (if you see us going round in circles and walking funnily, that's why);
  • The layers are raked with a landscape rake to ensure they are even;
  • The pits are thus filled up to slightly above the surrounding ground level;
  • The soil is levelled carefully;
  • Grass seeds are sown and raked in gently;
  • The area, in particular if large, is fenced off to allow grass to grow undisturbed.
Soil is taken to the pit
A layer of soil is treaded on

A layer ready for raking
Checking the filling is level

Grass sown , area fenced off

I did gardening at the weekend as well as during the week, and that meant I was so unbelievably tired, probably the most tired I've ever been, and therefore felt overwhelmed and started questioning my new career.

For someone that is used to work mainly in an office, for how much one can love it, physical work is demanding and takes some getting used to. I needed to pace myself throughout the task, as I felt that my muscles were not going to take much more, and because I was trying to conserve energy, it was even difficult to join in the team banter.

It is getting better now, my colleagues were very supportive, apparently everyone gets very tired if they do not get proper rest it's not only me being a relative newbie - but that is definitely something to take into consideration: you can get quite disheartened from sheer fatigue.

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