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We’ve had to pause in our pond-making activities (oh dear… another half-finished project…) since nine tons of aggregate turned up, was dumped on our verge and needed moving. Fast.

Unusually, considering the prospect of long hours behind a laden wheelbarrow is generally about as welcome as double-digging in January, I have been enjoying this immensely – largely because most of the nine tons is recycled lavatories.

I went on about this at some length a little while ago, as my conscience was savaged by the revelation that the ubiquitous, common-or-garden gravel we all splash about on our paths and drives is about as environmentally unfriendly as it gets. Always a woman of my word – when it (at last) came to the crunch and we’d got all the various bits of digging-out and wooden edging sorted out enough to actually order the stuff, I went for the recycled option.

There were many dire warnings from assorted relatives about how horrible it would look (I bought it, more than a little apprehensively, sight unseen) – but do you know what, it’s really rather nice.

This is the first patch we did, by the greenhouse, which if you ask me looks just like 10mm pea shingle. But look a little closer…

The stuff is full of little bits of coloured china. The kids are in heaven – they spent most of yesterday pulling out chips and washing them to make mosaics. And there’s more, though sadly, my powers of photography are not up to showing you. The best thing about our new gravel is that those glazed bits catch the sunlight (and car headlights at night) and glint like little stars on the path.

This is lovely stuff, and I shall never use anything else now. It goes by the rather prosaic name of Traxmax (the manufacturers are obviously not as taken with its prettier qualities as we are) and all our neighbours are fascinated – I suspect it will be all over this corner of Surrey before long. It’s even reasonably priced – no more expensive than ordinary gravel. Order it here – and spread the word. Your local landfill will thank you.

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