Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Digging and Deconstruction

The goldfish pond makeover saw a large advance in the project today, thanks to Craig and his team at Akahana Koi. We had opted to get the professionals in for this phase, cutting through the concrete on which the existing pond was built, removing part of the old walls and then digging down to increase the volume of the pond.

The concrete base was something we inherited with the garden and as a result had no idea how thick it was, we assumed it was fairly thick as it has been very stable despite trees being planted pretty close to it. 

Neighbours had told us that this concrete had been the base of a pig pen a previous owner had created for his pet pot bellied pigs. 

A six yard skip was delivered yesterday, which completely filled our small front garden. 

The team set to work making light work of the old blockwork wall that had to be removed - so much so that it was gone before I even got chance to take a photo. fortunately I was able to get a quick picture of the concrete being removed,

It turned out the concrete was actually laid in two layers, the top layer about 10cm thick, with another layer underneath and a layer of old hardcore below that.

We were starting to wonder if this really had been prepared for pigs, seemed far more excessive than a pig pen would have suggested.

It wasn't long until a nasty surprise...

They discovered a still live electric cable running though the lower concrete layer. Hitting it with the angle grinder and tripping out the power. We had no idea it was there, and cant work out where it was going. Fortunately we realised it was somehow connected to the power for the Jungle Hut, so that circuit was safely turned off in the house. This will need to be traced back and made safe before we can turn the power back on.

However despite this unexpected discovery, the work progressed well. Its amazing how fast experienced workers can undertake a task with the right tools and plenty of practice!

Craig admiring his handy work.

The finished hole (with severed cable). From the bottom of the hole to the top of the remaining wall is around 1.6m.

And the resulting spoil in the skip to hopefully be collected in a couple of days time.

As always it amazes me how much volume soil obtains when its dug out and piled up. 

But in just one day, several tonnes of soil and concrete have been excavated, ready for us to start the construction phase again. In many ways this next part will be similar to the build of the large koi pond. We will need to add a bottom drain to the hole, concrete the base and then build up blockwork walls to tie in to the existing structure.

Busy times ahead!


  1. That's a lot of material that was removed! SO smart to bring in the pros with the tools.

    1. Yep, amazing how much they expand! It’ll take us weeks if we do the digging ourselves

  2. Gratifying as it can be to complete jobs in the garden on one's own, it's also a pleasure to see professionals make quick work of some projects. And it's good that you had them on hand when the power issue emerged. The amount of soil removed is always surprising - our neighbors across the street had to make major repairs to their septic system, requiring digging up their entire back garden. It looked like Mount Everest over there and they had to pay $7 thousand to have excess soil hauled away, even after the work was done.

    1. Wow that’s a lot to pay to get rid of excess soil. It’s amazing how much dug up material expand to occupy so much space

  3. I hired some pros this year too-not only is it done better but way faster !

    1. Oh yes, the speed the pros do things makes it worthwhile. Time is a luxury

  4. Darlings,

    This looks to be a most challenging project. A very good idea to involve professionals even if it did render you without power.:):)

    The hole looks very, very deep and we can only imagine that you might as well now go for an olympic length swimming pool instead of a fish pond. You are very nearly there!

    We admire your adventurous spirit. Perhaps others may go for gentle relaxation in their gardening, whereas you two certainly aim for the limits in horticulture. We cannot wait for the next instalment.

    1. Thank you! We rarely stay to put and sit down in the garden, there’s always something to do


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