After a few weeks of technical and mechanical problems the drilling for the ground source heat pumps seems to be getting into its groove. They are just moving onto the 5th borehole and the last two have reached the desired depth of 75m, this seems to have been achieved by the addition of biodegradable industrial strength washing up liquid, which is added to the water used during the drilling process. Only four more to go..
We got some samples today from smile plastics, who produce a range of plastic sheets made from recycled waste products such as; yogurt pots, mobile phones, wellies and refrigerator parts.
We're thinking of using them in the interiors of Lawson Park, it could be an interesting material for one of the commissions within the building. Here are few of my favourites..
After much anticipation the drilling rig has arrived on site to start work on the ground source heat pumps. Progress has not been easy so far the drilling rig has been delayed, in need of repair, missing parts and now appears to have found the 'wrong kind of rock' and this is only day three, lets hope it gets better from here. We also have scaffolders, roofers and dry stone wallers on site this week and suddenly it feels very much like a building site, theres mixed feelings about that but mainly pleased things are progressing, just keep off the grass!
While surveying the structure of the building from the scaffolding you can't help but notice the view, but as Barry our site manager points out "you don't really want to take your eye off that chimney to look".
I can see his point, especially as we're up here to look at how precarious parts of the dry stone walls are looking now the roof is off the cottage.
Alistair and I headed to Preston today to look at possible suppliers for the Lawson Park interiors, this included a long anticipated visit to the second hand commercial kitchen warehouse and a 'giant' antiques emporium.
Unfortunately my documention of our research trip was cut short by the owner of the antiques warehouse as I was told “people take photos and sell our stuff on ebay then they come back and buy it from us” I wanted to ask why they didn’t just sell it on ebay themselves but he didn’t really seem like he wanted to chat.
Here are my highlights from each, we’ll have to wait and see if the nautical themed bar makes it into the Lawson Park collection..
It's safe to say theres no shortage of water in the Lake District but we have recently been informed that our plan to install an additional borehole, to provide the new water supply for Lawson Park, has been scuppered.
The subcontractors for this part of the project are now saying the prospects of drilling a successful borehole are low, probably less than 10%. If this is the case we will need to revert back to using a nearby stream, though this should be less primitive than it sounds.
Meanwhile we have appointed engineers (yup more engineers) Burgess Roughton, to resolve the drainage issues at Lawson Park. With large volumes of rainwater passing through the site, over rocky ground on a steep incline, we are extremely conscious of the potential for flooding. Hopefully the new drainage plan they produce will deal with this. At the moment there is much talk of french drains which sound very sophisticated but appears to be simply a ditch filled with stones.
Lawson Park is joining the UK's NGS coveted Yellow Book, opening for the first time on Sunday 24th August from 12 - 7pm. Start praying for good weather and no midges now!
You cansee our entry by typing in 'Lawson Park' on the NGS website here.
James is back!
What our ex-gardener George called 'the second cup of the grass bra' is being constructed - a drystone wall superflat platform at the highest point of the Farmhouse Garden. This echoes the only 'proper lawn' in the garden, opposite on the other side of the stream (in the Moorland Garden) and also constructed by James last summer. It's almost eyelid shaped, and - uniquely for this garden - totally level. The idea is to also echo the planting on both sides - but instead of English lawn we'll have a swathe of stipa arundinacea which I grew from seed when we started the garden in 2001/2 and a low pine I have been 'niwaki' ing in a Japanese style.
To think of the transitions this always tricky part of the garden has been through - I once, ludicrously, planted it with the most unhappy asparagus you've ever seen. I hope this its last transformation for a while....