Majestic 40 at Gardener's Ridge

building a Wisdom Majestic in North Kellyville

Driveway & Rain Garden



Last week in the blistering heat they laid the driveway. The polar opposite from when the slab was laid when it poured with rain.

Tuesday late afternoon they did the formwork:


GR 24-11-15 008

GR 24-11-15 006

then on the Thursday in 39 degrees they poured the plain concrete.

GR 26-11-15 002

GR 26-11-15 003

Friday they saw cut it:

GR 01-12-15 PCI 005

GR 01-12-15 PCI 003

Then after at least 3 weeks curing time they spray on a fancy flecked coloured topcoat. As we are fast approaching the Christmas shutdown it will be the end of January before it is finished in all its glory.

We have chosen to have Wisdom Landscaping do our driveway and front path but will get our own landscaper to finish off the paths around the rest of the house. There will be an apron of paths and pool surround around most of the house to protect against slab heave. This follows recommendations by CSIRO in their sheet ‘Foundation Maintenance and Footing Performance: A Homeowner’s Guide’ which Wisdom handed out to us at some point in the proceedings.


GR 26-11-15 005

However did you spot that we are now fence free? After nearly seven months the house front is finally revealed  🙂

The missing balustrade is up now that the tile they cracked when originally fitting it has been replaced.

They had done a site tidy and scrape but the soil from the driveway excavation is now stockpiled to the left. The sand and gravel that has also appeared is the left over from the rain garden being rectified this week.

North Kellyville Rain Garden

For better or for worse we are required to have a rain garden. Unfortunately what was put in during the early stages of the build was not what was on the signed off Construction Plans. Wisdom agreed to correct it later in the build and it was finally done in the nick of time before PCI.

Original rain garden incorrectly sized and sited but seeing it in situ also highlighted the slope towards the bottom of the plot.:

NZ May 2015 299

We’d hoped not to have to have a retaining wall at the bottom of the garden. However if we don’t raise the level of the garden then the drop into the rain garden would be too dangerous. I had visions of children or the unwary disappearing over the edge!

So the retaining wall stays, the garden is raised and we have made the rain garden longer and narrower to try and stop it spreading towards the house so much. Once the walls are in we can use risers to put the rain garden Surge Pit and Outlet Pit at the required levels. The Surge Pit must be 150mm below the surface of the Outlet Pit and level with the finished surface of the rain garden. Then we just fill it up with the final layers, plant it and be done with it. Sorted! 🙂

I now know more about the ins and outs of rain gardens than I did at the beginning or ever wanted to. No doubt once our storm water system is up and running we’ll head towards a drought instead!

Here are a few pics of it being redone on a very hot day:

rain garden 1 Collage

Rain Garden 2 Collage

It looks huge at the moment but when the retaining walls are in, the batters up and the levels sorted it should end up not so in your face … I hope!

The QA team made a flying visit to the house this week apparently but did not manage to complete before our PCI on December 1st. More about that in my next post 🙂






Author: lunar62

Having lived here as a child in the 60's I fell in love with Australia and always hoped to one day be able to visit again. So when the opportunity came to move here with my husband's job we decided nothing ventured nothing gained and decided to go for it even though it was hard to leave our family and friends behind in the UK. So now we're here lock, stock and barrel, children and pets too and embarking on building a new home.

6 thoughts on “Driveway & Rain Garden

  1. Cannot wait to see the place on NYE. I have to ask though, with all the effort the has gone into rain garden, will it have a special annual open day like stately homes back here in the UK? 😇

    • Can’t wait to have you stay and be our first visitor. You’ll be able to see the wonder that is our rain garden too 🙂

    • Hi Willie, we’re just off to the DIY store to get a third shovel so that you can help us prepare for the annual open day of the rain garden. We need to move about a tonne of earth from the driveway excavation at the front round to the back to raise the ground level surrounding the raingarden. The temperature doesn’t often top 40 degrees celcius, and we can probably get the work done in under 3 hours with the three of us. And by the end of that, you’ll feel as positive about raingardens as we do 🙂 ………… only kidding – we’ll have the beer chilling the the fridge. Neale

  2. Looking forward to seeing your fancy spray-on. 3 weeks seems like a long curing time. How long does it need to be left to dry after the topcoat is applied?
    I’m going to have a good read of that CSIRO sheet later tonight, this hasn’t been mentioned to us at all which is a bit annoying, so thanks for the info!
    Ah, the rain garden! I can’t help but find the whole concept fascinating. It looks largeish but not very deep. I still also want to see pictures of it once its planted out 🙂

    • I think 3 weeks for a driveway seems long too. It’ll be six at least because of the Xmas break. The top coat dries very quickly I believe.
      Perhaps you have different foundations/slab to us which is why you don’t need the CSIRO guidelines. We are on clay here and it is reactive hence the caution.
      The rain garden will end up a lot deeper when the retaining walls are in. Complete overkill, speaking of which it looks like a coffin and shroud with the geo tech fabric. It’ll all be right in the end 🙂

      • Yes we are on sand so erosion would be more of a problem for us. Yes the geo tech is an interesting look! But it will look much better when it’s planted.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s