Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gamone garden staircase

As of this afternoon, my staircase is at last presentable… although I still have to finish all the joints with mortar. Besides, it will look better when the bare earth on each side is covered with thyme.

Those who know Gamone will recall that, previously, we would slide and stumble down into the garden with the help of a few strategically-placed rocks. The new staircase will make it easy to wander back and forth between the house and the rose pergola, which could even become a place for outdoor eating.

After the wet spring weather, there's not much color yet in the garden. And the staircase looks newly-made (as it is). But, compare the present situation with images that date from a year ago. In an article of 8 May 2009 entitled Future garden layout [display], I included a photo taken just after plowing the ground:

Three weeks later, my article of 1 June 2009 entitled Garden under construction [display] presented a photo of the first finished plot:

So, things have evolved satisfactorily since then, and I'm pleased with the results of my efforts.

ADDENDUM: My son François wants to examine at close range the texture of the slabs of artificial stone I've used for my staircase. Here's a closeup photo of the top step, which already has a bit of mortar:

Each slab is 40 x 40 cm, and 3 cm thick. They're quite heavy. I haven't had any cases of breakage yet, but they're probably not as mechanically resistant to blows as authentic stone. Above all, they're not expensive. The total cost of the 30 slabs required for my staircase: less than a hundred euros!


  1. It's amazing how quickly the pergola has been covered and looks like it's always been there. I agree with you that the growth of thyme up to (and trying to infringe on) your staircase will make it look like it really belongs.

    Good work!

  2. Thanks for that appraisal, Annie. In a setting such as Gamone, it's nice (but not easy) to be able to build things that look as if they might have been there all along!

    The so-called "rambler" varieties of roses are like wild animals, with thorns instead of teeth, which need to be trained, to be encouraged to ramble in the right directions… which means, first, up the poles and, then, across the top of the pergola, which is fortunately crisscrossed with a mesh of cables, as illustrated in a blog article of 14 November 2009 [display].

    This morning, in the sunlight, I was pleased to discover that the (artificial) stone slabs of the staircase have a similar beige hue and rough surface to the (genuine) stone façade of the house.