Building Walls and Levelling Hills – reconstructing a country cottage and garden

Major reconstruction at the village house. I’m quite a laissez faire sort of person, and I do like having a wild garden, but when functionality ceases to function it’s time to make some changes. In this case it was some quite major and expensive changes to the front of the property. We also had to replace the old small septic tank as 5 people living 24 hours a day can fill it very quickly and there’s currently no real way of getting it emptied without using a bilge pump (probably one of the worst tasks I regularity have to do).
What started as merely wanting to change the gate – a job I have been putting off for several years – turned into an entire landscaping project because there was the issue of having to remove a hillock in order to get a new one in. The property has been in use for several hundred years and different buildings have come and gone all over it – there’s also the worry of finding unexploded mines and artillery shells from the first and second world wars.
Heavy snowfall crushed the hedges making them useless, and parasitic hop vines choked the life out of what was left. So we decided to bulldoze the lot and put in a solid wall as well. The end result is much more land available and some pretty cool historical parts which will make a nice terrace once I learn how to rebuild ancient stone walls and root cellars…

Filmed with a Panasonic Lumix FZ300/FZ330 with a Polaroid UV lens, and a Xiaomi Note 8 Pro phone

Published by Carpathian Adventure

My name is Edward O'Toole and I live in one of the wildest, most beautiful parts of Europe, in the Carpathian Mountains of Eastern Slovakia. Life is an adventure - both physically and metaphysically... I've been living out here for the last 22 years, along with my wife, 3 kids and Jack Russell. My main interests involve bushcraft, prepping, survival and wilderness living (self-sufficiency and self-reliance), ecological, green, smart and natural solutions, motorcycles and motorbike club life, writing and art (I have 7 published books), and exploring the paranormal. For more about my lifestyle, art and writing visit

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