This blog focuses on downsizing lawns and replacing them with specialty gardens with an emphasis on the edible. I'm experimenting with options to revitalize the land around our 160-year-old farm house. Some reports share how I've used what I've grown.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Finishing a Pathway with Bricks
Years ago, I salvaged some attractive bricks with the expectation that someday, I'd find a use for them. And I have. Finally. I've already used some of them for two openings through the mum hedge that extends to the left in the photo. For the rest, my mission is to create a more attractive pathway through this high-traffic area.
Heavily traveled path from side of front porch around house to back.
The first step was to remove plants and dirt to a depth equal to the depth of a brick plus an inch. I didn't want the resulting base to be level because I want water to run off, not puddle on the bricks. The ground is hardpacked so I didn't feel a need to tamp before I added sand. From what I've read, two inches of sand may be optimum, but I used only about an inch. I arranged the bricks on the sand, taking care that their tops were at the same level. I used a masonry hammer and chisel to get the shapes I needed to fill odd corners. I did not use edging retainers that would hold the bricks in place even though this is a really good idea. My excuse is I'm working on a budget, and I simply didn't want to bother with them. Time will tell if I goofed there. I told my husband about the option of mixing sand and cement (1:4 ratio) to use to fill the cracks between the bricks. He didn't want me to do this because the mix would eventually absorb moisture, harden, and make the arrangement permanent. Instead I worked play sand into the cracks, watered it in, added more sand, watered it, and again, until the cracks were filled. I swept away excess sand.
The path leading to the right needs additional mulch. Aside from that, this project is complete. As projects go around here, this was a small one, but the pathway looks so much more...finished. Such a lovely word.