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.

Finished project.

        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.   


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