The Best Laid Paths, Part #1

When one owns a Bed & Breakfast, one must wear many hats, so to speak. My chief hat today was that of head gardener.

The oregano bed in our back yard has an attractive brick border. Over the years, however,  this border has buckled in places. Recently, whenever it rains (or we water) a section here and there tends to get buried in mud. Weather, tree roots, and decay of organic material can all cause even the best laid paths to shift. The coolish weather today being perfect for heavy yard work, though, I decided that Kairee and I would take the opportunity to remedy the mud problem.

We started out by lifting a few bricks here and there, but quickly realized that wasn’t going to be an adequate solution; and so we resorted to lifting large sections. When all was said and done, we had refinished about three quarters of the brickwork. Interestingly, we found that the bricks were much more colorful on the side that had been in the ground, rather than on the side facing up, so we flipped most of them over. They will probably fade in time, but not just yet.

The complete process: lift the bricks; scrape them clean; shave the surrounding soil so that it doesn’t sit above the border height; try not to trample any plants; add sand to area from which the bricks were lifted; level the surface; re-lay the bricks; tap in place; fill gaps with sand. The finished job looks pretty darned good, even though it still needs to be washed off. (I was just too tired to do that yet this afternoon.) To make it perfect, though, we would have needed to dig up the surrounding plants, level off the garden soil, and then replant. But sometimes, pretty darned good is good enough.

On the subject of what counts as good enough … after I laid the last brick in place, I realized that I was one short.  (This is now after 5 hours of work.) I looked around, couldn’t find an unused  brick, and decided that I must have mis-spaced that row. After all, how can one not see a brick? So I lifted the entire row, spaced the bricks just a little further apart, filled the gaps, and then pleased with myself, proceeded to clean up. And of course, you have guessed it  … there was that last brick under my trash bag. But really, who can tell?

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11 responses to “The Best Laid Paths, Part #1

  1. Pingback: Fortis Groundworks

  2. I am planning on laying my own little brick path next weekend so your post came at the perfect time. I will be sure to keep an eye on any wandering bricks…

    Your finished project looks great!

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