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Old Bricks Get New Life in the Garden

By Cookies4kids
June 17, 2015

It isn't often that we think of using old bricks in our gardens, but they add beauty and lots of interest if we give them a chance!!!

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South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
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Polymerous
Jun 16, 2015 7:16 PM CST
When we bought our current (one acre) property, there was one partial badly laid down path going from the main back yard to the side yard. The path was made of old red bricks, and my guess is that some previous owner had laid it down. For a variety of reasons we needed to do a major landscape job on the place, and our landscape contractor was going to toss out all of these old bricks, but I liked them, I wanted them, and so we saved them.

One of the many things we needed to do was to level the dirt and put down some hardscape in the area behind our sheds. (At the time we bought the property, it was all bumpy hilly dirt and mud out there, plus some existing shrubs and fruit trees.)

Our contractor put in a (salmon) colored concrete border to separate out the planting areas from the hardscape areas (and to keep the bricks in place), and we recycled the beautiful old brick into this "brick patio" area. (In reality, it is more of a shady plant nursery/hospital/pot ghetto/utility area, but still...) We did not have enough bricks to complete the project (which included making a little raised bed around a fruit tree), so our contractor had to go in search of new bricks which closely matched in color.

We also needed to redo the shed stoops (you step up into the sheds from the pathway in the side yard), so we used the same bricks there, along with the same pavers that we used for the pathway.

Below are some quick pictures I took earlier this month of the "brick patio" area (while a clean up had just gotten started *Blush* ).

peeking through the gate from the side yard into the brick patio area
Thumb of 2015-06-17/Polymerous/cf6593

incoming daylily pot ghetto between the sheds and the creek bank
Thumb of 2015-06-17/Polymerous/eedadb

Below you can see the stoop to one of the shed doors... the old bricks are the small pieces at the front of the stoop; the interior of the stoop used the same pavers as the walkway. (The daylily is 'Sears Tower'.)

bricks at the front of the shed stoop
Thumb of 2015-06-17/Polymerous/228962

What is funny is that during the course of the very long landscaping project, the brick patio acquired moss.... and the contractor kept wanting to power wash it off! We said "NO!". Rolling on the floor laughing


The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Jun 17, 2015 6:54 AM CST
Karen, great article! It's sad when old buildings have to be torn down but wonderful that you were able to obtain the bricks for reuse; they bring a lot of history and character to your beautiful property. Great job!


@Polymerous, great job on reclaiming that old brick for your pathways and patio!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Karen
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Region: Minnesota Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Cookies4kids
Jun 17, 2015 8:17 AM CST
Thanks for your comments.

Great pics, Poly.
Happiness is doing for those who cannot do for themselves.
Name: Jeanie
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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foraygardengirl
Jun 17, 2015 10:32 AM CST
Karen, this is a great article! Your brick looks wonderful and adds so much to your gardens. Recycling is great. There was a 1950's flagstone planter by the front steps of my house when I bought it. I dismantled it years ago when the steps had to be replaced, and the flagstone has been used in different places around the yard over the years.
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Old gardeners never die. They are just pruned and repotted.
Name: Karen
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Region: Minnesota Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Cookies4kids
Jun 17, 2015 2:52 PM CST
Thanks Jeanie. I really appreciate your kind comments.
Happiness is doing for those who cannot do for themselves.
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Polymerous
Jun 17, 2015 4:15 PM CST
@Karen - belatedly saying *Blush* (because I was so excited about the topic and wanted to post what we did) - great article!

Your garden paths are one of a kind, with the writing on the bricks. My sister (who lives in Kansas) also has a short garden path made of stamped/engraved bricks. Mine are just plain 'ol bricks...though we love it when the moss grows on them.

I've got to ask, though, why did you make your paths so narrow (i.e. one brick wide)? Did you like them like that? Or did I misunderstand, and are the bricks meant to be more as garden bed dividers?

Thanks, everyone, for your comments.
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Karen
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Region: Minnesota Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Cookies4kids
Jun 17, 2015 5:04 PM CST
I wanted to leave as much room as possible for plants. I am just using my iPad for pictures so they don't show things as good as they are. When you see the whole garden, they seem wide enough.
Happiness is doing for those who cannot do for themselves.

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