We had a pile of used brick we purchased from the Habitat for Humanity Restore in our area, and we decided to recycle them for this project.
The bricks were coated with old mortar that needed to be removed so the bricks would fit nicely together in our pattern. Probably the most time consuming part of the project, but not terribly difficult. We were glad we finally found a use for these beauties!
A chisel, hammer, and a firm surface to work on was all that was needed to remove the old mortar; it pretty much crumbled off leaving the nice clean brick. We may have lost only a few bricks to crumbling from this procedure.
This is the mortar after we were finished with the brick we needed for our project. I think we disposed of this portion, but I suppose someone could have come up with an idea to recycle it as well.
We loaded up our cleaned brick for the trip over to our project area!
Another important step is to prepare the area for the brick. We rototilled the area a few times, and then raked it out well to level it. We could have spent a little more time to get this level, but we weren’t too concerned about having it perfect. We wanted it to look like it had been there for a while.
We layered newspaper and sand over the raked area to begin our pattern. Several layers of newspaper will serve as a weed block, and is biodegradable too. I used a fairly simple pattern for the bricks as we discovered they were slightly irregular in size.
We used clean, dry sand as a base for the brick, and later to spread over the bricks to fill in the crevices and ‘tighten’ our pad.
This was the quick part of the whole process! It went together very quickly once it was to this point. We used the raised bed and the shed to edge the project.
The finished project! We found two left over pieces of clay flue liner we had used for protecting our chimney when we installed the triple wall stove pipe, and turned on end we thought they made nice planters for the corners heading into the other part of our garden. We don’t like to see anything go to waste!
A view from the garden side out to the alley. The garden shed area is so clean and accessible now! It will make moving the rototiller and wheelbarrow in and out so much easier.
And the final results looking into the garden and our back yard. It was too late in the season to add flowers to the planters, but I am looking forward to decorating them this year!