Monday, July 1, 2013

Basket Weave

This has been a spring (and into summer) of big projects.  Well, they're actually small projects, but they seem big.  Or maybe just seem big at the time ;-).  Bricking the garden areas has been my favorite.

Years ago I boarded my horses and Punkin at a farm near downtown Lexington.  It was known as the last green holdout in the midst of city development and it was a fantastic old rundown farm full of foxes, rabbits, birds, raccoons and even a few deer.  I tried to win the lottery to save it.  It's now long gone. 


These are no ordinary bricks.  Well, I guess to some people they'd be ordinary, but ordinary in the same way handspun yarn is ordinary.  These bricks were made on that farm and  I'd love to know how many years ago.  They were used to build the stud barn, which by the time I got there was just a neat old falling down barn tucked deep into a wooded lot.  The wooded lot is now gone as well.

Saint Tim noticed the bulldozers moving in on his way to work one morning and stopped and loaded up the back of his car (and tore something up too if I remember correctly, maybe due to weight?) before they all hit the dumpster.  They've been stacked outside our barn ever since, just waiting for a new job.   I now can't imagine the garden areas without them.

Other that the brutal digging out of the dirt and sod (again a big thanks to Saint Tim), laying the bricks was a fun project.  Once the area has been dug out and leveled, you put down about 3 inches of special gravel, level that and then cover with about a inch of special sand.  You then place your bricks (I used a basic weaving pattern, Basket Weave, to give it a good Wool House feel ;-) and then brush more sand over the top to fill the cracks.


There are gates on each end of the lavender garden.



A small pad in front of the new garden shed.


Larger pad in front of the (new) raised sunflower bed.  Side note, there is a slight slope to this area and I'm having trouble getting the sand between the bricks to stay put during big rains.  If anyone has any suggestions, please jump in.



Between the zinnias and the dye garden.



The lavender continues to be a highlight, especially now with some freshened up mulch.



These pictures are all from over a week ago.  The Grosso in the foreground is now waist high and in full bloom.  The bees are in heaven.  

And so is Newtown Spring Farm, but a little piece of it lives on here and in our hearts.

32 comments:

Sandra said...

I love brick! Looks lovely :)

Sandra said...

I love brick! Looks lovely :)

lazymomgardener said...

Love the lavender! I'm hoping someday I can get it to grow for me and actually over-winter. The bricks are great, but the story of where they came from is better.

Leslie said...

Good on Saint Tim for getting those bricks. He really is a saint. Neat old things like that are simply irreplaceable and it kills me to know that so often they end up in the dumpster. They look lovely on your farm.

Andee said...

Oh I love how you saved and reused the bricks!

Cindy D. said...

That is a great story!
My mom just told me recently about how when I was very little we were in Williamsburg VA, and they were tearing down one of the buildings from the 1700's. She grabbed about 5 or 6 of the bricks and carried them around with her for years, wanting to use them on something.
Unfortunately, someone else (who will remain nameless) ended up throwing them away. :( major bummer!

Tombstone Livestock said...

I would go dumpster diving with Saint Tim any day. Are all those just one load or did he manage to get more??? WTG Tim!

When I was in 6th grade the old 2 story 4 room school house i went to from 1st grade was being torn down, my parents got the bricks out of the foundation. And after many hours of our knocking off the old mortar the bricks became the chimney and planter boxes all across the front of our house. Said part is house belongs to someone else now and I hear plan is to tear it down and build a bigger house. House was plenty big but in Silicon Valley there are now Mansions where houses used to be.

I just sweep fine dirt between my stepping stones, think the clay type soild will not wash away as easily. May have to sweep little more in from time to time.

Good job it looks great.

Tombstone Livestock said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tombstone Livestock said...

I see I am not the only having problems with leaving comments, yesterday took forever, today I got two .... sorry. I deleted the duplicate.

Rae said...

Very nice! And, I love how you salvaged those bricks. Makes your garden extra special. It has history.

Lori Skoog said...

Don't you have enough to do? All these great projects!!!! I told Gary that I need to start a lavender garden..you are my inspiration. Saint Tim sure takes good care of you.

MarmePurl said...

Such a lovely story. Stirring ideas in my noggin as a historic building in my town is about to be torn down to make way for a parking lot. Perhaps I can make a wee bit of it live on in my garden and heart as well.
Tell me, what do you grow in the dye garden?

flowerweaver said...

Looks great!

You could put in a 'French tile drain' (no tile involved) if you were willing to redo it a bit. What you do is dig a trench on the downhill side, put about 3-4 inches of gravel down, then place a large diameter perforated PVC sewer pipe on that, cover it with some mesh or tar paper to keep the gravel and dirt from falling in the holes, and backfill. You could even lay your bricks back on top of that as along as you left a little space so that the water could seep down. The idea is the airspace inside the pipe creates a vacuum and your excess water will get sucked down in there, and will disperse naturally through the gravel either seeping in or evaporating underground. There is no need to make the pipe 'go' anywhere. I did this in my front yard in Austin, as you recall it was lower than the street and it kept my sidewalk from flooding.

Alice said...

How resourceful and chock full of memories to recycle those bricks! How neat to wait to put them in a happy ever after spot. Ahhhhh..... If only those bricks could talk...the tales they would tell ;-)

Terry said...

Lovely job, and meaningful bricks!
We have a friend who cherishes a stall door he rescued from a barn they tore down at Calumet in its dark days.

Spinners End Farm said...

Lovely lovely all of it! What a nice remembrance to have all around you.

Lady Locust said...

It all looks amazing! I like bricks, stones, rocks, etc. To me, they ground the place:) Happy bees too- beautiful
smiles

Michelle said...

More proof of why he is called "Saint" Tim. What a wonderful thing he did, and what wonderful use you have made of the bricks!

Pam said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous, but you exhaust me. I think I need a nap.

Dianne MacDonald said...

Mix a little bit of dry mortar mix in with the sand, sweep it between the bricks and then sprinkle it with water. It should set up just enough to hold things in place. Great job on the brickwork! I'm guessing Equinox Farm will be on the garden tour next year :-)

thecrazysheeplady said...

I need to do a whole dye garden post. Waiting until there's more blooming, although everything's staggered so I should probably just do a series of shots.

There are 282 bricks left.

I went to the famous Calumet auction. Sad, sad day.

Sheepmom said...

I love the story of the rescued bricks and their new purpose. Used and valued every day, just the way bits of history should be. St. Tim is beyond awesome!

I'm gonna tell Mom! said...

Your gardens are lovely. I would love to see a blog tour of your dye garden!

Stephen Andrew said...

How fabulous you and Saint Tim were able to salvage those bricks!!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Holy cats that is a lot of brick..but good for Saint Tim. They look fabulous! I have a brick garage floor and patio. I would try some dry mortar mix mixed in with the sand too..and see if that makes a difference...sometimes it seems like there is a bottomless pit under some bricks. The lavender is lovely:)

Jenny Glen said...

Tim is such a romantic! My husband was like that until I said I DO.

Amy Dingmann said...

Beautiful, especially when you know the story of where the brick came from. Lovely!

Willow said...

Great story about the bricks, love that they got rescued and reused.

Susan Mckee-Nugent said...

OH, now that is the way to have a brick path....memories! beautiful, yes french tile for drainage. you did such a good job! yea to saint tim for being quick on the 'draw' :)

YarnKettle said...

I don't think there can ever be too many lavender garden pictures. Your new/old bricks are lovely.

I wonder if lavender will grow up here in NY state?

Ed said...

Looks great! :-)

Tyche's Minder said...

Oh wow. How did I miss this post? This is exactly how I've been spending my time lately too -- with old bricks. I have to say I love the old ones. The patina is so beautiful. You've done a wonderful job laying yours. I also used a basket weave, but didn't get mine nearly as level as yours. Mine slip a bit too. I used crushed limestone and I'm hoping the next rain will make them set some. And I can guarantee my pics won't be as lovely. :) Super nice job.

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