You probably think it’s good I have a husband in the paving industry when I need a new pathway, and it is. However, I’m sure you’ve heard the old saw about the cobbler’s children having no shoes. Well, it’s the same here. When it’s nice outside, all of the men and equipment are working on jobs that pay. When it rains, not much paving can be done anywhere.
Seven years ago, we had a brick walkway laid from the driveway to the front door. We needed a connecting path to the side gate, but, for some reason, the brick mason didn’t lay it at the time.
Our log cabin is built on the side of a hill. This makes for great drainage in the back garden. However, when it rains, soil runs down the hill and into my front entry (not indoors, but out.) Last weekend, in anticipation of getting irrigation (yes, I am doing a happy dance,) we decided to divert the water by building a brick walkway perpendicular to the one in front. In the photo on the right, we used a mini track excavator to dig the subgrade for the sidewalk. HH did the digging. Like a good assistant, I leaned against a shovel and watched.
It’s good to have an expert in the house. After digging, we then leveled the subgrade with a pitch of one percent to draw the water down the hill. We also angled the sidewalk so that it would funnel the water away from the house. This was simple compared to laying the pathway. HH explained it would be easier to build a straight path. Being an engineering type, he likes straight lines, but I wanted a gentle curve toward the gate at the end. Bless his heart, the man must love me because he dug a curve. I soon realized laying rectangular bricks in a curve without a saw to cut them was darn near impossible, and halfway through, I began to curse my artistic temperament. Still, we perservered. Once I sanded in the bricks this afternoon, it looked great.
At left is the finished product. We still need to replace the fence we removed for access, and eventually I want a beautiful iron gate instead of the wooden one, but it’s all a process. Like I told HH, the destination is important, but the journey is even more so. Don’t you agree?
Dee, Thank you very much for your kind reply. I will look this info. over and it will definitely give me some new insights and ideas into working with this material…thank you again! Jan PS I think our original installer will be coming back out very soon; my husband filed a complaint with the BBB! Jan
I hope he fixes it, but now you’re also armed with info.~~Dee
I just stopped by to say hi…I will come back and read more a little later. Right now, I noticed your lovely sidewalk…it looks fantastic. You are most fortunate to have such a guy in your life…with the paving industry, etc! Despite the frustrations, your artistic side added a great touch! Does your new walkway happen to have a new type of sand in between the bricks, that hardens on it’s own? We just had something like that done, but it isn’t holding up the way we thought it would…and it cost thousands! The paver was more interested in paving driveways than doing a great job with the walkway…and now, we can’t get him to come back and finish his mess! We’re trying to fix it ourselves…so if you know anything about this sand that’s used as a filler, and it hardens by itself, will you please let me know?? Thanks! Jan
Hi Jan, I’m so glad you came by. We used builder or masonry sand under and between the bricks. Builder’s sand has different sized particles in it and compacts around the bricks and shouldn’t be confused with playground sand. It sounds to me like your contractor didn’t use enough sand underneath and around your bricks. I found a link to brick sidewalk repair. Here is a link to a pdf, and I note they used crusher run (crushed concrete) under their brick sidewalk. We used masonry sand. I hope this helps.~~Dee
I do love your path Dee! Bricks + curves plus all your lovely garden=perfect in my book.
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Lisa at Greenbow says
Yes that gentle curve spells out true love. Your sidewalk turned out beautifully. I must say when you bring in large equipment
to do a project you are really working. Whew. I would love to have such a path. It is nice and wide too. Just marvelous.
Oh it looks so spectacular. I know it was a lot of work but look what you ended up with. It’s going to tell lots of stories in the future. I bet you were planning as you were laying the brick.
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It looks great, Dee!
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Lovely blog! Will check back often!
Yolanda Elizabet says
Very pretty that new path of yours, your husband did an excellent job and you were right to insist on a curve. About the journey and destination thingy: I agree about the journey but my poor back says it’s all about the destination! 😉 My new path still has to be laid, could you please send HH over? LOL
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I recall your recent Tweet that you would be laying out a pathway that particular day, and I thought of you as I was out in my own garden, wondering how it was going, so I’m delighted to see the photos! Well done, you two! Very beautiful work and you will enjoy so much now, together. It’s also so lovely for your children to witness the two of you creating together. What a blessing. 🙂 Kathryn xox
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Mr. McGregor's Daughter says
That’s a beautiful journey.
Brenda Kula says
Oh Dee, it’s beautiful! Wish you could loan him out here! My brick paths are homemade by the person who preceded me here, and not laid in cement. Every time a root runs under them, up comes the brick and I trip over it!
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Fantastic! I’m so happy for you. You do have exquisite taste in design, dear. The photos are beautiful, and I’m certain the reality is even more wondrous. What a place of comfort and joy you are building there!
Mother Nature says
I like the special effect of the different color bricks.
Thank you, MN.~~Dee
Robin Wedewer says
Lovely! Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and hire something out. If I wanted for things to get done around here…well, they wouldn’t get done.
I hope to see the homestead someday.
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Robin, I’m amazed I’m not doing the irrigation too. We rarely hire anything out. 🙂 ~~Dee
Hi Dee, you and HH are so smart and such good workers. You make a great pair! I love your path and know about needing to divert rain away from the house. Now if we could ever get some of that rain here….but your irrigation system will give you lots more time to do fun gardening tasks rather than dragging the hose, not fun at all. It all looks beautiful.
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Thank you, Frances. I knew that you, gardening on a hill, would understand. I’m sorry you are in the midst of a drought. Next year will probably be our turn again.~~Dee
Katarina (Roses and stuff) says
A very nice pathway! Lucky you! And I do agree – the journey is the most important. If everything is done and absolutely perfect – then what do we do and what do we dream about?
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Hi Katarina, my thoughts exactly!~~Dee
Karen - An Artists Garden says
A lovely path – there is something so timeless about a gently curving brick path – which you know will just look better and better with age.
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Curves are soothing to the soul. I just had a thought, we women should remember that about our bodies.~~Dee
It’s a beautiful path, and that curve just makes it. I’m more impressed by your hubby than ever, but kudos to you for laying the bricks so well and getting it done so quickly.
Thanks, Pam. I like it so much now that it’s finished.~~Dee
I just love brick paths and yours turned out so nice. I like the different colors of brick and the pattern you used. Well done! 🙂
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Thank you for your kind words, Cindy.~~Dee
I like it! It’s beautiful and even more because you worked together! Gail
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Thank you, Gail. We built a house together. A sidewalk was nothing compared to that.~~Dee
I like it! Your HH is not only loving enough to give you what you want, but smart enough to know doing so will make you, and thereby him, much happier. Long may you both tread the path together.
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Thank you, Cindy. That’s some good marriage advice.~~Dee
Carol, May Dreams Gardens says
That’s a beautiful path. I like it. My hats off to you and HH for a job well-done!
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Thank you, Carol. Midway through, I asked him why we didn’t hire it done, and he said “I don’t get paid enough.” There you go.~~Dee
there’s just sump’n about a man with big equipment….;)
That pathway is really beautiful. I love a brick path and the gentle curve gives it a nice artistic touch. 🙂 HH & you did a good job.
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Thank you, PG. It makes me happy now that it’s done.~~Dee