What to do with all those bricks

A lady in town who is doing a major renovation of her house and garden contacted me through a friend (who is her neighbor) and asked if I would like to have some bricks. I rarely turn down such an offer and she told me that I could have them if I would pick them up. My friend told that there weren't too many so I headed out one morning thinking I might possibly get them all in one load, maybe two. Ha! I think there were enough bricks there to cover a small house. A few weeks later and about five or six trips, I had a good supply of brick - now, what to do with them?

My first plan was to redo my vegetable/herb garden area. This tiny area is enclosed in hedges and I have raised beds along the perimeter. A dogwood sits in the middle and I know, I know - who grows vegetables under a tree? Well, me - I will not cut down that tree - it was one of the few trees on the property when we moved here and despite limited sunlight, I am able to grow a few tomatoes, peppers and herbs.

The floor area had been covered with pine straw and a narrow circular brick path around the dogwood that had become overgrown and weedy. I decided to use the bricks and create a floor over the entire area. I also needed more space for herbs and I ended up creating a raised bed around the trunk of the dogwood in a wheel design.

I added a layer of gravel and used a rubber mallet to place the bricks, then added a layer of sand and brushed it down the cracks to fill in. The following photos were taken shortly after I completed the project (about 6 weeks ago) so the sand was not settled by then.

I'm pleased with the results and I still have more bricks left!


  1. great garden
    good blog
    and another jennifer jones fan!

  2. Very nice! I've recently been the beneficiary of someone's garden remodel...I've got a few hundred bricks in piles around my yard. You've given me some ideas!

  3. Nice job with the brickwork! That's what I call a nice gift from a friend...wish I could be so lucky as my brick patio needs extending. Enjoyed visiting your blog and web site....both very neat and well-done and great photography to boot! Best regards,
    Jon on 9-7-07

  4. Looks wonderful, and I really like the way you partitioned out all those beds.

    I would be worried about the tree collar tho'. It looks like you buried it a little bit..? No worries?

  5. Your basket weave brick pattern is one of my favorite brick laying styles and it looks like you have done a really great job with setting the bricks.

    I also like the tree collar but it looks kinda high up onto the trunk which can be detrimental to the health of the tree in a rather short amount of time.

    What a score !

  6. Impressive, Phillip! I love the fact that you took someone's "castoffs" and made a great focal point in your garden. I love the wheel under your tree too.

  7. Great work Phillip!! I came to your blog by the way of Lost Roses. I too think it is wonderful that you won't cut down the dogwood tree and that you used someones cast off brickes. More people should do that.

  8. Heh, just a head's up. You want to make sure you aren't adding dirt above the original soil line at the tree's base.

    The bark types differ above and below ground, and above bark will rot out and kill the tree if you pile dirt against it.

    You need to pull any dirt away from the base of the tree if that's what's going on here.

    Sorry to say this, because it looks so gorgeous, but you value the tree, and I'd hate to see you lose it.


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