Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Up the garden path

For the past few days, we've been working on making paths in the garden.  Originally, the idea was to use leftover travertine pieces from the patio and retaining wall to make a couple of minimal stepping stone paths.  The green roof contractor was going to lay the pieces.  But then I started to feel like there was too much of that stone and that there should be a change of material (the sunroom's floor is made of travertine too) to signal entering the garden.  I thought an aged red brick might work well, laid in a herringbone pattern.  It would mimic the red brick paths in the historic cemetery beside the RBB and also pick up on the red brick on the side wall of the sunroom and on the wall of the only visible adjacent building.  My idea was to scatter stepping stone sized areas of herringbone brick around the garden and to try to make it look like there used to be a more complete "typical" walkway, but that it had been eroded over time and bricks had gone missing.

Off I went on Thursday on the hunt for attractive tumbled and aged red brick.  I struck out at the nearby masonry supply yard where we bought the brick to expand the headhouse but one of the salesmen there suggested a brickyard about 15 miles north of Boston.   Bingo!  They had a huge and interesting selection.  The salesman at this second yard recommended a style of brick called a Boston City Paver, which was used to make the Freedom Trail, along with many of the city's streets.  Since the red brick building is on the Freedom Trail, it seemed like a good choice.  I brought home some samples to check their effect and then went back on Friday to load the car with 200 brick to get us started over the weekend. 

It wasn't easy carrying 200 pavers up four flights of stairs to the roof, but it wasn't was bad as I'd expected, either.  We spent Saturday laying the bricks on the right hand side of the garden.  On Sunday I planted some ground cover around one side of the path.  Results so far:

Yesterday I went back to the brickyard and got another 110 bricks.  This morning we carried them inside, as far as the living room/dining room level.  It's raining pretty hard, so laying them on the left hand side of the garden is going to have to wait at least until tomorrow.

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