Using broken brick ends for paths, walls, fountain base, other?

jimandanne_mi(SE MI z5)April 29, 2007

We have LOTS of partial bricks from when the mason broke them to make end pieces for the wall of our house. Since they are all different lengths--mostly less than half a brick in length--it will obviously be a lot of work to use them in any way. However, I hate to just dump them in the trash.

I'd be interested in your ideas about which of the following might make sense:

1. Dump them in the garden beds and then put top soil on top of them in the terraced area that is yet to be formed. Our soil is sand, so our drainage is TOO good. Would the bricks slow down the water trickling through enough to make this worth while? I want to have some roses in mixed terraced beds and am trying to figure out how to retain water and also reduce the amount of watering (work!), since roses need so much water.

2. Stick them with the flat, short end up to make or line a path. Pretty time consuming since there are so many brick pieces.

3. Use them to make a mini-retaining wall where the garden steps down in low, short areas. We have other retaining walls that are boulders to keep the driveway out of the wetlands, and will have more boulder walls along one side of the house to form a sort of long window well. So don't know if introducing brick here would look good.

4. I want to have maybe three different small inexpensive fountains, so perhaps the brick could be used in some way to make these look attractive? One would be in the bottom level of the terraced garden that will be by the walk from the front door down to the walkout, which is on the front of the house. So you'd be able to see it as you walk down, and also if you're sitting on the lower level patio. One would probably be one of those globe shaped things with the water keeping a small ball turning on top for the grandkids to see as they walk up to the house. The third might be able to be a small wall fountain going up almost against the brick wall of the house near the entrance. The brick on the house goes up about 2-3 feet above the ground--I'll have to go measure when I'm out there next time.

5. Maybe do something special by the mail and newspaper box out front?

6. Other?

The necessary boulder retaining walls are taking a huge bite out of the budget, but we will be doing most of the rest of the landscaping ourselves--or at least to the extent that our aging backs will allow. So if we can make good use of the brick ends, it will help.

Many thanks for any ideas and help you can give us.


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I don't think adding bricks to the soil will improve the soil. You'd probably have to amend it some other way. I really like the idea of a path- I bet that would look very nice. You could also use them as a border for a little garden around your mailbox. If you planted a few flowers there, you could use the bricks on their sides to make a little "wall". That may be your best bet.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 6:53PM
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jimandanne_mi(SE MI z5)

I think you're right that making a little mini-wall by the mailbox would be a good use of the brick. I hadn't thought of raising that area, but it would make it look more special than just having plantings there, and because of the way the lot and house are configured, it would create a nice balance.

Thanks! Anne

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 7:07PM
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gardnpondr(Zone 8)

Check my web site to see what I did with broken brick. Go all the way to the bottom of the page under my introduction and click on updating photos. It will be about the 3rd pic over in that section. You will see all the paths I did around my pond with all the broken bricks. I had all of these left over from the families old homeplace. It was the chimneys bricks. lol Anyway I had to dig them out of the soil where they were piled many many years ago and then had to knock off the old cement they were put together with. So I wound up breaking some of them and this is what I used the rest for. I made the walkway out of the others that were whole and I actually like the brokens ones the best believe it or not. Just keep clicking on more of the process until you get to about the 3rd page over in the updating photos and you will see all the paths.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ponding site

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 10:49PM
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jimandanne_mi(SE MI z5)

gardnpondr, I LOVE the picture showing the blue rug juniper over the edge of the brick walk. We'll have an island in our driveway for turning around, so I think I'll use the brick as an edging there so it will look like your walk.

Thank you SO much! Anne

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 9:56PM
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gardnpondr(Zone 8)

I love that blue rug juniper! It's sooooooooo pretty on cold frosty mornings!! glad you enjoyed it! :)

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 12:19AM
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gardnpondr, its obvious from your pictures that you put so much thought and planning into what you were doing there. I love the brick path and the whole thing has come together so well. great job, i really enjoyed the pics and seeing it all come together

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 8:36AM
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roseyp8255(z8 - SC AL)

gardnpondr - love the brick path - and others too - you give me ideas for the future (as my b/f says "Oh no!")

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 1:37AM
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Beautiful, gardnpondr! Jim - one note of caution. It sounds like you are talking new construction brick, yes? That should be good. I used old chimney brick, perfectly beautiful - but it did not hold up to frost heavings, 300" of snow, etc. New brick exterior intent, should allow you all the wonderful options gardnpondr has given us.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 7:19AM
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