Brickwork in the Garden

Bricks can be used very effectively for garden paths, steps, paving, low walls, pedestals, and other purposes.

Those which will be walked or harrowed over should be hard bricks; and, if to be laid flat, must be cut bricks without hollows or frogs in their wide faces.

Red bricks are preferable to yellow; and if old ones in good condition can be obtained, so much the better, as their weathered colour is much more pleasing than the raw tints of new bricks.

Bricks for paths or paving should be laid on well consolidated ground covered with a layer of ashes, rolled and levelled as thoroughly as is possible. Fine sand may be used for levelling up individual bricks, and for filling the joints after the bricks have been laid.

The actual arrangement of the bricks, if it is not to be severely simple, should be planned carefully out beforehand, so as to fit in with the dimensions of the bricks used.

For a narrow path a very effective scheme is to have the centre of three or four widths of bricks laid endways in the direction of the path, and breaking joint, that is, not having the joints of two adjacent courses in line; and to lay a single row of bricks along each side, at right angles to the centre bricks.

Circular spaces may be covered with bricks radiating from the centre; or with rings of bricks end to end alternating with rows of radial bricks. Herring-bone patterns also are very effective.

Bricks on end make good edgings. Pressed bricks (with frogs), keyed together by cement mortar in the frogs, will prove very stable.

Walls may be built either dry – without mortar – or be cemented. In the first case it is advisable to give the wall a slight batter, or backward slope, keeping the earth behind level with the wall as it rises. Where coment mortar is used, it should be darkened by mixing in a little vegetable black.

Steps should be laid with cement mortar, or be grouted in with semi-liquid cement after the bricks are in position. Grouting is also effective for paths and paving. The filling may be stopped half an inch or so below the surface, to allow the accumulation of a concealing layer of soil, etc.

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