Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Spring's here - time to work outside!

Spring is finally arriving here in the great north woods. Today was the first day we hung laundry out in a while - and definitely the first time in a while that we're not 100% sure it will freeze if we leave it overnight!
All thoughts have turned to landscaping, though we have exciting advances to report on the hall and the mudroom (sorry, you'll have to wait - not ready to post.)

I'm taking a landscaping class, which is going great. We are in the final stages of our master plan, which is the final product to be blueprinted. One of the main features (besides replacing much of the lawn with gardens and a couple of fence-pergola sections) is the addition of a patio & small deck.

You might remember that we've known for a while the patio has to be brick. My mom & dad started it - when they innocently asked "do you guys want about 80 old bricks?" and of course we said yes. Then we saw another bungalow restorer's salvaged brick walkway here in town, and we were sure.

The new design incorporates small 'boulders' in the brickwork - sorry, I can't find a photo to link to, so I'll have to show you later. So we need a bit fewer bricks, but a lot overall. This week I posted on my workplace's electronic bulletin board that we're looking for free bricks, and in 24 hours, I've got two brick offers - which we picked up today. Yes, that means two more brick stories like this one, the one to beat so far.

First, a frat house. We couldn't take all the bricks because some were holding up giant plastic rubbermaid lids that were serving as a basement window. And a few were too close to the outdoor beer/trash can and maybe the dog peed on them? Hopefully the dog, not the brothers? Who are we kidding, we all know who it was. But we got about 20 from there. Thanks guys!!!

Second, a woman who wanted $5 for us to haul away a neatly stacked pile of about 90 bricks. Since it was on the way back from the frat house, we stopped, paid the gatekeeper, and upped the brickometer a good bit. She let us use two empty buckets from kitty litter to haul the bricks from the far corner of her yard to the driveway. Not sure why we couldn't use the wheelbarrow that was sitting right nearby, but beggars can't be choosers.

Thus, here's what the brick pile looks like (note laundry hanging just above!):

And we have ~35 more that are around the side, used as temporary garden borders.

Now I just have to count how many we need, since they're all drawn on the landscape plan!

More tales of brick scavenging next time, I hope...


Jennifer said...

Very cool! I think the idea of boulders strategically placed in the brick patio will look so nice! A nice change in color and texture.

Sandy said...

Great score on the bricks!!!

Susie said...

Cool! I look forward to seeing this project progress and what you learn. I was thinking we'd do the same thing at some point... good luck!

mark.schifferli said...

Hey,we have a brick patio in Somerville, MA that we're hoping to tear up. It's a long haul, but if you want them, the bricks are yours. The patio is about 8'X12', and the bricks are sometimes 2 deep. If you're interested, please email me, and I'll send pictures