Bricks. I guess my obsession with these useful, albeit heavy, little suckers started almost two years ago when I discovered hundreds of them sunken into the ground in a place where a garage once stood in my backyard. At first, they seemed to me rather sad and kind of annoying – stark reminders of a former owner’s disastrous attempt to build a structure in a place that was doomed to flood. But that was just me being boring; I had yet to see the possibilities of giving them new life.
I can’t remember the exact moment I saw their potential last year, but somewhere in between stewing over the bricks and stressing about cleaning them up, I eventually realized that they could solve a different problem in my yard: My flower beds were borderless but I didn’t want to spend any money on garden fences – especially ones made of plastic or treated wood.
Getting a bright, green idea, I started digging out the bricks to see what was what – noting that they came in a number of different shape and sizes; some had holes and some didn’t; some were long and some were short. They were eclectic, quirky and rustic, and they fit my design aesthetic and personality perfectly. After that discovery, I was hooked, and my husband and I began hauling bricks up the hill to serve their new purpose in defining the once imaginary lines of my garden beds.
This year, the madness only continued. As soon as the weather warmed, even more ideas crept into my brain and the ritual of lugging bricks resumed, turning me into a sort of a modern-day Sisyphus as I carried more and more up the hill. Once I amassed all the pieces to my new puzzles, I quickly put my visions to work, building some cute, flower-shaped raised rounds in which I sowed seeds for three varieties of kale and two types of chard. Next, I created a two-layer raised bed that’s now home to my cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, and basil (last year my straw bale experiment was an epic fail so this is Plan B). And, finally, after finding inspiration on Pinterest, I planted nasturtiums in the holes of the bricks lining my garden path to up the ante.
So, I guess if you’re thinking right now that I seem awfully pleased with myself, you would be right. It not only makes me happy to have overcome another challenge in my fledgling green space, but the best part is also that the whole project didn’t cost a dime. Heck, in the process of hauling all those bricks, I think I even lost a few pounds too, and you really can’t beat that either.