Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Made It: Ye Olde Brick Path

Hello! There's a narrow strip of land - about five feet wide - on the western edge of our property that was a bit of a no man's land. When we first moved in, an assortment of weeds and tree saplings reigned in that space. I got rid of the saplings first, then pulled out the weeds. One particular weed, though, grows via runners, so it was very hard to eradicate. And the thinning out of the other weeds and mini trees caused the spread of lily of the valley. I like the scent and appearance of its flowers, but there was just too much of it growing in this small bit of ground. 

Over the course of our years here, I've gradually added some perennials in this area, but placed them close to the house so I would still have space to walk through. During the growing season, I'd gradually wear down enough of the weeds and lily of the valley to make a path of sorts, though walking on these plants stopped them from growing back.

Then it dawned on me: since I was beating down a path by walking on this strip of land, why not just make a real path? So earlier this summer I dug out a ton of weeds and lily of the valley. It was a bit laborious, but with the excess growth cleared away, that section of the yard looked better already!

Now, what to put down on my path to make it look more official? This would involve figuring out what type of paving stone to buy and how much of it to buy. But before I made a trip to an outdoor landscaping place, it was time to cut the lawn. This task included mowing around a semi-buried, two-brick-wide path someone had added to the park side. And since this path was right next to a large maple tree, it was difficult to mow around. So, time to kill two birds with one stone: remove that old brick path so it'd no longer be a nuisance - and use those bricks to make my new path!

And here's how it turned out:

To show you how narrow this strip of land is, the light green plants to the left are lavender I planted about a foot away from our house, while the feathery-looking greenery to the right is on our neighbors' property. But as you can see, a single file of bricks fit in well here. 

A couple of close-ups on the old bricks I dug up from the parkside and put in place to make the path:

There were a few of this brand, Bessemer Block, Youngstown, Ohio.

But mostly I had this:

Metropolitan Block, Canton, Ohio.

I looked online for some information on these companies. Bessemer Brick Company began in 1901 and was bought by Metropolitan Brick in 1917.  Metropolitan Brick was formed in 1902. 

Finding Metropolitan bricks is quite common; read here
to see where they were found by others (a brief history of the company is first, followed by the comment section where the finds are discussed).

I don't know if or where the bricks I dug up from the parkside had originally been elsewhere. I was glad to have had found just enough to make a nice little path. A couple of neighbors have complimented me on my efforts, which was very kind of them. My path is rather rustic in appearance, but at least that side of our yard no longer looks like a no-man's land!


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