Saturday, March 14, 2009

Learning a new home improvement skill

I now know how to do basic masonry; I built a small brick wall today.

It's spring in SoCal, and it's time to start planting our garden. We have been planting a small (8' x 4') vegetable garden every year, and this year we decided to add to that. We put in a small herb garden (6' radius quarter circle) in the corner of our yard. When we installed our vegetable garden, we made a raised bed using 2x12's. It made amending the soil easier, and we were guaranteed to have good drainage.

We want good drainage for our herb garden, but we're not too worried about amending the soil. Herbs grow in just about anything. We decided to put the new plot next to our back patio, and we wanted it to look nice. Since a lot of the landscaping in our yard is brick, we decided a brick wall would make a nice border to the garden.

I have never worked with brick/masonry before, but I figured it couldn't be too hard, right? Actually, it isn't too hard; it just takes a little bit of time. I dug the garden and put in some temporary composite edging to keep the dirt in place and to mark the plot. Then I dug a small trench for the brick wall to sit in, and filled the bottom with sand. The sand provided a foundation for the wall, and allowed me to level the bricks. I had to cut a few bricks to fit, and I learned how to do that, using a brick hammer and a couple of chisels. I only ruined a few bricks learning. Applying the mortar was relatively easy after that. I only built the wall two bricks high (it's a garden border), but hey, I built a wall.

The kids helped.

I finished the project at dusk. The rectangle of pipe against the wall is my sprinkler system for the vegetable garden. We pulled it out to turn over the soil. Below the sprinkler is Dweezel, the garden gnome. He'll go home when we plant the garden tomorrow.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Nice work! It'll look great with everything is green and blooming.