Saturday, October 12, 2013


In our family, grandparents and parents pass along plants to the next generation. But oddly enough, we also pass along BRICKS. Does this sound crazy?
You might be asking why any family would pass along bricks? Well, for the most part, bricks come in handy. Gardeners love old bricks so they can place them under potted plants, make walkways, line flower beds, and  prop open garden sheds. You can also throw one at a snake (just joking). 
As you can see, after a number of years, one can get quite an assortment of mismatched bricks.
In fact, I had so many I was getting scared. What can one do with so many odd bricks?
The answer came after seeing a beautiful hodgepodge brick patio in another garden.
It was so cool. It was hip. It was avant garde. And it was the ANSWER!
It's hard NOT to put bricks in a straight line. It goes against all your instincts. Don't laugh, but I actually took photos of my friend's mismatched patio and drew a diagram so I could get it right! 
In a way, I was trying to match a random pattern. That's quite an oxymoron. Plus, I felt like a moron....
but still a gardener's got to do what a gardener's got to do.

This was as random as I could get without going crazy. But what I love most is that all the odd bricks look great once the cracks are filled in with sand. I used white sand for contrast.
This new antique brick courtyard ("new antiques"...another oxymoron)
is in the suddenly sunny part of the garden (since my next door neighbor cut all their trees down).
To keep some semblance of order, I used the same type of flower in a row of clay pots. I like the effect. 
In fact, I could probably use two more pots to continue the pattern.
This is now the view outside our bedroom window. I'm so excited about the random brick patterns, that I'm ready to make a second courtyard. There's just one problem:
I'm out of bricks! LOL

Until next time, happy gardening!


  1. I love the use of random materials on a patio and you have created a beauty. A job well done. Show me a gardener who doesn't love a few bricks. My son had a palette of bricks left over from a remodel. We took them home and then this weekend we brought a few back to use in his new water feature to raise the plants.

  2. I just love the idea of passing on old bricks. That is such a wonderful way of making a garden a very personal space. Your new antique courtyard looks brilliant. You've done a pretty good job for a moron!!! The red outdoor setting and the red lamp really add that special touch, and those bricks are sensational.

  3. This looks great!
    I love old bricks. They have that 'patina' that comes with age. And, if there's a story behind them, all the better.
    They come in handy for lots of things. And really, throwing one at a snake, isn't all that bad an
    Hope you're getting some rain...but, not washing away.

  4. LOVE the brick courtyard! And I love that you used a random pattern, instead of everything lining up straight. Makes it more relaxed, and interesting, too. And your row of clay pots sets everything off perfectly. Great job!

  5. Well done! Years ago I salvaged a bunch of cool old bricks when a building across the street from where I worked was torn down. It had a huge painted sign on the side so some had colors and patterns. Loved them! Sadly I left them behind when we moved to Portland.

  6. I LOVE your brick walkway!!! I have been saving bricks too I even saved some brick sections from a torn-down building I use to teach in. But alas I still don't have enough brick!!!!! I have to have different colors and styles in my collection and what if I start laying and run out if some before I'm finished.
    So who knows how long I must collect...and I find most people are very stingy with their stack of bricks...bricks are as collectible as rocks in this area. Everybody loves bricks and rocks just like me!!! Now I think I will use a random pattern like you. Did you prep the area where you laid your bricks?? What did you put down under the bricks? So send any stray bricks my way!!!!

  7. The new patio looks great and I agree randomness is not that easy to get right. I love old bricks and have even received some from family members over the years.

  8. That looks really great! I love the new patio -- nice way to make the best of a less-shade situation.

  9. Quite a work of art. You're an oxy-genius!

  10. Love it! It's got character (as well as history).

  11. Amazing...your patio is beautiful

  12. David, it looks great! I think you put the bricks to good use. I like the red chairs and the flowerpots too!

  13. I absolutely love it!!! So clever and cool. Your garden just looks incredible. Every area just looks so cohesive and lush. It seriously looks like one of those gardens you see in a magazine. Fabulous!

  14. Love your thoughtful posts for this houston garden

  15. David...where did you get the brick that has HOUSTON on it..
    what is the history of this brick?....James

  16. Wonderful! We are renovating a century-old house and had to take up the old brick courtyard to complete an addition. The previous owners were brick collectors as well as they had brick dating back to colonial times in the courtyard. We are now in the process of reinstalling the courtyard and are scavenging any bricks we can find. Keeping up the tradition here in Virginia!


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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