Update: Bricks

When we last checked our endless brick project, I was working on some short walls to allow access to the water meter. Looked like this:

Finished it today. This is a milestone: all the walls and planters along the street are done, except for finials on the four little towers. The fam is pitching hard for pineapples, after the English tradition. That’s getting alarmingly close to the house in My Big Fat Greek Wedding level of kitsch, kinda pushing back…

The English build and then live in houses like this. I don’t know it the the English get enough credit for straight up wierdness.

Ya know? Although it may already be too late…

So here’s what we got:

From the curb.
From the street, complete with tools and a neighbor’s car. Frames the pomegranate tree, flanked by the cherry to the left and pear to the right.
Looking north. Stuck some stray rocks and dichondra in there, just because.
Looking south. Had some salvaged refractory bricks lying around, no use for them, so used them to cap the center section.
Getting cute on the tower caps.
Had a few 2″ Mexican tiles lying around.

So, the plan is to put a potted plant on each of the little towers, and wooden planter boxes on the three wall sections, to complete the visual barrier.

Anyway, some clean-up, then on to the south wall – simpler, but still a lot of work. Last, there’s a gate at the top of the steps. And that’ll be it for this project, a mere 5 years later.

Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

7 thoughts on “Update: Bricks”

  1. Somehow the additional stray rocks and dichondra serve to “straighten” the water meter box. Nice touch! Even without the giant pineapple finials this project is fantastic.

  2. Very nice! Thanks for the updates. Perhaps a celebratory giant pomegranate finial upon a momentous completion?

  3. The English build and then live in houses like this. I don’t know it the the English get enough credit for straight up wierdness.

    You have a point.

    I am now wondering how much of the Japan weird is them being “inspired” by the English. Although they definitely took it to the same heights as Seven Samuri being inspired by classic Westerns.

    1. Stray thought: It is odd how the kitschiest cultures also tend to be the most bloodthirsty. The Dutch, Germans and Japanese, among, I’m sure, plenty of others, can both layer on near-fatal levels of cute, then turn around and torture and massacre without missing a beat.

      1. Might be the human aspect showing, there– I know that when our ship was bringing back guys from Iraq, it was all Disney and Harry Potter.*

        The other side was there, they knew it, and they could either try to fight it (which is often counter-productive– get out of the valley by running in?) or they can try to divert away from it, which…sometimes works. There’s a notable tendency for Some People to take great joy in hurting/breaking/destroying that which another cares for, so the “smash it with cute” can backfire.
        Even something stupid and simple like my flowers at the barracks were irresistable to the destroyer minded.

        * (The XO, who I will not call an idiot because I don’t want to insult mentally disabled morons, tried to force the issue. With Saving Private Ryan. It did not go well.)

  4. Fantastic, everything looks straight and square.

    Just curious, what kind of foundation is underneath the towers? How deep did you dig?

    Also, on the top layer of the towers, why did you cut the corner bricks diagonally?

    I have no immediate plans but the idea is stewing to do some bricklaying around our place one of these days. Starting on a much more modest (i.e less insane) scale of course. : )

    1. Thanks. Foundations are 8″ wide by 3.5″ deep, with 2 pieces of 3/8″ rebar in it. The rebar is epoxied into holes drilled in the foundations of the adjoining planters, to tie the whole together. Fairly light weight.

      Cut corners: I wanted a little overhang, so I was going to need to cut bricks to fit anyway. I thought maybe this would look nice. Also, this way, I use only 4 bricks for the perimeter, ans simply have wider seams, to get a 1/2″ overhang all around.

      I don’t recommend this: it is very frustrating to get little triangles of brick to stay level while hanging off the edge, and the end result is fragile: wouldn’t take much to break off the edge bricks. Fully expecting to have to repair these at some point.

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