Monday, June 22, 2009

I'm a Basket Case

The rain started on Thursday, and it didn't stop until Sunday. Dropping an amazing, 7.5 inches total. The garden loved it, especially after the temperatures began to rise on Saturday morning, and the humidiy followed suit at 95%; but my plans to have a beautiful patio finished and ready for a Sunday Party, which of course would allow for a great met Monday post: were squashed!
Knowing that I wasn't going to have a finished patio didn't deter my working on it though - just slowed the process to a snails pace. Saturday I worked on the patio most of the day, in the rain, by myself. Scott worked late that night, and after laying only about 80 sq. feet of brick, I called it quits. I was soaking wet, and a little aggrevated at the earlier problems I'd had with the pattern. I started working in the herringbone pattern we'd discussed, but there was something terribly off about that grid and the different sized brick. (The price you pay for 60 year old, reclaimed stock.) So, I had to come up with an alternative layout for the patio, one that would work well with the brick I had, and eliminate the need for cutting or chipping the brick, or worse - having huge gaps in the pattern.

Enter the idea of a basket weave. Above is an example of a traditional English basket weave. It's very beautiful, no? The brick is obviously made to look a little old with it's man-made nicks and scars atop the brick, but having laid actual vintage brick - I know that the lines here are much too square and uniform to be brick cut years and years ago.

Now, I have to admit that I tried a few other patterns, but the basket weave worked the best. In laying it though I thought it looked a little too "something". (You know when you can't find the word - it's on the tip of your tongue, but yet it's still missing and all you can come up with is "something" - well, that's what this was!)

So I played around with the idea of a half basket weave. Instead of placing two bricks horizontally, I would only place one.

And please, forgive my out of focus, very blurry picture - but here it is in living color. Now, this is not the finished product, but close. The brick has a wonderful patina, don't you think? The variegated color of age, the acid wash, and lime residue; together with the Bunglehouse Grey paint of the garage, and the emerald green of the arborvitae (which will rest behind the new retaining wall) the rich clay tones of the brick add a sophisticated flare to the space. I'm in love.

Now, the weather is finally cooperating with me, and I have a couple of sunny and warm days ahead. There is much on my to-do list, as my house is being photographed for the "Home of the Month" feature of the Buffalo News on Tuesday, yes - TOMORROW. So please, look forward to my slew of photos on my Tablescape Thursday post. Til' then - peace!