Our new brick and stone footpath project continues in the goose and peafowl enclosures.
If you follow my blog regularly, you may have seen my recent post showing my outdoor grounds crew using dozens of pressed red clay bricks that once surrounded my pool at my former East Hampton home to line a footpath inside and outside my Silkie chicken pen. I also instructed the crew to do the same from the entrance of the goose yard all the way to the peafowl coop. This path allows visitors to walk through easily even on the muddiest of days.
Here are some photos, enjoy.
Earlier this month, I decided I wanted to create proper footpaths inside my bird pens. Doing this would look neat and tidy, but also provide good, sturdy, and hopefully dry footing for anyone who enters the enclosures. Here, the sod was removed from a path in front of the goose pen to the front of the peafowl pen – it measures 36-inches across.
I have thousands of these red clay bricks. “Pressed red” is the general term given to solid red bricks traditionally manufactured from clay, pressed into individual molds by hand, and then heated at very high temperatures. Each of these antique and vintage bricks measures about eight and-a-half inches by four inches.
Before each brick is put down, Pete creates a narrow trench just wide enough for the brick and about five inches deep.
And then one by one, he angles the bricks and positions them in a sawtooth style, laying one on another at a 45-degree angle. It isn’t hard to do, but it must be done carefully, so everything is straight and perfect.
Pete uses the end of the hammer to gently tap the brick into place. In time, the soil will fill in any gaps and keep the bricks secure.
From this angle, one can see how helpful the twine is to keeping the bricks straight. Using bricks to line the footpaths handsomely defines the boundaries between the grass and the path.
This sawtooth brick pattern is ideal for edging garden borders or pathways. It is easy and quick to do. I have a large supply of these bricks, but if doing at home, one should have about 10-percent extra materials in case of breakage – clay bricks can break.
Pete works on both sides simultaneously.
Here he is almost done putting down all the bricks.
Once the bricks are in place, the weed cloth is cut to size within the path and carefully put down between the bricks.
Pete hammers in sod staples at various points to keep the cloth secure.
The geese see all the activity and want to know what is going on. These two are walking over to check it out. The birds are always so curious.
And here are the Chinese geese. Because these birds are exposed to a lot of activity around the farm, they are not fearful of the noises or the movements.
Stone dust is a non-porous material, which is good to use under the gravel. It will stop heavy rain water from seeping below and reduces the risk of shifting or damaging the stones. A layer of gravel is placed on top of the weed cloth.
And then the gravel on top of the stone dust. All around the farm, I like to use quarter-inch native washed stone. Each stone is about the size of a pea. This same gravel stone is also used to line the paths in my flower cutting garden. It s nice to keep everything uniform when possible.
Here, one can see the stone dust beneath the gravel stones – the layers should not be too thick. Pete and Fernando only dropped about two inches of each along the path.
The gravel is spread evenly with a hard rake.
Afterwards, Fernando goes over it with a gravel tamper. A tamper is a tool with a long handle and a heavy, square base used for leveling and firmly packing gravel, dirt, clay, sand, and other similar materials.
The path looks good – now onto the peafowl extension.
Once the path in the peafowl pen was all done, the peacocks and peahens all walked over to inspect the new addition to their enclosure. In the wild, peafowl forage for plants, insects, and other small creatures which they can find on the ground. They are omnivores, which means that they eat both plants and animals. This peacock is probably looking for worms.
In all, I think they like it – they all walked over right away to check it out. They seem to like the feel of the gravel under their feet.
Most of them came over, except for the peacocks who had other things on their minds. This peacock is showing off its long and colorful tail feathers. It is the beginning of mating season for these birds, and he is doing his mating dance for the peahens. I am glad this stone path project is done – there are so many more to do at the farm.