Re-Creting! A great way to recycle old concretecomments (0) October 23rd, 2009
Is your sidewalk so bad you want to walk in the street? Does your patio look like a gravel pit? Those were mine with the 1929 bungalow I purchased in 2006. I fell in love with the space in the backyard, the light coming in the windows, and the trees lining the west end. I hardly noticed the GIANT oak stump which touched the back corner of my sunroom!
All I wanted to do was garden. But I had to tackle of few things before digging in. The first thing I did was to have the sidewalk and patio removed. The workers, led by Louis, told me that it would cost $100 per truckload to dump in the landfill. What?! Money aside, that was just not right. Besides, the stuff looked alot like stone. Humm. I rooted around in my garden idea folder for the perfect clipping. I showed the picture of a beautiful stacked stone retaining wall to Louis. He looked at the broken concrete on my lawn and shrugged, "No problem."
As an ode to the Oak, I sketched a circle theme for the beds and lawns. The next week was so exciting as my design drawings and the clipping merged together in my yard! I saw Louis and the other men fitting each concrete piece into the rows, chipping away as they went. Out of the concrete from my patio and the sidewalk, they made a retaining wall that curved around my house, walkways and steps.
The leftovers were moved to where the oak stump had been with the help of my friend Bruce. We made round beds out of the pieces, just the right size to reach the middle from the edge. The massive stump yielded great quantities of mulch and compostible organic matter and is still a part of the garden in one way or another.
Considering the cost, the reuse of material, and the results this was a wonderful project for any home gardener.
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posted in: raised beds, Patio, concrete, wall, walkways