I started loosening the dirt where I wanted a path last evening, and DH came out and took the shovel and dug it all up. I so seldom see him do (or want to do) anything in the garden - I was pretty surprised. He said it wasn't hot, there were hardly any bugs, and there was no cut grass yet (to which he is allergic). I will have to keep him in mind more for spring and fall tasks. Personally, I think he has just heard the rest of us blabbing about the garden so long that he felt left out.
This morning, the girls and I went out and laid the path. We took out some dirt, which I used to fill in depressions left by lifting perennials last fall. Then we smoothed out the path bed, packed the dirt, laid thick newspaper to deter weeds, and laid brick. DD15 built a step with a big flat stone the neighbor gave us from his foundation excavation. Then we needed a "back" to the step, so we sank bricks edgewise. We had a pretty sharp curve to lay brick around, and no way to cut bricks, so we left wedge-shaped opening that we filled with dirt and topped with flat pieces of stone we scavenged. DD15 chipped them to fit with a hammer. Then we swept dirt into the cracks and watered it in.
We were concerned that the step back would collaspe if someone stepped on it hard, so DD15 drove in bamboo garden stakes and cut them flush to reinforce the step. I am proud of her engineering skills. She did the bulk of the hard labor. DD11 hauled bricks, but has little fondness for things that involve bugs. There were bugs under all the bricks. She needed goading to keep going.
It's "rustic", meaning no mason would lay claim to it. But it does what I need it to do - make a path for me to get to the back of the yard after all the stuff grows in, with no holes to step in or weeds to pull. It's a tiny path in a tiny yard, not a public thoroughfare. We will have to go back and re-level a few of the bricks after we walk on for a little while. I need to scavenge a few more bricks to finish the edge of the border.
It only took about an hour, and it was FREE! We scavenged all the bricks - some where buried in the yard, some were from a sidewalk being dug up, and some from the neighbor's excavation. We used recycled newspaper collected over the winter.
I think it looks great! I am going to plant some thyme along the edges.
I also like this idea of edging with wine bottles - I wonder if I could get people at church to save them for me.