While I was chatting with May and Keyser, a customer arrived to purchase something that I'm going to find a spot for in my garden. The patron was buying a load of brick chips, and at half the price of lava rocks ($70 a ton), they are not only attractive but practical as well.
Another product that my husband wants as much as I do is the sand that they have used to install their brick pavers. Called polymeric sand, it's swept in just like regular sand, but once wet it forms a hard, cementlike seal that is weedproof, unlike its regular sand cousin.
May explained that if you have existing sanded bricks, you can power-wash the brick (cleaning the bricks and washing out as much of the existing sand as possible) and then let the brick dry completely. Then sweep on the polymeric sand and it will work as well as if it had been installed originally.
Wish we had used it in the first place - and so do my kids, who have had to weed the patio frequently over the past 15 years.
Speaking of projects my husband approves of, we just undertook a monstrous job that took a truck and chain and lots of sweat. We removed large, overgrown euonymus bushes and Virginia creeper from around an entire side of our home.
We took the bulk of the plants out by looping a chain around the bushes and pulling with a large truck (thanks to our helpers!), but the rest had to come out with a mattock and lots of sweat. Now we have this beautiful, blank canvas and we're poring over the gardening books to decide which bushes will go into this new old bed. What fun!
Poison ivy help needed
I have several readers (as well as my own family) who are looking for something to get rid of poison ivy. A commercial product? A home remedy? I'm scratching as I type this, so please help. Between the poison ivy and the yellow jacket nest, I've had a rough week.
Sara Busse is a Charleston resident and Master Gardener. Reach her at sjbu...@gmail.com.