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I have a raised bed made of bricks.  It is about 2'6" high and was in the garden when I moved in some  25 years ago. Some of the bricks are beginning to crumble and I was wondering if there was something I could do that wouldn't involve knocking the bed down as I like the idea of it and it is planted up with alpine plants which I would be hard put to put anywhere else.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.


A bricklayer should be able to chip out and replace any 'spalled' bricks that have begun to crumble due to age and weather conditions, just as he would with a house wall.

can you replace with new brick wall lavender Lass?  prob cheaper and quicker than odd repairs


You could get a price for each along with the bricklayer's opinion as to how long the existing brickwork will last after having been repaired, and then make your choice.  Replacing just a few spalled bricks shouldn't cost much, but if the brickwork is in generally bad condition it may be better to replace it.

If you use engineering bricks (bit pricey though) they won't crumble as do house bricks when placed long term against damp soil.


Many thanks to you all for your advice.  I think I will leave it till the spring and then see if I can get a bricklayer to give me a quote.


I would be tempted to improve drainage in the bed by forking it over. If it is minor surface crumbling of the bricks due to most bricks getting frosted I would be tempted to just render over them, paint them white or gray and add some nice wood to the top of the bricks to make it look contemporary.

I see that bricklayers are getting paid £1000 for five days work in some places great work if you can get it. If the areas that are deteriorating aren't too big and the rest of the wall looks sound you could scrape the loose broken bricks out and if the hole isn't too deep fill the hole with mortar or simply push alpine plants into the cracks. A photograph might help with the diagnosis.

barry island wrote (see)

I see that bricklayers are getting paid £1000 for five days work in some places great work if you can get it. .....

I think Lavenderlass lives in the Mid Suffolk area - if brickies down that way were getting paid that much my ex would be a millionaire - and apparently he isn't 

It's a shame really a lad that I know was training to be a bricklayer when the financial crisis hit and house building came to a shuddering halt he lost his job and took one labouring on the railway. Now I see that foreign bricklayers are being paid £1000's because of a lack of home grown bricklayers.


I was listening to a programme yesterday - a builder said that modern bricklayer training is 18 months in a college rather than a 3 year course involving site work as well as college.  He said that the college course doesn't equip young men to come onto a site and get on with the job, but as 'qualified' they have to be paid full whack while being mentored/supervised/taught by a more experienced brickie.  He said it's cheaper to bring in skilled brickies from abroad and pay them a bit more, than to wet-nurse a newly qualified college leaver.

They are from Portugal apparently.

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