Garden Chessboard with Prairie Glow Acres

Written by Barkman Concrete Published on September 12th, 2023

Barkman Concrete is highlighting Life of Glow on her garden chessboard project to show how your property can be transformed by doing it yourself. Here’s how she came up with the idea and the process of putting it in place!

In the fall of 2018, we moved our family of 4 onto a beautiful 5-acre property in East St Paul, Manitoba.

From the moment we arrived, the dreams and plans began to start adding beautiful gardens and stone features to the landscape.

And that’s just what we did!

Several yard projects that included Barkman products were completed through 2022, but the largest and most complex one was the upcoming 2023 addition of a beautiful greenhouse with some very special landscape features.

After visiting a winery with an old red and grey brick chessboard, we knew the greenhouse absolutely had to have one! But with a bit of a twist on the styling.

As we developed the greenhouse landscape plan with the brick chess board tucked on the side, it also grew to include a smaller front entry patio (laid with a matching pattern to the chess board).

Then we decided we would connect the two patios using rounded cutting edge brick gardens, which also would allow for the perfect sheltered place to grow some beautiful cultivars of hydrangeas, roses, and peonies.

Then came the work!

The chessboard patio was pretty straightforward after preparing the base pad, which was 4” of quarter-down limestone, and ensuring it was well packed and as level as possible. Stringing accurate lines and working with a square and level as we went along, it turned out beautifully.

For the rounded cutting edge, we had to cut some of the bricks to allow for curved corners and did so pretty easily using an edge grinder fitted with a 5” diamond blade. We were pleasantly surprised at how the bricks allowed for very clean cuts.

Barkman Concrete had the most perfect Holland Pavers to complete our project, and we used them in the Natural and Charcoal colour-ways for the chess board, in a cross-hatch pattern, and surrounded them with a Sierra Grey border.

The cutting edges and front patio were also in Sierra Grey, which matched the brick in our raised garden bed area directed across from the greenhouse.

We also used Barkman Flagstone bricks in Sierra Grey in a group of 2 at the entry to the chess board, which we have future plans to use in walkways that will connect several gardens together, but that will have to wait until 2024!

We are definitely not professionals, just moderately experienced home DIYers. This project was a challenge and took time and care to execute, but as all the other projects we have done here using Barkman products, it was a completely doable one.

Our home and our yard has truly evolved over the last five years, and have become our sanctuary. This summer we began to share this space with others as we hosted garden tours, a private U-pick for flowers, new photography sessions, and workshops on our property. Check out more picture on our Instagram: @life_of_glow and visit the website: https://prairieglowacres.com/

We loved working with Barkman on this latest project and can’t wait to see what else we add as the years go by!

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