After a weekend spent wrenching lawn runners from my front garden beds, my plan to install some brick edging has rapidly moved up the TO-DO list. It’s not that I didn’t want to add some edging it was merely a low priority job that could fit in after the enjoyable tasks.
But, after spending two half days pitting my waning strength against the lawn in an ‘all-out-turf-war’ I realised that this job can’t wait. And that’s okay because I’m looking forward to neatening up my front yard and making it less of a chore to maintain.
As a bona-fide lawn lover, one of the prices I pay for this affection (or, should that be *affliction*) is spending copious amounts of time maintaining it. Mowing, snipping and edging can easily chew up an hour or two each week in the warmer months.
So, in order to find a solution to keeping the lawn at bay and allowing my plants to enjoy less competition in their garden beds I’ve been casing the neighbourhood for edging options. And here’s what I’ve found;
Honestly…I hate this stuff. It looks cheap and nasty. It always cracks and moves within a few years and the coloured concrete edging fades just as quick. Plus, because it’s so inexpensive it seems every second garden has it. Yuk! Definitely NIMG.
I’m not even going to waste your time or mine contemplating this non-option.
Metal and Wood Edging
I must admit that I’m a little partial to some of the corrugated tin edging that a few gardeners are now using to border their beds. In fact, I’ve even used it in a few places in the backyard. The downside to metal edging is it can be rendered useless against a whipper-snipper at 8000 RPM’s.
The half-pine log edging that seems to be finding its way into some gardens, in most cases, is completely horrific. However, I did find one garden where the owner had used this and randomly placed boulders between the edging to break it up. It looks fantastic.
But, the best material for my personal taste was brick edging. It looks classy. It’s solid. And, it will outlast every other material. Having said that, there is GOOD brick edging and POOR brick edging.
Let’s start with the POOR.
Most bad examples of edging a garden with bricks relate to gardeners who haven’t taken the time to set them properly. If you’re looking for a ramshackle, rumbling look then placing them on top of the soils’ surface and positioning with a mallet will suffice. However, if you’re looking for something that will last past the first weekend you might need to take a little more care.
Some other bad examples of brick edging are where gardeners have used them in patterned styles such as the dragonstooth effect. This is where each brick is positioned on a vertical, leaning 30° angle. Very 70’s.
And then there’s the GOOD.
In almost every garden where brick edging looks good, time and preparation have been the key. If you want your edging to last you will have more success when mortar is included in the equation.
And this doesn’t necessarily mean between the bricks.
For some brick edging it can just be providing a mortar footing for the bricks to be placed upon or after paving the edge of your garden bed with them, running a loose side-footing along the front-side of the bricks.
They look great in random vertical patterns, or using just the width of the brick as your edge, or placing them lengthways to provide a wider border edging. It may even be worth the effort to create a small wall 2 – 3 bricks high.
Brick edging constructed this way will outlast all the other options and will continue to look great years after you spent the time installing it. Plus, you won’t have to wrestle lawn runners or rogue ground covers ever again.
Any other options for garden edging that I haven’t mentioned?
Photo source: csessums