An angled brick edging adds a nice cottage charm to the planting beds, but also serves a purpose.
As you can see in the ‘before’ picture below, the soil and mulch of the circular garden I just finished re-doing, (you can read that ‘Before and After Circular Garden’ post here) easily spilled over the edge onto the sidewalk before I put in a brick edging.
Fortunately, we had about a pallet of leftover bricks from a backyard project, for this brick edging project (but I’ve used bricks from demolished chimneys a few times too… it’s basically whatever I can scrounge up).
I found it easiest to go along the edge of the concrete sidewalk and cut into the soil with a spade.
In the past 3 weeks, I’ve installed the edging on the circular garden, and the entire front garden. By the time I got to the last 20′, (of about 200′) I finally figured out a system. Slow learner…
It was very helpful to actually cut in from both sides of the trough I was trying to create for the brick.
For some reason, when I was doing the circular garden, I thought it’d be a good idea to put the soil from the trough onto the sidewalk. That was not the right choice, because it added an extra step to move it back into the garden once the bricks were in place, and then I had to hose the remaining dirt off the sidewalk. I finally figured out, as I was creating the trough, to put the soil up on the planting bed as I removed it. DUH!
Regardless, once the soil was removed from the trough, I scooted up on my little wheeled garden scooter and did the fine precision digging with my hand trowel. After a couple of bricks, you quickly can eye up how deep and wide the trough needs to be for the correct depth for the bricks.
I wanted the bricks in these beds to be angled in an old fashioned cottage brick edging style. At our last house, a more stately 100 year old house, I laid the bricks straight for the edging there. I also used chimney bricks at that house too. Either way, they look good and offer a nice sturdy solution to hold in the garden soil and mulch.
Once the bricks were in place, I’d lay out about 4 or 5, then scoot back on my seat and fill in the gaps and cracks around the bricks with the soil, firmly packing it to hold the bricks in place.
Brick edging works nicely with a curved edge like this circular garden, maintaining the curve:
Our bricks have ridges on the sides for spacing when they are used to pave a patio that would normally be hidden. When they’re laid on their side like this brick edging, those ridges show, but I kind of liked the continuous texture of the ridges on each brick in a row.
From the inside of the garden, you can see below how the bricks are raised up just enough so they are doing their job to hold in the soil.
All along the front porch the brick edging adds an interesting finish to a long straight garden planting.
Which brings me to next week’s post…
The front garden landscape, before & after! Be sure to check back for that one… what a difference!!
If you are looking for a wheeled scooter like mine, here is one just like it.
Also, it pays to invest in a good garden trowel, (I’ve used cheapo ones and had them actually bend back, like a flimsy spoon trying to scoop ice cream! This one is hardened steel. I’ve had mine for years). Digging in hard soil for a project like this brick edging needs a sturdy hand garden trowel.
and garden gloves, (these gloves, like mine have the durability of leather with velcro wrist tighteners).
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