Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Brick Landscape Edging

If you recall, one of my seasonal goals was to gather bricks. For landscaping purposes. While I have been picking up vintage bricks here and there, I had no plans to use them until NEXT year. Keith and I decided back in the Spring that there were too many other projects to focus on when the landscaping that is already in place is, ummm, passable.
It never crossed my mind that people like to give gifts of Plant in the warmer months.

Me: "Let's weed this bed and stick the Hostas in the ground."
Keith: "I think we should put the brick edging in to make sure we like it and it will work."

See how simple my idea was and how landscape-y Keith's was? But hey, if he wants to conquer a project on the to-do list, then so do I.
Thus at 7 p.m., Saturday night, we started our first landscaping project. And you know what? It went much quicker than anticipated. From start (weedy mess) to finish (brick lined) it only took us 1.5 hours. Maybe to you that is not good time, but we were happy to be done before dark :)

1) First we weeded. Weeding ALWAYS takes longer than it should.
2) Then we raked the mulch onto a tarp to save for later.
3) Digging the trench. This sounds awful but I promise, it is not. We only needed it deep enough for the bricks to be flush with the ground so not much digging involved. The square shovel was perfect for getting a crisps edge and an even trench bottom. We put the dirt from the trench in the flower bed and now we have a slightly raised bed. We had not considered that this would happen but are very happy that did. Love a good happy-accident!

4) Brick laying! We put our bricks directly on the dirt. *Gasp!* I know that all the pinterest tutorials for this style of edging have a bed of sand or pea gravel under the bricks but we just didn't do that. I guess we will see how this looks next Spring and revisit it if need be.
For the back wall of the edging we flipped over the tombstone edgers that you see in the Before picture. This was not the original plan - we thought we would use bricks - but it ended up working really, really well. They were super easy to keep level and since they are a uniform width, unlike the bricks, it keeps things looking crisp. Not to mention, we already had them. Use what you got, yo!

To even out the any little bumps in the bottom of the trench we used... an ice scraper. This worked perfectly and Use What You Got. (Truth be told, we have no idea where we put our hand trowel.)

5) Once all the edging was in place Keith dug holes for the plants, we leveled the dirt, and filled in any gaps in front of the brick. We also put down landscaping fiber. Then we spread the mulch out.
I realize part of the "wow" of the Before and After can be credited to the fact that the bed is weed-free BUT we are super happy with how much crisper the brick edging looks and how much easier it will be to just roll the mower on top of the brick. No weed whacking!

The After one more time...

P.S. - If you have a brick or two you aren't using, we are still collecting.

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