As a gardener, and someone who likes things to look pretty, I love the thought of edging. Garden edging, whether used to separate a flower bed from the lawn or the garden area from the lawn, is incredibly helpful. Not only does it serve a functional purpose, but garden edging can be beautiful.
Creating your own brick garden edging isn’t incredibly difficult, but it certainly will be a weekend project. Our project began last spring when we took up our old brick patio. The old patio was over 50 years old, and was making “waves.” So the brick came up, and we had a new concrete patio poured. In the process, we made our patio area larger and created a curve. I knew I wanted a flower bed along the curve for some gardenias, as well as perennial herbs. My problem arose though when the grass began creeping into my new flower bed, and the lack of definition on one side of the bed. You can see what I mean here:
Apparently, I like structure, and this bed seemed to be spilling out onto the lawn. Lucky for me, the old patio bricks had been stacked onto a pallet and were waiting to be used. Lucky me. The project of creating the brick garden edging took a weekend, but I wasn’t working full days. Here’s what you’ll need to complete the project.
DIY Brick Garden Edging Supplies
Bricks (how many depends on how long of an edge you’re creating)
Landscape fabric or newspaper (optional)
Garden Kneeler (for the the sake of your knees, ha!)
How to Install a Brick Garden Edge
- First, determine where you want your edging to go, and using the corner of your shovel, create a line along the outermost edge of where the bricks will be placed. We initially marked our line with the shovel, and then went back over the line with the weed eater to make it even more prominent. This will allow you to get a good idea of the shape of your edging before you start digging and laying down the brick.
- Once your line is completed, use your flat shovel or garden spade and begin digging a trench from the line you created and in toward your bed or garden. I knew I’d be using a brick lengthwise and then another brick widthwise for our brick garden border, so I measured the brick length and width and used this measurement to know how far in to dig. Only dig a few feet of edge at a time. This will give you a chance to work with and place the bricks and determine if you like how the edging is laying.
- Once you have dug the trench and it is the appropriate depth and width for the bricks, place a thin layer of sand in the bottom of the trench. (You could also add newspaper or landscape fabric beneath the sand to prevent weeds and grass from popping up.)Then begin laying your bricks. We chose to have an inner edge of bricks on their side with bricks running lengthwise coming off of those. You could choose to have a single row of bricks to make things more simple. Have a small garden spade handy to ensure small pockets of soil aren’t causing your bricks to be uneven. A level is also a great way to ensure your bricks are even. With yards and soil, unevenness is to be expected to a degree, but it helps to get as close as you can.
- Once your entire edge has been laid, go back and tweak any bricks that aren’t in line with the others. Then you’ll take the leftover sand, and begin filling in the cracks between the bricks. This will help to smother out any weeds/grass that will try to creep up between them. A paver sand or regular sand can be used. Once the cracks are filled with sand, use a broom to sweep away the excess.
- Then stand back and enjoy your new brick garden edging! We went on to create a brick path from the patio to our garden area as well. There are so many uses for leftover brick! We have had the edging in place for over a year, and it has held up well. No bricks have fallen out of place, and this includes even when our kids walk along them.
Mortar or Not?
The option is always there to mortar the bricks in this particular brick garden edging, but we opted against this. First, I wasn’t sure how long I wanted to edging in place. Mortaring these bricks together would have made it much more permanent. Our neighbors have a similar brick edging in their front yard, and it is mortared together. It looks lovely, but it was much more work. Secondly, the brick patio (50 years old at least), hadn’t been mortared together and had managed to stay in place all those years. We went with the less labor intensive option, and we are very pleased with the results.
I’d love to know what you use to edge your garden and flower beds. Do you have any other ideas for using up extra brick? Comment below and let me know!
Have a great week and happy gardening!