Last updated on March 19th, 2012
“A GARDEN IS ONLY AS GOOD AS ITS EDGES” is one of those quaint old sayings that many gardeners (including me) consider gospel. For even a simple flower border can look sophisticated if its termination is cleanly defined. And a formal planting (like my curvaceous rose garden above) must necessarily be edged in order to keep lawn from creeping in, and blurring an otherwise crisp design. Would you like to see how I edge the beds, borders and pathways here at A Garden for the House?
Here, with established beds like the circular rose garden, I simply eye-ball curves and lines. But when creating a new bed, I use a length of thick, colored rope (or sun-softened hose) to map out a desired shape. Then I step on the edger and cut into the ground, making a clean, new edge between turf and border. To remove the severed turf, I slip a trowel beneath it, and peel it up, roots and all. This severed turf is dropped into the wheelbarrow. The peelings make fine, nitrogen-rich contributions to the compost pile.
Every 25 linear feet or so, I usually reward my edging-work with a sip of the fourth, aforementioned tool. That is, unless I’m edging the Serpentine Garden. Working there, in such a steep, winding place, requires utter sobriety. One clumsy balancing-act on the edging device, and down you go. Unless the Russian Olive tree breaks your fall.
Anyway, you will find that edging your beds instantly improves your garden’s appearance. And maintenance there becomes easier, too. For crisply defined beds, borders and pathways keep the lawn mower where it ought to be — on the lawn.
Are you a bed-edging fiend, too? And if so, do you enjoy such work?
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