Tag Archives: project

Make mowing a breeze! How-to-do brick border edging

Brick Border Edging

Brick Border Edging

One of the projects that I (when I say I, I actually mean my far more practical other half) want to tackle this summer is the edge between the lawn and the borders. 

Our strimmer seems to run out of strimming
line roughly every two minutes and I end up
on my hands and knees using our blunt garden
shears to hack at the edge of the lawn.

With sunken bricks, you can just mow straight over them and the borders look tidy and stay contained. Overall, this gives a really neat finish to the garden.


Seasonal Garden IdeasSeasonal Garden Ideas

Our fab gardening book,
Seasonal Garden Ideas,
shows you how to do this
in 5 simple steps.
I think I will leave it open
on the coffee table until
someone gets the hint!




You can put in brick edging at any time of year, but it’s better to choose a dry day for it.

The time it takes will depend on the length of run.


  • Engineering bricks.
  • Sand.
  • Ready-mixed mortar.
  • Spade and bricklayer’s trowel.
  • Watering can or bucket for water.
  • Wheelbarrow or board for mixing mortar.

1 The bricks can be laid on a 12.5cm (5in) footing of sand. Assuming your bricks are 7.5cm (3in) thick, you need to dig a trench 20cm (8in) deep. Start by digging the trench along the full length of the border, making it slightly wider than the length of brick you are using.

2 Line the entire length of the trench with a 12.5cm (5in) deep layer of sand, tamping it down very firmly.

3 Make up the mortar according to the manufacturer’s instructions, using either a wheelbarrow or a board for mixing. Lay a stretch of mortar on the sand at the start of the trench and set the first bricks into it, mortaring neatly between each brick.

4 Continue in this way for the length of the trench, allowing for any curvature along the way by inserting a slightly wider band of mortar between the bricks on the lawn side of the edging. The brick edging should be flush with the grass edge or very slightly below it.

5 Leave the mortar to dry and set before running a mower across the edging.

Check that all the bricks you use are sound and whole – the wheels of a mower going over them can give quite a battering, which will soon destroy a damaged brick.

If you prefer you can use concrete instead of sand for the footing – it will be even stronger. Use ready-mixed concrete and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for its use.

Lever up and replace any cracked or broken bricks as soon as you can after spotting them. Once there is a break in one brick, those adjacent to it will also start to crumble and disintegrate. Brush dirt, leaves and debris off the brick edging to keep it looking good.


Garden Revamp in 4 Simple Steps

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Whilst rambling cottage gardens and wildflower meadows have a beautiful carefree charm, I also really love the pattern and uniformity of municipal gardens and even town roundabouts – try to see beauty wherever you can is my motto!

For many modern houses, this regimented type of planting can work really well, particularly in the front garden where space is often limited.

I love this Rainbow Fan idea from our Seasonal Garden Ideas book and plan to try this to cheer up a drab patch of soil underneath one of our windows. Here’s how to create it:




Summer annuals are unrivalled for the colour they can bring to the garden – it’s no wonder they are so popular for bedding schemes. Here petunias and marigolds have been planted in a rainbow fan of brilliant colour.

Plant in early summer when all danger of frost is past. The bed should flower throughout the summer. Set aside most of a day for planting – there are a lot of baby plants to put in.

What you need


Buy bedding strips of purple and blue petunias, yellow and orange Afro-French and French marigolds and variegated-leaf salvias – enough to cover the area you have in mind.

Here there are at least 30-40 yellow marigold plants and the same number of orange ones; 20 or so of each colour of petunia; and 20-25 salvias.


Fork, spade, rake and trowel. General-purpose compost.
1 Bedding schemes like this do best in full sun, so choose your site carefully. The soil does not have to be particularly rich, but it still needs to be dug over thoroughly. Remove any weeds, roots or stones as you dig. Incorporate a general-purpose compost into the top 8-10cm (3-4in) of soil and rake smooth.

2 Start planting the deep orange marigolds at the wide end of the fan. Remove the baby plants from their bedding strip and lay them out in three rows, spacing them about 20cm (8in) apart. Use the trowel to dig small planting holes, setting in and firming each pant methodically in three arcs.

3 Moving forwards, plant the bright yellow marigolds in the same way, again in three curving rows. Follow up with the salvias.

4 Finish with the two bands of blue and purple petunias, using the same procedure as before to plant them. Water the whole bed thoroughly, using a fine rose on your watering can so you don’t dislodge the newly bedded plants.

To keep the plants producing flowers for as long a period as possible, feed with a high potash liquid fertiliser every couple of weeks.

The salvias are not yet in flower in this bed. They will come into bloom later in the season.

Keep the bed well watered in dry weather. Deadhead faded and withered flowers as often as you can to encourage new ones to appear – and to keep the bedding scheme looking good. Clear the bed in autumn, dig over the ground again and replant the following year.



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