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Brick Garden Border/Mowing Strip, 2004

brick edging on anglePrior to 2004, I edged all my garden beds with salvaged bricks. I laid them on the diagonal for two reasons:

  1. I liked the look of the pointy profile.
  2. It was the most efficient use of bricks, requiring fewer to cover more linear feet. (I am always on the lookout for salvaged bricks and always have more uses for them than bricks themselves.)

One problem with this type of border—it is really hard to mow closely, requiring lots of manual edging that never seemed to get done! In spring, 2004, my handy neighbor, John the builder, told me about piles of bricks being thrown away on one of his jobs. I loaded up my car and he loaded up his truck and—hurray!—plenty of bricks for a change!

new mowing stripWith my new hoard of bricks, I reinvented my front garden. It was quite crowded. Since I only use plants that thrive (in lieu of a true green thumb), many were overgrown and in need of dividing. We extended the bed, adding a graceful curve. (I say "we" which means that Laif did the digging and I did the "designing"!) I had enough bricks to lay a beautiful path winding through the garden and to create a "mowing strip" that served two functions.

  1. The vertical "soldiers" held in the soil well.
  2. The horizontal edge bricks added stability and lay flush with ground level, for ease of mowing.

I already had the arched fencing which I kept in place. It serves well to deflect soccer balls, basketballs, bikes, and small children, all of which sometimes encroach from surrounding neighbors! It also looks lovely while spring robins perch to digest worms!

I had so many plants that all the new garden space was instantly filled with divisions and plants removed from the new path area. The garden looked better than ever. The plants thrived with new space to wiggle their roots. And with hearty divisions like these, the garden looked well-established the first season. Win-win-win!

Below is an aerial view of the winding brick path.

aerial view of front garden path