While a garden or flower bed is a great addition to the landscaping of any home, brick edging really takes the look to the next level. It adds a new dimension to any space and is the perfect finishing touch. Below, learn how to install your own brick garden edging. This is a simple DIY project that will increase your home’s curb appeal and add to the serene feeling your garden provides.
Why Use Bricks?
There is a range of options when it comes to edging materials, but bricks are a step above the rest. To start with, they're relatively affordable and fit within a range of budgets. They're not only versatile, coming in many colors and textures, but they're also easy to handle. They also happen to be frost-resistant, making them a good choice for climates that get chilly.
Installing Your Brick Edging
Now, the fun part! Installing your brick edging is an easy process that you can complete relatively quickly. Read below for a step-by-step tutorial to make your edging dreams a reality.
Measure for Bricks
Before you get started, you need to learn how many bricks you’ll need for the project. Take a rope and lay it across the length of your garden bed, following its contours closely. Pull the rope taut and mark it with tape where the bed ends. Divide the measured length in inches by the width of the bricks that you’re going to use. As an insurance policy, add 10 percent onto that number and then order your bricks for the project.
Plan the Curves
Once you have your bricks, tightly line the edge of the bed with them along the grass line. The bricks should be close, but not quite touching. For softer curves, fan the bricks out slightly. If you desire tighter curves, find the center of the curve and leave a triangular gap when arranging the bricks.
Mark the Bricks and Transfer
To fill the triangular gaps that exist in curves, you’ll need to make keystone bricks manually. To do so, center a brick over a gap and use a masonry pencil to mark its end where it overlaps with neighboring bricks. Mark the opposite end of the stone the same way. Then, transfer these marks from each end onto the face of the brick by flipping it over. Use the masonry pencil to draw lines that connect the marks at each end of the bricks to form cut lines.
Cut Your Bricks
Take your marked bricks and rest them on a sturdy work surface, facing upwards so that you can see the cut lines. Fit a circular saw with a segmented diamond blade, adjusting its depth so that it will cut through the brick in a single pass. Cut along the designated lines. For greater ease, straighter cuts, dust control and safety you can likely rent a standing wet saw that can tackle the largest project swiftly.
Dig a Trench
You’ll need a trench to house your brick edging, so now you must do some digging. Place a tarp over the grass to collect soil and use your spade to dig in straight lines along the length of your garden bed. The trench should be several inches wider than the length of the bricks you’re using. The depth of your trench should be at least six inches deep.
Pack the Pavers
Spread the paver base across the trench so that it’s even. Pack it down with the tamper periodically and continue to add the material in small batches until it’s two to three inches deep across the trench.
Mix Stone Dust
Using a large wheelbarrow or bucket, mix together stone dust and Portland cement in a six-to-one ratio. Lightly mist the mixture with a garden hose. This will activate the cement and make it easier on your arms to mix. Use a trowel to cover the paver base with this mixture.
Lay the Bricks
Press your bricks into place along the trench one at a time. Use your mallet to tap them down so that they’re securely in place. The face of each individual brick should be flush with the ground on either side of the trench as well as with its neighboring brick. Continue all the way along your trench.
Fill the Gaps
Pour polymeric sand over your bricks, using a brush to sweep it into the gaps between bricks. After you’ve poured the sand, use your mallet to again tap the bricks, forcing sand to be packed tightly. The sand should be poured until the gaps can’t hold any more sand. You will have to cover the bricks with a thin layer of sand and let it settle into the cracks for several days in order to fill them correctly. Sweep the layer around 1-3 times a day with a straw broom and you will see it settling along the cracks as they fill.
The last step is to brush away excess sand or dust. Use a garden hose to wash the edging with a mist or spray setting, allowing the sand between bricks to absorb water. This cleans the bricks of debris and helps the sand to settle between them.
While installing brick edging has quite a few steps, they’re easy to carry out and the results are well worth the effort!