To indicate a division between a lawn and garden or simply frame a landscaped space, brick edging is an attractive and relatively easy way to do it. There is no mortar and likely no brick cutting required. Depending on the look you wish to achieve, it may not even be necessary to level the ground beneath nor lay a foundation, but to give the bricks a bed to settle into sand is useful.
Step 1 - Set the Line of Your Course
Decide where the brick edging will go, whether it will separate a garden bed from the lawn, divide different beds or create a border all around the lawn. At the point where you will cut into the pre-existing soil, set stakes in the ground. Attach a string line to them and stretch this line taut to cover the entire route of the brick edging.
Step 2 - Excavate
Beginning with the spade, cut into the lawn or soil using the line as your guide. Cut down about three to four inches deep. Remove the sod with the spade. You can often pull out the big chunks of sod with your hand. Follow with the shovel to clear out space. Don't dig too deeply, though. Make the shallow trench as level as possible with the shovel.
Step 3 - Level it
Try using the garden hoe to push and pull dirt into a position to get it as level as you can. It need not be perfect, but you don't want any peaks or valleys in the trench.
Step 4 - Pour in the Sand
You want to end up with about an inch of sand evenly poured and leveled over the entire trench. Once you have the sand poured in, spend a little time smoothing it out. It should be about two inches below the surface of the lawn or garden, spread uniformly across. You can probably manage this job with your hands, although a small hand rake is sometimes helpful.
Step 5 - Start Placing Bricks
A brick edging pattern will likely be very simple such as a single row of vertically-placed bricks. At most, you will want to do a single basket weave row. Experiment with it, though. You're not mortaring the joints, so you can remove bricks at will and try something new. When you settle on a design, make sure the bricks are flush up against one another and as level as the lawn or adjacent walkway.
Step 6 - Pour Sand in the Cracks
Fill in the space between the bricks with a small amount of sand. Brush it over the top with a small broom or brush to work it into the joints. This will help to solidify the edging. You may have to apply more sand between some bricks than others.
Step 7 - Fill in Gaps at the Edges
If the brick edging abuts a garden bed, fill in any remaining space between the bricks and bed with topsoil. Next to the grass, in time the sod will grow up against the bricks, so that will largely take care of itself.
Installing brick edging is an easy job for decorating the edges of a lawn or garden. It requires no mortar or expertise, just an eye for design, so it can be done with a few garden tools. The final result is an attractive brick border that spaces out your landscaping nicely.