Flower beds with curved edges add interest and elegance to your landscaping. Two main kinds of materials are available for maintaining a curved edge and preventing the garden from escaping onto the lawn and vice versa. Metal and plastic border strips are one type, and pavers of concrete or stone are the second. They are equally easy to install, but the least expensive edging is likely to be plastic strips.
Installing Metal or Plastic Strips
Purchase steel, aluminum or plastic strips. Steel is heavier and therefore more difficult to install than the other two types; on the other hand, it is extremely sturdy. Aluminum and plastic are easier to handle and they last almost as long as steel.
Connect several garden hoses until you have one hose about twice as long as the perimeter of your flower bed. Lay the hose out around the flower bed to plan how the edging will curve and what shape the flower bed will take. If you don't have enough garden hoses, perform this procedure in sections, marking the shape of each section with wooden stakes pounded in at frequent intervals with a hammer.
Dig a trench 4 inches deep and about 2 inches wide along your outline. Use a square spade and shave the sides of the trench closest to the grass so it's absolutely vertical.
Place the strip of edging in the trench, on the side closest to the grass. Leave about 2 inches of the edging strip above the top of the soil, though you can vary the measurement, and even bury the edging so it hardly shows.
Pound in the stakes that hold the edging in place using a hammer (if your edging came with stakes). Backfill the trench with garden soil, pushing the edging hard up against the flat side of the trench. Tamp down the backfill.
Installing Concrete or Stone Pavers
Connect several garden hoses until you have one hose about twice as long as the perimeter of your flower bed. Lay the hose out around the bed to plan how the edging will curve and what shape the flower bed will take. If you don't have enough garden hoses, lay them out in sections, marking the shape of each section with wooden stakes pounded in at frequent intervals with a hammer.
Dig a trench 4 inches deep and 1 inch wider than the concrete or stone pavers you've chosen. Use a square spade. Shave the sides of the trench closest to the grass so it's absolutely vertical.
Cut landscape fabric to fit along the sides and bottom of the trench. Install the landscape fabric and dump about 2 inches of sand on top. Your trench is now about 2 inches deep, which you may need to adjust so the pavers are as far above the top of the soil as you wish.
Lay the pavers in the sand, butting them up against each other and against the vertical (grass) side of your trench. Sweep sand into any gaps between the pavers and use small river rocks or sand to backfill on the garden side.
Things You Will Need
- Garden hoses
- Square spade
- Wooden stakes
- Plastic or metal strip garden edging
- Landscaping cloth
- River rocks
- Edging strips are not amenable to creating sharp curves, so plan gentle, flowing arcs. If you want sharp curves, use pavers or stone.