Brick edging protects walkways and patios from encroachment while adding earthy color and classic style to the surrounding landscape. The uniform shape gives the edged surface sharp definition. Brick edging is simple to install around any surface, whether it has an angled or curved shape. Novice do-it-yourselfers can lay brick edging in an afternoon with some basic materials.
In addition to aesthetic value, the purpose of installing edging is to protect a surface or garden from encroaching grass, retain soil and improve drainage. Once you decide to use bricks, decide how you want to lay them. Dry-lay the bricks around the area to try out different options. Setting them end-to-end creates a narrow border and side-to-side creates a wider border that will accentuate broad curves. If the curves are tight, consider laying the bricks lengthwise on their sides.
While you can lay brick edging directly over bare ground, building a foundation improves drainage and makes it a more effective weed barrier. Lay a rope around the garden or surface you are edging and leave enough room between the rope and garden for the bricks plus 2 inches. Unearth about 8 inches of earth to create a trench. Fill the first 4 inches with gravel and tamp it with a tamping tool. The tamped base is strong enough to support the bricks, and has enough flexibility to absorb tension and prevent frost heaves. Once you can't compact the gravel any further, pour an inch of sand over it to create traction against the bottom of the bricks.
Place the bricks on the sand bed flush against the outer wall of the foundation. To set brick edging in a curve, one side of the corners will touch while the other side will have a triangular gap. The side of the bricks that will touch will always be on the same side of the curve. The tighter the curve, the wider the outer gaps will be between the corners of the bricks. Adjust each brick in the sand so it is level with adjacent bricks, and continue setting them until the trench is filled.
Securing the Bricks
Packing the joints between curved brick edging adds a second barrier against encroachment. Fill the space between each brick with stone dust or cement powder, and backfill the space between the edging and garden or walkway with pea gravel to reinforce the bricks and aid in drainage. Sprinkle water over the edging, and as the stone dust or cement powder dries, it will cling to the bricks like concrete, locking them in place.