How to install diagonal brick edging

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Diagonal brick edging evokes the sense of a historic garden flowerbed, with the tips of the bricks guarding the softness of the flowers. To create this timeless edging treatment, it's a good idea to drape an empty hose along the edge of the flowerbed to create soft, curving lines between the grass and the beds.

Brick edging usually lasts for many years, so you want your flowerbeds to be the right size for your home and large enough for the future size of any growing shrubs. Mark the lines of the new bed with landscape paint, and you are ready to start installing your bricks.

Dig a trench 8 inches deep and 6 inches wide along the perimeter where you want to install your new edging. Select older solid bricks with some colour variation and softer rounded corners for the best appearance. Place stacks of bricks outside your trench every 2 feet.

Fill the trench with 5 inches of play sand. Press the first brick down into the sand. Angle the brick to the right 45 degrees and slightly toward the flower side of the bed. Fill sand around the sides of the brick just enough to hold it in position. Use a hand trowel to help position the second brick so it leans on the side of the first brick. Use a level to push the second brick into the sand at the same height as the first brick. Because the flowerbed and soil will not be level, use the level as you would a straightedge, and measure from the soil to the tips of the bricks every foot so that the brick edging follows the contour of the land evenly.

Backfill around the bricks once you have four or five in place in order to lock the bricks into position. Use a soil stamping tool to press the sand and soil up against the sides of the bricks when you are finished installing the edging. Do not disturb the positions of the bricks. Each brick should be two-thirds buried beneath the soil level when you are finished.

Add mulch on the flower side of the bricks to prevent weeds from growing.