Obsessive edging

Here in Ireland, we have had a spell of unseasonably hot weather over the last few days (pushing 20°C) and this is expected to continue for a while yet.  And the clocks have just changed giving us an extra hour of daylight in the evenings.  This favourable combination of temperature and light has meant that us gardeners and growers have been feverishly working away outdoors…you never know this might be the only bit of summer we get this year?

My first task, aside from weeding has been to redefine the planting areas with new edges.  I have to say that, although I would recommend these to clients, I don’t have elaborate edging materials, such as flexible steel, stone, recycled plastic or wooden edging, all of which can be used to create beautifully defined permanent or semi-permanent edges to pathways and or planting areas.  Rather, being a grittier and perhaps poorer sort of gardener, I prefer to recut my edges from the turf each year with a good old-fashioned spade (not even a nice half-moon edger for me).

edge lawns, edging beds, garden path

Newly edged beds

I get a huge amount of satisfaction from slicing away the turf by hand to create mini-cliffs between the turf and the soil in the adjoining flower beds.  I scoop up any excess soil with the same spade, depositing this elsewhere to top up soil levels, creating a depression that runs along the toe of my earthy precipices.  Finally, I ensure that there is a pleasing gradient from here to the upper soil levels where the plants are.

The effect of properly formed edges is magical.  The beds look instantly sharper and more defined.  It is rather like adding a nice frame to a picture; the contents are so much more pleasing to the eye which is now focused in the right place and the surrounding visual distractions are removed.  And if you are so inclined, you can run you eye up and down the edges admiring your work letting self–indulgent satisfaction ooze from within and through your aching back and tired muscles.

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