Without edging, a lawn's grass will grow over stone walks.

How to Edge a Stone Walk

by Jenny Green

A small amount of time invested in edging a stone walk offers a long-term solution to trimming and weeding chores, allowing you to concentrate on more enjoyable garden tasks. Edging also adds one of the final touches to garden designs, whether it's hardscaping materials, such as sawtooth bricks, log rolls or gathered stones, or the softer lines created by durable low-growing plants. Materials should reflect and complement garden style.

1. Hard Landscaping

1 Mark an edge with a line and stakes, alongside the stone walk. Place the line level at the same distance parallel to the walk throughout, using a ruler to check. It should be wide enough to accommodate the edging material, plus 2 inches to allow space for filling.

2. Hard Landscaping

2 Dig along the line with an edger or sharp spade along the line level, facing the stone walk and levering the soil up toward it. Remove the sod or soil.

3. Hard Landscaping

3 Dig a trench with a spade between the walk and the edging line, deep enough to accommodate the edging material. Place the excavated soil on the stone walk.

4. Hard Landscaping

4 Reset the marker line to the required final height throughout, and check it with a level.

5. Hard Landscaping

5 Lay hard landscaping material in the trench and tamp it down with the rubber mallet. The material should be level with the marker line height. Remove or add soil at the base of the trench if heights are uneven.

6. Hard Landscaping

6 Scoop soil from the walk to fill in gaps, and smooth it down. Tamp the soil in gently.

7. Plants

1 Mark and dig an edging border wide enough to accommodate plant dimensions. Dig a trench deep enough so that the soil surface in the plant containers is level with the surrounding ground.

8. Plants

2 Place the plants in the trench, spaced according to final dimensions. Fill in gaps with soil and firm plants gently in place.

9. Plants

3 Water plants thoroughly. Repeat watering as necessary and avoid walking on plants until they are established.

Items you will need

  • Short stakes
  • Line level
  • Ruler
  • Edger or sharp, flat garden spade
  • Spade
  • Level (hardscape edging)
  • Rubber mallet (hardscape edging)
  • Durable plants (plant edging)

Tip

  • Two plants suitable for edging stone walks are dwarf mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus "Nanus") and lemon thyme (Thymus x citriodorus). Dwarf mondo grass forms dark green clumps of grassy foliage 4 to 6 inches tall and suits formal or Asian-style gardens. Lemon thyme suits cottage or traditional gardens, giving off a delicious lemon scent when trodden on and bearing small purple or lavender summer flowers. Dwarf mondo grass is suitable for U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 11, and lemon thyme is hardy in USDA zones 5 through 8.

Warnings

  • Don't lay a hardscaping edge so high that children at play and others might trip.
  • Wear gloves when working in the soil to protect yourself from infection.
  • Avoid using vigorous, spreading ground cover plants as edging. These can creep into lawns and across walkways.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images