How to Build Brick Flower Bed Borders

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You can build a simple brick flowerbed border. You can also enhance the simple design by the shape of the border itself, the bricks you use or the way you lay the bricks. The basic steps will be the same. Plan with an eye to the border's purposes. You may want to repel invasive grasses and weeds, keep mulch and stones from washing from the flowerbed, give your garden a neat and graceful look or all of the above.

Things You'll Need

  • Bricks
  • Sand
  • Spray paint
  • Stain
  • Rope or string
  • Hand spade or trench shovel
  • Rubber mallet
  • Level
  • Gloves
  • Design the border first. If you have an existing flowerbed, the border will simply outline this space. If you don't have an existing bed, look at your garden space and decide whether you want a rectangular, circular, wave form or other shape of bed. Think of all the ways you can lay bricks--end-to-end or side-by-side, upright, sideways or flat even diagonal. Draw out plans.

  • Choose the bricks. You can buy new bricks from a landscaping center in a variety of colors. If those colors don't suit, you can stain the bricks. You might be able to find local free bricks in Internet classified ads or at nearby construction sites. You can even make your own bricks.

  • Mark the area to be bricked. Outlining your work area is especially important if no flowerbed exists yet. Lay out a piece of rope or string outlining the shape you want to create. Stand back and look. Make any adjustments. Spray paint alongside the rope to create an outline marker.

  • Calculate the materials you'll need and buy them. Multiply the number of bricks you'll be using in a foot of your chosen arrangement times the number of feet in the border, adding at least 10 percent for leeway. You'll also need to figure out the amounts of sand, spray paint, stain and other materials you might use. Make a complete list before purchasing.

  • Prepare the trench. Use a hand spade, trowel or trench shovel to dig a trench deep and wide enough to make room for the bricks in the arrangement you've chosen, adding an extra inch of depth for the leveling sand. Make the sides and bottom as square and level as possible.

  • Fill the trench, adding at least an inch of sand at the bottom to keep the bricks level. Place the bricks carefully and tightly in the arrangement you have chosen. Straighten the bricks as you go, adjusting the sand to maintain an even level and pressing surrounding dirt in around the bricks.

  • Finish your brick flowerbed border by tapping the bricks into place with a rubber mallet. Check the flatness of the surface of the bricks with a level or by eye. Check that all bricks are solidly in place by hand. Straighten and freshen any plants that may have been disturbed by the project.

Tips & Warnings

  • Think about any future changes to the shape of an existing flowerbed before planning a brick border.
  • Consider using grout between bricks if your soil is subject to freezing.
  • Check if the planned brick border blocks access to water spigots or utility meters.
  • Be sure your lawn mower can move easily next to your planned border.

References

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