It’s the classic dilemma. You have a beautiful border garden around your patio or foundation. Bright blooms and neatly mulched beds compliment your lush green lawn. All is right with the world.
But there is one major problem involving that narrow space where the garden meets the lawn. A space where the grass seems to grow to gigantic proportions and acquire super powers that threaten to overwhelm your tidy flower beds.
You could trim the area diligently or pull out the grass by hands. But a better solution is out there. One that will make peace between your lawn and your garden and look fabulous while doing it.
A flagstone mowing strip is just the thing your yard needs. And the good news is that it’s fun and easy to build.
Mowing strips are designed to allow your mower wheel to run along beside the garden, cutting to the edge of the grass neatly while not disturbing the flower bed. They’re generally anywhere between 4 to 12″ wide and can be made from bricks, stone or gravel.
Flagstone works well and adds character and charm to the bargain. Follow these steps to your own flagstone edging strip.
1. First you’ll need to dig out the strip dimensions, allowing an inch or two on either side to help the stone fit. Dig about 6″ deep and pack down the bottom and sides of your trench.
2. Lay gravel along the bottom of the trench with a generous layer of sand on the top of it. Some simply use sand (if the soil is heavy enough) and others prefer a specialty product such as crushed limestone. The idea of this layer is to provide drainage and a level base for the flagstone.
3. Buy your stone in large pieces and have fun breaking them into smaller bits for your mowing strip. Use a mallet and your set of chisels to create a variety of smaller stone pieces. It’s a blast to break these stones up – who doesn’t like to have permission to destroy stuff?
It goes without saying, always use safety goggles and proper footwear for this job.
4. Organize the flagstone pieces on the lawn in piles with a similar thickness. Mix up the colors.
5. Once you have the gravel and sand laid, start to fit your flagstone pieces together. It’s sort of like a jigsaw puzzle (except you can’t cheat and look at the box top.) Just fit the stone together the best you can and remember that there’s no right or wrong pattern. Random is what we’re going for.
6. Tap the pieces gently into place with a rubber mallet.
7. After you’ve laid the pieces in a fairly large section of the strip you can fill in the gaps with crushed limestone. This product provides excellent drainage and a solid set over time. Pack the limestone down between the cracks and brush the top of the flagstone.
Continue with each section of the mowing strip.
8. Once all is laid out and packed in, gently water down and check for any loose pieces. You may have to take them out and lay again with more sand and limestone. Try to get as good a fit as possible. And fill all of the gaps or that grass will find its way over in the blink of an eye.
Now enjoy how easy it is to mow that pesky place in your lawn. Your gardens look even better and your trimmer can take a much needed rest.
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