Edg­ing gives your lawn shape

Bray People - - LIFESTYLE - A N D R E W C O L LY E R ’ S

NO doubt by now your lawn is look­ing its pris­tine best again. Lush fine sward, a bowl­ing green no less. Well if your lawn suf­fered the same hor­rors of last year’s wet win­ter as mine did, things may well not be back to that qual­ity just yet. But here’s a trick to make your lawn ap­pear bet­ter than it is. Firstly keep any visi­tor in­side so close in­spec­tion is not pos­si­ble, moss can do a great grass im­pres­sion from a dis­tance at this time of year. Se­condly get your edges look­ing sharp.

Lawn edges can be many things. A pa­tio or paths edge, a brick or gran­ite set mow­ing strip or just a clas­sic grass edged bor­der. What ever form of edg­ing a lawn area has, per­haps a mix­ture of all those men­tioned, keep­ing them clear, clean and sharp can el­e­vate any lawn into the relems of re­spectabil­ity.

There are two main tools needed for lawn edg­ing. A half moon edg­ing iron and a pair of lawn edg­ing shears. Strim­mers can be used but if its qual­ity you are af­ter the old fash­ioned hand­tools are the best. A half moon edg­ing iron is like a small curved spade with a straight blade. This is used for cut­ting new or re­shap­ing ex­ist­ing grass edges ad­ja­cent to plant bor­ders. It ac­tu­ally cuts into the grass and soil just be­hind the strag­gly grass edge cre­at­ing a new sharp line. The straight blade al­lows you to cre­ate th­ese clean lines, straight or sweep­ing, in a way that a reg­u­lar spade will not. It is also very use­ful for run­ning along a hard edge such as a pa­tio stone where the grass is en­croach­ing over it. It is used like a spade with the foot forc­ing it into the ground. Edg­ing shears are like reg­u­lar shears but are at the end of long pair of han­dles. The cut­ting blades are at right an­gles to th­ese han­dles and are used in a scis­sor mo­tion to cut. Edg­ing shears al­low you trim un­ruly and er­rant grass growth with­out bend­ing, although it is nec­es­sary to get down to do a fi­nal clean up of the cut spoil.

If your grass has be­come a shape­less blob with no def­i­ni­tion you could do a lot worse this year than to take this in hand and re­claim and red­ifine your lawn. Your first de­ci­sion is shape, straight lines or curved. Staright lines can, and I stress can, look more con­tem­po­rary and min­i­mal­ist but cir­cles can also give you a mordern look. If you want sweep­ing bor­ders use long curves and not to many. A wavy in and out edge does noth­ing for your gar­den and ends up look­ing messy and com­pli­cated and ac­tu­ally makes your gar­den look smaller.

Once shape is de­cided how you edge is the next de­ci­sion. A grass edge is the tra­di­tional look where a lawn meets plant­ing bor­der, the bor­der be­ing a few inches lower than the lawn where they meet. This is prob­a­bly the hard­est to keep. Over time a grass edge can wan­der and be­come mis­shapen if not man­aged reg­u­larly. You can get steel edges that con­trol and con­tain your edges and they ef­fec­tively be­come in­vis­i­ble once set at lawn level. They are how­ever quite ex­pen­sive. There are plas­tic al­ter­na­tives but th­ese tend to be quite weak and are only suit­able for the small­est of lawn.

On straight edges or wide sweep­ing curves long treated tim­ber boards 100mm x 20mm placed ver­ti­cally into the soil and fixed to pegs with the 20mm show­ing at lawn level can work well. Th­ese long boards will ac­tu­ally bend quite con­sid­er­ably par­tic­u­larly if you in­sert some ver­ti­cal cuts with a saw about an inch apart and for half the baords width [ 10mm] for a foot or two where you want a strong curve. Th­ese also ef­fec­tively dis­ap­pear vis­ually once in­stalled.

To make a more dec­o­ra­tive state­ment a brick or stone mow­ing strip can be con­structed. A mow­ing strip is a hard edge that is set just be­low your grass level that the mower wheel runs along. This stops your plants wan­der­ing onto your lawn and your lawn wan­der­ing into your bor­ders. If in­stalling a hard edge such as this that is set on ce­ment be sure that the ce­ment sup­port is well cov­ered with soil so you don’t get dead dry grass along the edg­ing dur­ing dry spells in the sum­mer. Reg­u­lar mow­ing over a mow­ing strip cre­ates lit­tle ad­di­tional works as the mower tends to pick up the strag­gling grass edges as it goes.

Labur­num x wa­tereri ‘Vos­sii’

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