I'm always feeling like I'm learning things that everyone else already knows and this was one of those things. I was pretty excited to demystify this little gardening tid bit for myself though, so I'm sharing it with you anyway. :)
Chris has always been the one to make our gardens look all neat and tidy. I didn't really even realize that there was a certain technique to it. I just thought he was really patient with a shovel or something. Actually, I didn't really know what he did. I always thought that to make a garden, all you did was remove the grass, stick some plants in it and mulch it. Then somehow it magically turned into something like looked like a garden and not just some flowers planted in the middle of the grass.
We've been working slowly on the back yard over the last few years and we thought it might be good to map out a big flower/shrub garden across the whole back middle section of the house where the giant wheelchair ramp used to be before we tore it down last year. We still have a lot of work to do!
These pictures were taken about three weeks ago. It's funny to see how that hydrangea looks all sad and dead, but now it's covered in big happy green leaves.
We started hacking up the parts where there was grass growing, although there wasn't that much since it had been covered in that ramp for so long. When we had an idea for how it was going to look, I went to get a load of mulch. Chris suggested I might want to start edging the garden first and explained to dig a little trench about a few inches deep along the border of where the garden goes. At this point, I feel like I need to point out that I'm really not quite as dumb as this story makes me sound.
I grabbed a little trowel and got to work.
At this point Chris was like, "You know that little shovel we have that's really kind of flat and sharp? I find that works pretty well."
I gave it a try and I was all, "Wow! This actually works really well. It really gives this super crisp edge. Seriously, Chris, it's almost like it was made just for this job.... oh... wait a second. It is made for this job isn't it?"
Then I dropped my shovel and ran for my camera because I'd just learned something super valuable for all the gardener wannabes out there.
So this is what that shovel/edger looks like:
You can get some edgers in the garden section that look like this too, but I think they're more meant for cutting through grass.
Here was my second attempt at edging, this time using the right tool. I just carved down about three inches and then lifted the excess soil up and onto where the garden was going to be.
Here's a section where the (somewhat trampled) lawn is already growing up to the edge of the new garden. Look how crisp that is!
OK, all of your real gardener people can stop laughing now.
My point is, if you're still relatively new to gardening like I am, it's still really easy to get those amazing professional-looking flower beds that you see all the expert gardeners enjoying in their yards. Give it a try! You'll be hooked!