Adding a brick border to a flower bed can add so much charm to a home. We have gotten lucky with our homes because they all have had old bricks stacked in the yard.
If you have a similar experience, this is a great project to put them to good use! If you don’t have bricks lying around, you can often find them on Facebook Marketplace, LetGo, and of course a home improvement store.
In our current home, I used a pile of bricks found in the yard and edged two different flower beds. The bricks around the green hosta and blooming hydrangea bush give the perfect English garden look I was going for.
If you look in the back corner of this listing photo, you can see the large green bushes by the sliding door. We pulled out the large shrub and discovered the brick border that was covered in dirt and hidden for many years. We also removed the ewes lining the back of the garage and rebuilt the brick border.
Once the shrubs were removed, I pulled up the brick to re-lay it properly.
Here is an example of a brick border we created in the backyard of our second home. It added so much character to the yard!
How to Install A Brick Flower Bed Border
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At the end of this tutorial, I have a full list of items to purchase and build your own brick border around your garden.
Step 1 | Dig a Trench at the Edge of the Flower Bed
Using a flat spade shovel, dig a trench as evenly as possible to lay the bricks. Dig down far enough so that the bricks are at the level you would like them to sit. I wanted my brick to be close to the same level as our pool surround so I dug down about the height of the brick.
Step 2 | Add A Layer of Crushed Gravel
Next, you will want to add a few scoops of the paver base. This helps with drainage and leveling. If you would like to lay down a weed barrier fabric before the crushed gravel, that is an option and can help prevent weed growth.
Some people use mortar to build their brick edging which creates a more permanent structure and helps to prevent weeds from growing between the cracks. Because I only installed a single row of bricks, I chose not to use mortar. Honestly, I don’t mind pulling weeds if they grow near the bricks because I have to pull the weeds in the flower bed anyway!
The crushed gravel acts as a barrier between the bricks and soil and prevents erosion of the brick. I recommend adding gravel as you lay each individual brick and not laying down a bunch of gravel at once.
Step 3 | Lay the Bricks Around the Flower Bed
When laying the brick, there are a few different things you need to pay attention to. First, you want to make sure the row of bricks is level horizontally (unless you are installing it on sloping ground). Our flower bed slopes down gently on one side, so it was not always completely level.
Second, you want the brick to be vertically sloped away (slightly) from the flower bed. Sloping the brick slightly will allow water to drain away from the flower bed. If it was sloped towards the flower bed, you could get flooding in the bed.
Third, continuously check that you are making a straight line. It turns out I have a really tough time making a straight line as I lay my bricks. After the third time of pulling up the bricks because they started to curve, my husband brought over a leftover fence panel to help with my straight line. This was perfect! I used the wood as a guide and aligned the top of each brick. If I saw a slight curve or a brick out of place, I used the flat shovel to tap the bricks back into place.
Step 4 | Tap with Rubber Mallet
If the next brick is too low when you go to install it, add more gravel. I like to add enough gravel so that the brick is slightly higher than the vertical row of bricks. Then when I use the mallet to tap it into place, it becomes even with the row of brick edging.
Use the mallet to get it the proper placement.
Step 5 | Check the Level of the Brick Edging
As you connect more and more bricks, you will want to use your long level to keep the bricks even across the border. Use the small level for each individual brick to make sure it is level and slightly sloped away from the flower bed.
Step 6 | Repeat to Complete the Brick Border
Continue to lay the bricks until you have completed the border! Your final piece may not perfectly fit the size of your bricks. Get as close as you can to the edge and then you have a few options. The first option is to fill in the remaining border with gravel or soil. The second option is to flip a brick sideways so that it is half of the width of the brick to complete the border. If you flip the brick on its side, you will need to dig deep so that it is the same height as the other bricks.
Once. the bricks are laid, you will want to backfill soil on both sides of the brick. As you are filling in the sides, brush dirt into the cracks of each brick as well. This will keep the border intact and sturdy.
Complete Brick Border
I absolutely love how the green plants look against the distressed white brick of our house and the brick border! We will be adding a small fence around the pool equipment and fresh sod in the coming weeks that will complete the look of these charming flower beds.
Here is another view of that are just a few weeks later with fresh grass!
And a few weeks later with the new fence hiding the pool equipment.
Brick Border Purchase List
- Gardening gloves
- Bricks (similar)
- Flat Shovel
- Paver Base (similar)
- Rubber Mallet
- Short Level
- Long Level
- Wood Scrap (optional)
This project takes a little patience but it is pretty simple once you get the hang of it! Plan on spending a few hours to complete this project. Once enjoy the instant charm added to your yard!