Once of the most monotonous, tedious, slow and pain-staking jobs in the garden is to do the border edging. It’s also the most rewarding.
I hate doing it but I love the results.
I’m all about strict, sharp, well-defined border edges. Grass runs up to a sharp divide-line from where-on the ground is classed as border. There is no ambiguity, it’s one or the other, no “neutral zone”, no gentle transition; it’s a cut off; simple as that.
Unfortunately, birds scrabbling around in the soil, weathering, weeds, worms and insects all conspire to smudge this sharp line. Creeping buttercup and grass will happily run off into the rich border soil, while birds will fling border soil onto the grass in search of food.
At least once a year I need to sit down and thoroughly re-do the edging, taking grass and escaped weeds away from the edges and sides of the border and pulling the border soil back away from the edge, reinstating the divide. The final line is finished with the half-moon lawn-edger.
It takes ages and there’s miles of it to do. I don’t have a plastic or metal edge – though I’ve thought about it a lot – so it’s all mud and all by hand.
But it really does look good when it’s done.
Oddly, while the border edging might be pristine and sharp, I’m very happy for the border plants to simply flop over onto the grass in the summer months and obscure it completely (crazy isn’t it?).
Border edging is a winter job as that’s when the distinction between border and grass is most visible, especially after the spent herbaceous perennials have been cut back. I’ll also need to do it at least once during the summer, to stop the weeds in the grass from racing off into the border and doing silly things.
In the previous garden I used to use a green plastic edging, but found that it went brittle after a few years and wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be in retaining a sharp edge. I’ve looked at metal edging and found it to be eye-wateringly expensive, but it does look good and the results I’ve seen where it is used in public areas means it would be just as good in this garden; but if I wanted to use it to edge the borders I shouldn’t have moved into part-time work.
While I dither about putting an edge in to make the job easier, I’ll just have to continue on in the mean-time as usual, slowly working along the edge, shuffling along gradually, bit by bit, making my way around all the borders, trying to keep from going insane as I think of how many miles of edging there is left to go.