looking for me? i’ll be outside edging

pine-edge2M EANT TO WRITE SOMETHING JUICY TODAY, but then I remembered: I have hundreds and hundreds (and hundreds) of more feet of garden edge to cut. Sorry, friends; duty calls. Be right back, once things start to look a bit tidier out there. There’s nothing like a clean edge to bring things into focus in May. Here’s how I do it, if you missed the drill last year.

  1. Mariann says:

    How wonderful! As I often do, I thought I would check our what you had to say while I wolfed down my lunch. You are doing all the same things I am doing! Here at the gardens I design and maintain people are always complimenting the beauty of the gardens, this time of year I have all I can do not to respond “can’t you see the weeds, the bulbs begging to be deadheaded, the edges pleading to be struck?” instead I smile and say “thank you so much, I am so glad you enjoy them” because I am and I do. Now off to edge, weed, and deadhead!

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Mariann. I came in to have lunch and am back at it in a second. Nice to meet you (and know that we are all in the same situation together). :)

  2. Brian G. says:

    Straight lines are a breeze with the half moon edger but I have problems making curves. I wish there was an edger with a slight radius to follow a curve.

    Does anyone know where to get those nice fine toothed claws that Margaret shows in her edging instruction post? I have looked and looked and they don’t seem to be manufactured anymore.

  3. Jeanne says:

    Looks terrific! So nice to know that someone else uses a manual edger (I’ve been feeling a bit old-fashioned in the midst of all the weed-whacker-edger people :) ). Reminds me that I need to go out and do the same thing. Thank you!

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Jeanne. Hate weed-whackers here. Hate. So glad to have company in my old-fashioned pursuit. :)

  4. Ailsa says:

    Now you’re really speaking my language!! I am the Queen of Edging. However, I hold my edger so that the flat bit is over the grass I leave behind rather than the bit I take away. But now you’ve given me food for thought — could it be the same kind of thing as how you load the toilet paper — probably doesn’t really matter… or am I not so proficient as I thought I was? :c)

  5. Country gardener says:

    Ha, that’s exactly what we are doing this week, great minds think alike. There’s nothing like a nice sharp definition between beds and lawn. I see lots of country gardens where this isn’t done, and it’s always the beginning of the end. Once the grass gets into a flowerbed, it’s game over.

  6. Laura T. says:

    Hi Margaret,
    It’s such an honor to correspond with you!
    As I’ve discovered your blog and gone through the archives, I saw where you once wrote that “a multitude of sins can be covered by a clean edge.” It’s so true! I always chuckle at that one and have repeated it many times to my gardening friends!

  7. Fred from Loudonville, NY says:

    Last night, after coming back from the Berkshires, where I attended the plant sale at the Berkshire Botanical Garden, and made the rounds to ALL the other garden places from Lenox to Sheffield, and even went to the Lee Outlets, I decided to take a look at what you had posted for the day. In past years, I too have edged, BUT having the GARDEN DEVIL in me, now I have all my beds, and boarders surrounded by buried black plastic edging from the likes of WalMart. The edging is not noticable, and I have no problem mowing over it. Any way to eliminate an extra job, so I can have time for other chores, or a GET AWAY, I am all for.

  8. heather says:

    One of my favorite chores in the garden also. Love the instant gratification that a good edger provides. I love my old manual edger from Lee Valley. And after a nice spring rain, the ground is still soft and it’s so EASY. Enjoy.

  9. Susan says:

    I will get to do this chore this year. I am so excited. A new tool for me to get. I do not have hundreds of feet, but enough to smile at.

  10. Ted says:

    Mostly I’m a ‘strictly by hand’ kind of gardener, but I bought an electric edger several years ago and am glad I did. It basically cuts a 1/4″ wide trench about 2″ deep. I find it easier to stay on course, with out the wobbles I’m prone to other wise.

  11. Tammy says:

    I think this may change my life. seriously. I hate those weed whackers on so many levels. Going out to find a half-moon step-on edger. Mother’s day gift to myself. hehe.

  12. utblickaren says:

    Oh, now I´m green, but of envy, your edges are so nice. Really, thanks for the tip on edging. The only thing I have to do now is to figure out the swedish name for “half moon edger”. I´ve only used a shovel and that doesn´t do the job as nice as in this picture. I´ll have to put my trust in google translate or something, and hope to get it right so I know what to ask for:)

  13. Dana says:

    Oh Margaret… when I went to your “fine edge” post shivers went up my spine… my FAVORITE tool… T-handled edger that I believe was sold by Smith & Hawken in the early 90s. I thought I had lost them last year. I was FRANTIC! My poor dear husband… he thought I had lost my mind. “It’s an edger! We have that other long-handled one.” …it wasn’t the same. I couldn’t get the same rocking motion and the leverage to pop out the grass. I searched the web to buy another… no go. He’s the hero in the story though… he searched our garage/barn and unearthed it from behind all the junk that accumulates. Never again… it has it’s own set of storage pegs on the wall now… right there with my beloved set of Snow & Neally hand-tools that also are no longer being made. Who knew I would end up collecting “obsolete” gardening tools. ;-)

    BTW: We’re coming for your Open Day at the end of the month. Can’t wait. Curious… do you pronounce it Co-payk or Co-pah-kee?

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Dana. We say Co-payk, rhymes with Cupcake (and actually I say Cupcake, which allows my neighbors to label me “the strange lady with all the plants”).

      I am frantic about this whole mess re: garden tools that no longer exist and the fact that only *total crap* exists in their place. I cannot find a nicely weighted long-handled roundpoint shovel (and I have purchased every brand available, I swear I have…the national collection of shovels over here). There are few good bamboo rakes…again, all junk now. What in the *world* is the problem? I mean, there are millions of us gardeners who need decent tools. Sigh. So thanks for getting me a riled up. :) See you soon.

  14. Dana says:

    Hi Brian G.
    … I have cultivators that look similar (the defunct Snow & Nealley ones I was talking about) but I find it easier to pull up the grass with my Cape Cod Weeder… I just looked on Amazon and they have lots.

  15. Ted says:

    After passing it by many times I just bought a Fiskars long handled shovel. It’s all steel, but not heavy. What surprised me was it’s great ergonomics. Something in the curve at the neck just works, at least for me. BTW they also make a very good plastic leaf rake, I’ve been using that for years and I’ll never go back to bamboo.

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