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One must separate the natural landscape from the lawn area. This is accomplished by constructing a landscape edge at the lawn/landscape interface. The edging outline is defined by taking a garden hose or other semi-flexible object and laying it down where you want the edge to be. You should create sweeping curves. No sharp corners. Then take a square edged spade and following the curves of the garden hose cut through the sod several inches deep. After the outline has been traced in the sod with the spade; cut a one sided trench 3 or 4" deep along the outline of the bed. Spread the soil and sod from the trench inside the planting bed. This trench, vertical on the grass side and sloping on the bed side separates the landscaped bed from the lawn. One can install plastic landscape edging around the perimeter but this is optional. When installing bark or other soil mulches, spread the mulch up to the trench.
This page posted September 10, 2004