Several years ago, when Patrick and I bought our house and started working on the landscaping, we stumbled across a great deal on some really unique blocks. We were visiting the local brickyard looking for regular bricks, but we also found grey blocks that had apparently been custom ordered and then returned. The employee told us that they had flecks of metal embedded, and would eventually rust just a bit. Having no clue what we were going to use them for, we decided that we had to have them.
[This post has been sponsored by Coyote Landscape Products but the opinions expressed are strictly my own and are based on my own experience with their product. This post also includes affiliate links.]
Fast forward 10 years, and we have used these blocks for various projects around our yard. We made stepping stones around our garden path, a small patio for a table and chairs, an even smaller patio for our grill, and two sidewalks.
Unfortunately, the test of time has proven that they did not, in fact, rust. Fortunately, we still love them anyway. :-)
So, about those sidewalks… I love them, but… I am so tired of the grass growing over the edges. I am lucky enough to have an AMAZING battery powered trimmer from Ryobi, but none the less, having to fight back the grass every couple of weeks was getting really old.
I have been struggling with the idea of edging for a very long time because I knew I wanted some, but I couldn’t find anything that I truly liked. I didn’t want plastic because it would not go well with the style of our home and yard. I found some interesting composites, but I still didn’t love them. I kept going back to metal, but again, the style wasn’t quite right. Metal edging creates a beautiful edge, but it is generally more modern than I would go for. Not to mention, some metal edging can’t go around curves well (if at all) and for one of our sidewalks, curves were a must. That’s when I found an awesome product!
Now, I should clarify. I wasn’t originally planning on doing a post about edging my sidewalks. It was just a yard maintenance project that needed to take place, not a fun project worth sharing. But that was before I found Raw Steel Edging from Coyote Landscape Products. It’s all the form and function that I liked about steel edging, but with a fun twist that makes it work well with our rustic, natural vibe. It’s going to rust!
I was so excited about the idea that I immediately reached out to Coyote Landscape Products directly. After a bit of discussion, I was so excited when I came home one day to find this on my back steps!
I immediately tore into the packages to start playing with it,
and was so pleased to find that the installation couldn’t be simpler.
I used an old school straight hoe to scrape under the overgrown grass,
And cut an edge along the sidewalk. Then I wiggled it back a forth a few times to widen the opening. Admittedly, this part was pretty tedious, but it wasn’t difficult. :-)
With the edges all cut, it was time to start installing the edging. The top has a rolled edge for safety. Which is great since I always have a plethora of kids running around my yard.
There are holes cut in, (pardon the sawdust)
which allow you to use these stakes to hold the edging in place.
The ends overlap, and are again held in place with the stakes.
As I said, the actual installation was very simple. I laid the edging in place, using a hammer in the stubborn spots, and a level to make sure both sides were even.
And of course, driving in the stakes in the appropriate spots.
This is the part where I realized my own shortcomings… See how uneven my side walk is? Trust me, this wasn’t even the worst section. Here I was with all this beautiful edging and suddenly you could see how badly I did when I originally created the sidewalks. The truth is, I didn’t really try very hard to make them perfectly straight and level. It never particularly mattered, so I just told myself it gave them character. Unfortunately, now it mattered, so it was time to fix my sidewalks.
I spent a day or two whining and complaining about it, but then I pulled on my big girl undies and got to work pulling up the pavers.
**Fun fact: properly installing a block sidewalk using Coyote Metal Landscape Edging is sooooooo much easier than without!
With the edging properly spaced and leveled, it provided the perfect opportunity to simply use a custom made screed board! I raked the dirt loose and shoveled it out a bit so there was room for baby sand. Then I poured a bunch of sand in and used the board to evenly distribute.
The perfectly flat surface made it very simple to gently place the blocks into place. Seriously, I don’t know if you have ever tried to make a block sidewalk, but this was so much easier than the normal method.
As sections of block were laid, I covered the new surface in more baby sand and carefully swept it back and forth over the blocks to fill the cracks and ensure the blocks would not shift.
Just look at how well the sidewalks turned out, and the edging hugs those curves perfecty!
I basically went from kicking myself and thinking “careful what you wish for”, to being super glad that I did it.
Even having to rebuild the sidewalks was completely worth it.
The difference is undeniable.
I used to think our bumpy, wavy sidewalks had a quaint charm.
Now I can see that I was totally wrong.
The new sidewalks still have the quaint charm simply because of the style, but they look so much better with smooth, clean, straight lines.
And the charm will just keep coming as the edging starts to rust and patina naturally.
It’s already starting to change just a bit.
I am so excited to see how they look in the spring!
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