Bountiful Blooms with Longfield Gardens

Landscape Design, Perennials | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bountiful Blooms, a jeweled tone perennial border highlighting the spherical, fluffy heads of alliums from Longfield Gardens and Thinking Outside the Boxwood.

The National Garden Bureau has designated 2016 as the year of the allium! To celebrate, I have partnered with Longfield Gardens to design two perennial boarders highlighting the unique spring explosion of these rounded blooms.  I frequently include allium bulbs in my perennial border designs for their color, which goes with my typical cool palette, deer resistance, and unexpected texture. Since alliums are spring bulbs you plant in the fall, we’re sharing our first design now during its bloom; the second we’ll reveal in the fall, during planting season.  The bulbs and peonies included in this first design are available to purchase directly from www.longfield-gardens.com along with all the images and details of the design.

 

 

Bountiful Blooms, a jeweled tone perennial border highlighting the spherical, fluffy heads of alliums from Longfield Gardens and Thinking Outside the Boxwood.Inspiration: The highlight of this garden is the rich jewel-tone blooms, which are a reprieve from the pastels and bright sunny hues often associated with spring gardens. The spherical, fluffy heads of alliums sway above the heavy, lush peonies in a dense English garden-style border. Rich fuchsia, amethyst and mauve-hued blooms are grounded by the shocking chartreuse foliage of the lady’s mantle (Alchemila mollis). The design also incorporates low-maintenance perennials like Dwarf Catmint (Nepeta x faassenii), ‘Caradonna’ Sage (Salvia nemorosa) and ‘Little Spire’ (Perovskia atriplicifolia) to extend the beauty of this garden well past spring’s blooms.

 

 

implementingdesign

What excites me most about this partnership is the ability to implement the design. You get the knowledge of the supplier, designer and installer all in one design. I’ve shared all of the planting steps and tips for installing this garden design below, but be sure to visit Longfield Garden’s site for additional details, allium varieties and other spring flowering bulbs.

 

WHEN TO PLANT:

SPRING. You can start planting the perennials (the entire plant list expect the allium bulbs) as soon as your ground temperature reaches about 55 degrees. In Ohio, this is generally mid-April, but you can contact your local extension office for the specific date in your area. Planting early spring gives the plants a cool season to root and get well watered before the hot summer and provides a long growing season in the first year.  Find your local Extension HERE 

 

FALL. You can order your alliums starting in September from Longfield Gardens. Plant the bulbs once the ground has started to cool, which for us is normally mid-October to beginning of November. If they’re planted too early, the warm soil will rot the bulb.

 

SELECTING PERENNIALS:

Bountiful Blooms, a jeweled tone perennial border highlighting the spherical, fluffy heads of alliums from Longfield Gardens and Thinking Outside the Boxwood. Details of peonies included in design.Peony ‘Bowl of Beauty’ and Peony ‘Bunker Hill’ – These plants are shipped  bare root. When your plant arrives, store in a cool dark location until you are ready to plant.

 

Bountiful Blooms, a jeweled tone perennial border highlighting the spherical, fluffy heads of alliums from Longfield Gardens and Thinking Outside the Boxwood. Details of Alliums included in design.

Alliums ‘Gladiator‘, ‘Purple Sensation’, christophill and drumstick – When these arrive as bulbs from Longfield in early September, store in a cool, dark location until you are ready to plant.

 

Bountiful Blooms, a jeweled tone perennial border highlighting the spherical, fluffy heads of alliums from Longfield Gardens and Thinking Outside the Boxwood. Details of the perennials included in the design.

Lady’s Mantle, ‘Caradonna’ Sage, Cranesbill, Dwarf Catmint and Perovski ‘Little Spire’ Look for these perennials at your local garden center in 1-2 quart containers. They may offer larger sizes, but larger size does not guarantee better growing success, will cost more and require more work planting.

 

 

PREPPING FOR PLANTING:

When selecting the location for your border, look for a place that gets full sun. I recommend a location that gets really good southern light. These plants all do great up next to the house, along a driveway or along the property edges.  Once you have your location, prep the bed by tilling the soil and adding an organic matter. I use leaf compost made from the previous year’s clippings, but you can purchase a similar product from your local garden center. You want to make sure you are providing the best soil for the plants that drains well and has plenty of nutrients to help them establish and grow.

 

PLANTING:

When you have your bed prepped and plants purchased, use the design as a guide and place the plants still in their containers on the bed. This allows you to work out spacing before you start to dig. Start in the center of the bed and work out to the ends. If your bed is narrower or deeper that our 10ft x 18ft design, this will give you a chance to make some changes in spacing.

 

Once you are happy with your placement, you can start planting. If your design is against a building, start at the back and work forward. You want to plant in the harder to reach areas first and work your way out.  Regardless of where you are planting, I recommend planting the peonies last. You need to ensure that the eye of the plant is not placed more than ½- inch below the soil surface or you will not get prolific blooms.

Eye of peony - plant eye within .5-1 inch below hte soil surface. Test soil for moisture, properly watered soil will stick to your finger.  Details for planting Bountiful Blooms garden design from Longfield Gardens and Thinking Outside the Boxwood.

When you have everything planted, provide each plant with a deep watering. You can use a small overhead sprinkler. Proper moisture is the key to establishment. I do the finger test, stick your finger in the soil. If soil sticks to it, you are fine. If not, it’s too dry and you need to water.  After everything is watered you can go back and cover the bed with a leaf compost mulch. Keep the layer no more than one inch thick and a ½-inch ring away from each plant stock.

 

 

FIRST SUMMER MAINTENANCE:

The first year your garden will look good, the second year will be better, but the third year and beyond will be the ultimate pay off for all of your hard work.  For the first summer, cut back the plants a 2-3 times and deadhead after blooming. Since pushing blooms takes a lot of energy for the plant, cutting back blooms will send that energy into fortifying its root system instead, establishing the plant earlier.  Over the summer keep an eye on the plants to make sure they are getting adequate water (use finger test).

 

 

 

FALL ALLIUM PLANTING:

Use our bulb design for helping with placing the bulbs; you can place the bulbs before digging each hole to ensure you’re happy with your spacing.  We use a 4-6 inch auger bit to drill holes for the bulbs, but you can also use a hand shovel. Once you dig a hole, place bone meal as a starter fertilizer at the bottom of the hole. Once all the alliums are planted, you can place chopped up yard leaves over the bed. I prefer to cut back my perennials in the spring.

Bountiful Blooms, a jeweled tone perennial border highlighting the spherical, fluffy heads of alliums from Longfield Gardens and Thinking Outside the Boxwood. Allium planting design for fall planting.

 

 

ALLIUM MAINTENANCE:

The following spring, keep your eyes open for the allium breaking through with the rest of your perennials. The alliums will require little to no maintenance from you. After the blooms are over, you can either cut back the stocks or keep the dried seed heads in the garden for their extra texture. For the bulbs, allow the foliage to die back naturally and you can pull by hand. This will ensure the bulb has stored enough energy/food for the next year.

Bountiful Blooms, a jeweled tone perennial border highlighting the spherical, fluffy heads of alliums from Longfield Gardens and Thinking Outside the Boxwood.

 

Phew! I hope I provided all the details needed to give everyone the confidence to plant the design. Please let me know if you have any specific questions, I will be glad to help answer. Longfield created a great information sheet to print and use when planting and purchasing the plants (See Below). Also, Longfield Gardens has created a great landing page with the design and the ability to purchase the alliums and peonies directly. In September, we will release the second design just in time for ordering your allium bulbs.

 

Since this is the year of the allium, a few other bloggers have written about alliums throughout the week, each with a different experience and point of view. Check out the sites below:

 

Bountiful Blooms, a jeweled tone perennial border highlighting the spherical, fluffy heads of alliums from Longfield Gardens and Thinking Outside the Boxwood.

 

How to Train an Espalier

Landscape Design, My Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Over the pas few years, we have planted our share of espaliers trees. For our projects, I prefer to use established trees, with about 18-24 inch root balls. This gives us a tree that is already established in its form, still allows us to plant close to a wall and provides the client with instant gratification of an established tree at a good value.  This does not take out the continued work of training and maintaining the tree’s form, which is way we are very particular with the tools and method we used for installing the trees.

How to Train an Espalier, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

I wrote an article awhile back for Garden Design Magazine online about the forms, tree varieties and how to maintain an espalier (see article HERE), but never shared how we plant the trees. In this example, we planted a pair of classic Palmette Verrier or candelabra along a brick garage wall. We plan on these trees to mature at 10 feet (to match the height of the windows) over the next 3 years. After that will will maintain at that height.  For this application, we provided vertical guidelines along the brick wall that the tree will be trained. If you were doing a horizontal T espalier,  you would use the same process just running the guide lines along the horizontal branches.

How to Train an Espalier, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Here are the specific tools and detailed shots of how we run the lines for the trees. I have a lot more detailed images if you are interested

 

 How to Train an Espalier, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

*NOTE: Depending on the wall we are supporting the espalier against, we also use masonry anchors for the eye bolts. I have not included photos of the anchors, but generally we use these redheads.  Below is the specific sizing of eye bolts, cabling, etc. with links to the actual products.

How to Train an Espalier, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Sources for tools:

 

I hope this provided you with all the specific details that normally help me when tackling a project, but if you have any other specific questions just let me know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designer’s Block- Ground Plain Inspiration

Brick, cobblestone, Inspiration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This is the time of the year when I need to be on my game, the most creative, innovative…..  However this the point in the year when I feel most removed and beaten down by the winter.  To combat this “Designer’s Block” I peruse through images…. Pinterest, Instagram, and pictures from my travels.  Garden visiting is so vital to my creative being.  A change of scenery goes a long way into the generation of ideas.  I cherish the images I am able to capture on these journeys.

Today the focus is on the ground plain.  Paving is such a great way to set yourself as a designer.  I pride myself on my patterns and schemes I work into my designs.  Yes, I am a complete plant nerd- but I also love architecture and pattern.

Please enjoy images from my travels and I hope you find inspiration the pattern…..Maybe it will help to get you out of a funk, like it did me!

Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodDesigner's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Recommended Gifts

Holiday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Recommended Gifts, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

It’s time of the year for holiday gift guides. Not typically a fan of “gardener gift suggestions”, since they often created by folks that don’t garden and think all gardeners use are hoses, shovels, gloves and hand cream.  Here are my recommended items for either yourself or a gardener on your list based entirely on items I use or have.

 

Recommended Gifts, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

 

The Gardens of Arne Maynard. I judge garden books first by the photographs. It is impossible to get the same perspective from an image that you get from standing in a real garden. So the photos in garden books have to be incredible strong, with great color saturation, image size and paper quality to bridge that gap, and this book delivers all that.  With images both at the micro and macro levels of a garden, you are able to appreciate, study and learn from Arne Maynard’s design style.  Written by Maynard himself with the details a plantsman and designer wants learn, as if you were walking through the gardens with him listening to the stories, learnings, and inspiration for each space.

 

Swiss Army Floral Knife.  This knife is great for its thin profile (easy in the pocket), sharp, flat blade, bright colors (I have yellow) and price (if I lose it, not a big deal). Use it to cut back blooms, take cuttings, and open nursery boxes.

 

Wild Tomato Vine, Pure Soy Candle. My mom got me hooked on this candle after she purchased one during a trip to Detroit Garden Works. The fragrance of tomato vines creates such a sensory experience for me that when the grey of March becomes numbing, this candle reminds me that life is coming. Forget the smell of flowers, gardeners want that fresh vine ripened tomato smell.

 

Klein Tools Canvas Leather-Bottom Bucket Bag.  Designed for electrical workers, these bags are sturdy and just the right size for carrying my essential gardening tools around the yard and from job site to job site. I can carry pruners and soil knife when not in use, ear protection, cleaning supplies for pruners, etc. I also love the rough and tumbled look the leather and canvas as gained over the years.

 

The Wave Hill Chair by Dan Benarcik. My trip to Philadelphia this past fall was so inspiring, with over 200 photos on my camera taken in three short days. While there I was able to put together the connection of the iconic garden chair with the craftsman Dan Benarcik. Over the years Dan has been crafting and refining the famous Wave Hill chair and offers the chairs for sale in finished, kit and PDF plans. My winter project is attempting to craft the chair using some spare lumber we have at the shop from the PDF. If you feel less handy use the kit or even order a completed chair.    

 

Have a great holiday, and if you have any great tools or gifts you recommend please pass along. I am always looking for something to keep in my Klein bag.

Using Barn Foundation Stone in the Landscape

Landscape Design | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Earlier in July, we visited Malabar Farms in Lucas, Ohio. The farm’s claim to fame is the home of Louis Bromfield, Pulitzer Prize winner author and the location of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall’s wedding.  Besides these notable characteristics, Bromfield and Malabar are notable for pioneering sustainable agriculture practices.  The farm is now a State Park, with miles of trails, house tours and open barns. With two kids, we skipped the 45 minute house tour and spent the afternoon touring around the barns and ponds.

Using Barn Foundation Stone in the Landscape, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

A barn stone retaining wall at Malabar Farms shows the softness created from the hand scraping marks from sandstone blocks. The upper right hand corner shows a newer stone placed along the wall and the contrast in the stone’s surface. 

 

The house was built in 1939 (or really the expansion of an existing house), and the landscape surrounding the home and barns include old barn stone retaining walls.   Prior to the early 1900s, all barn foundations where built using local stone, which here in Ohio is often sandstone.  What make these older barn stones unique compared to stone quarried today, are the hand scraping marks.  The dimpling lines of the scrapes give a human touch to the rock which makes the hard stone seem softer.  Also these stones are often in large blocks, which allow the stones to provide scale in larger gardens.

 

To locate barn stone in your area, look for reclaim companies selling the beams from torn down barns. The wood is highly sought after now, but the large heavy stones are at less of demand. You can also check with local stone yards or even Craigslist searches could return results. This of course is easy for us in the Midwest where the country is dotted with old barns, but you can incorporate any stone in the exact same manner as shown below.

 

Using Barn Foundation Stone in the Landscape, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

SEATING AREAS: Using the reclaimed stones as bench seating area in the garden. The rounded smooth edges and cool surface are great stone surface for sitting and lingering in the garden. Also the thickness makes it great for a seating height, compared to creating something out of ledge stone or bricks which would be busier visually.  

Image via Spirit Level Designs, Longueville Project HEREThey also have great use of larger stone as a seating area in their Darling Point Project. 

 

 

Using Barn Foundation Stone in the Landscape, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

RETAINING WALLS:   I have seen retaining walls shift over time, but with these large of stones there is very little chance the earth will push these over time. Also it goes back to scale again, you have larger chunks of block compared to smaller stone which create a heavier and grander appearance.  This photo is of a retaining wall at Malabar Farms. 

 

Using Barn Foundation Stone in the Landscape, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 DIVING PLATFORM:  I found this image via Pinterest and think using a found stone, or barn stone as a diving area or incorporated natural element to the smooth, smooth square pool ingenious. Here it plays off the stone wall in the background, incorporating the pool to the surrounding landscape.

Image from Lonny.com HERE. The project completed by Alexandra Champalimaud, the Oliver Wolcott Residence (more photos of entire project HERE)

 

Using Barn Foundation Stone in the Landscape, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

CREATE EDGES:  Barn stone surrounding a pool, provides a natural edge between the turf and the pool again in a very natural way.  The stone could also be used in this exact same manner around a patio or perennial garden creating a boarder and seating wall in one element. 

Image from Tone on Tone Antiques from his tour of Bunny Williams garden in 2014 HERE.   Check out his other photos from the tour, my favorite are of the chicken coop and the wire compost bin. 

 

Hope these images inspire you to think about using old barn stone in your garden.

What’s in Bloom This Week

Arrangement of the Week | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

What's in Bloom This Week- July 13 , Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

We have had a wet spring and summer to say the least. Besides making our working schedule crazy (and muddy) it has created for a plethora of blooms in the garden.  Today before the storm, I walked through the garden with my wife and my Felcos and trimmed a few blooms into an arrangement.  There is no science to the collection other than I try to stay in a color family and since the Thomas Edison dahlias were in bloom, I used they as the starting point.

 

What's in Bloom This Week- July 13 , Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

Below I have included a breakdown of all the perennial and annual cuttings I included in the arrangement for reference.  What's in Bloom This Week- July 13 , Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

 

Celebrating Natives on Earth Day

Central Ohio, Ohio | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

As a gardeners and plant nerds, Earth Day is the day everyone else notices what we see everyday in the wonders of Mother Nature. In celebration of this day, here are native flowers in their untouched natural environment that we found over the weekend. This is a protected valley located in the heart of Clintonville, Ohio that when we visited two years ago was filled with waves of blue flowers (Blue Squill). We have been visiting periodically this spring to catch the blooms and photograph. However, this weekend we found a better surprise, a mix of four Ohio natives in blooming waves of white, yellow, blue and purple.

 

The valley has a number of invasive plants like wild garlic mustard and honeysuckle that the local community has been helping to manage, but still these native plants continue to thrive. It is also a reminder how quickly things change during spring and how you should carry your camera at all times because what is blooming today, might be done tomorrow.

Trout Lily -Erythronium americanum, Spring in Ohio, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodTrout Lily -Erythronium americanum

Marsh Marigold-Caltha palustris, Spring in Ohio, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodMarsh Marigold-Caltha palustris

Dutchman’s Breeches - Dicentra cucullaria ,Spring in Ohio, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodDutchman’s Breeches – Dicentra cucullaria

Dutchman’s Breeches - Dicentra cucullaria ,Spring in Ohio, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodDutchman’s Breeches – Dicentra cucullaria

Virginia bluebells- Mertensia virginica ,Spring in Ohio, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodVirginia bluebells- Mertensia virginica

Virginia bluebells- Mertensia virginica ,Spring in Ohio, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodVirginia bluebells- Mertensia virginica with a pink and blue bloom

Cercis canadensis- Eastern Redbud & Virginia bluebells- Mertensia virginica ,Spring in Ohio, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodCercis canadensis- Eastern Redbud & Virginia bluebells- Mertensia virginica

 

 

 

Red Twig Farms- Twig Wreath

Arrangement of the Week, Before and After, Central Ohio, G A R D E N S, McCullough, New Albany, Ohio, Redtwig Farms | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

Red Twig Farms- Twig Wreath, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

Last season we had leftover dogwood branches from Red Twig Farms that we experimented weaving into different forms. Our most successful design was a simple wreath of the branches.  We sent a few off to Terrain as prototypes, and this Christmas they placed an order for both Yellow and Red Dogwood wreaths. The wreaths are beautiful alternative to classic evergreen wreaths and the traditional brown grapevine wreaths. We saved a few of the Red Dogwood wreaths at the shop and have been practicing different ways these could be used during the holiday season outside of bow adornments.

 

Red Twig Farms- Twig Wreath, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

(Upper Left) Plain Red Twig Dogwood Wreath. (Upper Right) Layered with a boxwood wreath

(Bottom Left) Mixed Bittersweet with Winterberry (Bottom Right) Wrapped with Stargazer lights

 

The wreaths are not listed on the website, but I am sure you can directly contact either Terrain location if you are interested in purchasing a wreath. I wish we had some of the yellow wreaths to show, but we shipped them all off before we took any photos.

 

 

 

The Benefits of an Edge

Advice, Central Ohio, cobblestone, edging, Formal Garden, G A R D E N S, gardening, Gardens, Inspiration, Landscape, Landscape Design, McCullough, My Work, New Albany, Ohio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sometimes borders are a good thing and that includes in the garden. Edges help provide a transition between elements and can help contain gravel, mulch and turf from spreading. Besides its use for providing a barrier, edging provides an additional design element and should be considered detail.

The Benefits of an Edge, Thinking Outside the Boxwood, Metal edging w/ Green Velvet Boxwood (Buxus 'Green Velvet') and Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla mollis 'Thiller')

Metal edging along a gravel pathway.

 

 

The Benefits of an Edge, Thinking Outside the Boxwood, Brick Edging

 Bricks on edge between turf lawn and a perennial garden. 

 

Where and How to Edge: Edging is used in areas of loose stone to prevent from spreading into turf or beds, such as walkways, driveways and patio spaces. It can also be used to provide an edge along turf to prevent the spreading of grass into plant beds. Common materials used include brick, cut stone, slab stone and metal. Below is a visual ID of four major edging types in use.

 

The Benefits of an Edge, Thinking Outside the Boxwood, Edging by Type

 

The Benefits of an Edge, Thinking Outside the Boxwood, Metal edging separating pea gravel and turf

 Metal edging used to separate gravel bed and turf.  

 

Edging Problems: In areas where there is freezing and thawing, some edging material will heave out of the ground and will need to be periodically re-set. Edging is not a 100% foolproof barrier, gravel and grass will cross the line and will require maintenance. Also if the wrong gravel type is used or layered too thick, the barrier will not provide the intended function.

The Benefits of an Edge, Thinking Outside the Boxwood, Metal edging on a green roof in Columbus, Ohio, USA

Metal edging along gravel path on a green roof. 

 

The Benefits of an Edge, Thinking Outside the Boxwood, Metal edging creating a meandering path

Metal edging along a gravel path into a perennial garden. 

 

When Not to Using Edging: I don’t typically use edging around flower/perennial beds. I prefer to use a technique that includes a deep trench surrounding the bed. I use a sharp flat spade cut to make minor adjustments in the shape and insuring separation of the turf and bed.

Also please stay away from those plastic edging. If you use the method above you will have better result of keep beds shaped and materials contained. I cannot think of too many cases where plastic is ever the best solution in the garden.

 

(All photos from work by McCullough’s Landscape & Nursery)