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Need to remove wood edging along brick path

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

This was our vegetable garden but now my husband has given it to me for plants and flowers. The brick path was laid in sand, not cement.

The wood edging will eventually cause me a fatal trip so I need to eliminate the high wood edging. Any ideas for an easy way to remove it or saw it down? My husband, Jack, already nixed the idea of a Saws All.

In the third photo you can see Jack screwed the edging into a longer piece of wood that goes about a foot deep.

In the fourth photo you can see the results of when I removed the end. The longer piece of wood, securing the edge, is on the left here. You can see how the last row of bricks weakened from the removal of the wood.

Any solutions for this problem? Thanks for any help you can give me. (I'm 71 so go easy with me!)

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Clinton, IN

Pirl If you take the edging out and fill the space with soil and pack it down it should hold the brick in place. keep the soil level with the top of the brick to prevent tripping. Good luck Fred

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks for your reply, Fred. I just may try it your way though Jack insists the brick will weaken.

IF we do have some more 50 degree weather this month, could I remove the edging, leave a few inches and pour in quick setting cement? Would that work?

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

i don't think the cement will have anything to grab hold of so it may just end up being a pool of concrete that breaks up and "floats" around.
what about taking out the second row of brick all the way around and pouring the concrete in there? then it grabs the brick on both sides.

understand what i'm saying?
as far as an easy way to take the wood out....a crow bar and a big man.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I can take the wood out. It will keep me warm on a cold day and the area is in full sun. I could excavate where the wood is now and lay down bricks at the bottom, then pour the cement. Would it still "float"?

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

as long as it is thick enough, it should work. what about concrete block caps like i used in my veggie garden? you could lay them in there even with the tops of the brick. they weigh about 15 lbs. a piece and are 2" thick.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

That should work. I've never seen them in person. Where did you find them?

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

i got them at lowe's but i'm sure any home improvement place has them. they were around 1.62 a piece if i remember correctly. they have much more decorative stone type pavers, etc. but nothing else in this size and i needed them to cover the blocks.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I don't need fancy. Thanks!

Longview, WA(Zone 8b)

Hi Pirt,
Another solution, remove the wood edging and replace it with new wood edging that is the same height
as the brick.
Another solution, but more expensive, use angle iron for an edging. Drill holes in the flat part of the angle
just large enough to drive spikes into the ground to keep the angle in place. Every 3 feet and at the corners
should work.
A 20' piece of 2X2X1/8" angle will run you about $40. You will need to get the angle from your local steel

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks for the good ideas, Jack. For now all is on hold as my husband underwent emergency surgery to repair an already repaired abdominal aortic aneurysm early last Friday morning and he is still in ICU.

When spring rolls around I'll hire someone to replace the current wood edging with lower wood as that was Jack's suggestion (and intention) at the time.

Here's a photo of Jack opening the mesh door to the then enclosed tomato room (to keep the crows from the tomatoes). He loved his garden.

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Clinton, IN

Thats a nice looking garden. Fred

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Fred. It's been his pride and joy for the last 21 years so while I'm sorry to see his gardening end, I think I can rig up something with wire and deer mesh so he can raise a few tomatoes.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I ended up calling a mason and I'm waiting for his proposal. He seemed to feel it was an easy job.

Longview, WA(Zone 8b)

Hi pirl,
I can see from Your Great picture the raised edge. You have a beautiful garden!! I am sure it gives you many hours of
My brother-in-law had an abdominal aortic aneurysm repaired this last year. He seems to be doing well. I don't know of
the limitations it puts on one after repair.
Tell your Jack that he has been chosen to tell his story so others will get help and encouragement.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Hi Paul,

The garden has been very good to us for so many years but now is the time for it to change, I guess.

The AAA didn't require restrictions for my dad, way back in '71, or for Jack but I doubt I'd want to see him risk further problems by having him exert himself too much. The trick is obviously knowing exactly what "too much" is.

The pain Jack experienced was a 10 on the 1 to 10 scale. As I explained to the doctor in the local hospital when Jack was admitted, "This is a man who falls asleep during root canal without anything to numb the area, so you can believe the 10". It's always worth a visit to the Emergency Room if anyone experiences extreme back pain that they've never had before. The doctor said he'd be dead in four to five hours without the surgery.

Thanks, Paul.

This message was edited Jun 18, 2013 10:33 PM

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

A big thank you to all who posted here. The masons arrived in early April and the lead guy, Alvaro, was a gem with designing the new path...and I love it!

Now it's all mulched and the peas, red peppers, fennel, onions and shallots are growing as well as the roses, clematises, and other flowers. I've planted 22 dahlias and by September I expect a colorful display.

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SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Your pathways are gorgeous!

Couple questions: How many linear feet did they end up redoing for you? And, did they have to level your area first?

I'm working on my yard and trying to decide on what to do for the pathways, if I decide to take up most of the grass in my veggie area, to reconfigure my raised beds. I've been researching, and the advice seems to fall toward either establish bare pathways, or spreading tiny pebbles, and such, but not grass (buggies on the veggies...)

Being from New Orleans, those brick pathways sure make my heart sing!


(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Linda!

They took up all of the brick, laid down some subsurface item, then sand, then cemented in the last bricks on the sides after laying the center bricks. I keep saying bricks but they are pavers, not bricks. If I could find the estimate I could tell you the square footage but I can't. The start of the path is wider than the 2' width of about 25' of it. My guess is that it is around 100 square feet but I could be wrong.

I love New Orleans and always have, especially the courtyards! I do have two wall planters from Coughlan's Gallery but don't know if they are still in business.

I'd avoid the pebbles if I were you and put down weed barrier fabric covered with two or more inches of pine mulch. If you can get the pine needle mulch it does make a great path and it's so soft and easy on the feet.

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SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

If I want to locate a crew to do this in my yard, I look for "Masons?" Not landscapers?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Right. Many landscapers offer masonry work so check them out and you can ask for references. We knew the owner of this company from long ago so we felt confident in him.

It took two men two days to get the job done...then we had them do other masonry work. All came out even better than we could have imagined.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks, Pirl!

I just located a stone mason on Angie's List!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Great. Now go see a few of his jobs and speak to the people about the work.

There was MUCH more to the job than I ever anticipated.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Ok. Thanks!

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

a job VERY well done!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)


Linda - you can spend some time on Google looking up "paths for raised gardens" or "masonry work for raised gardens" and you'll probably see things you never would have thought about. Well worth the investment of time. You can also ask the mason for ideas.

Calif_Sue has some great ideas and her photos are so great! Here's one just to show you - it's something I never would have dreamed of doing but so beautiful.

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