June 8, 2016

How To Install Brick Garden Borders…The Easy Way!

I’m going to show you how I… well, actually, Hubby and I installed this brick border,
the EASY way!!

How To Install Brick Borders

But first….Remember this picture???
Yeah… I remember when I went to Home Depot to purchase that tonage of bricks! I wasn’t sure I was going to actually make it home with that skid of bricks, they were kinda heavy! But lo and behold I did and they’ve been sitting in my driveway ever since! But hey, they were on sale for $.25 each! I just couldn’t pass up that kind of deal!

I’ve had big plans of lining all of my gardens with those bricks! So, as soon as the weather started turning nice, I’ve been digging and digging all over my yard. Remember these pictures?
All three rings
Now, this isn’t even the half of it…we do have a backyard, and a side yard and hey, why not add a new garden as well. I see a LOT of brick laying in my future. :)

But Hubby helped me with the first one, he’s had quite a bit of experience with concrete. Back in the day, he drove a cement mixer for a living.

We are starting with the light post garden ring. A simple 36” ring.
Border Beginnings
I searched and searched the internet for the easiest way to lay bricks. I really didn’t want to mix and mix wet concrete.  That just seemed like a TON of work and believe me I’ve already put in a TON of work digging! Our dirt is hard clay and rocks. I felt like I was digging in a rock quarry. So, as soon as a good storm would hit and pass through, I’d be out there digging. Picking out rocks was easier in the mud.

Okay, let’s move on…. So Hubby and I decided to lay the bricks dry. We felt that would be the easiest way. And it WAS!! :)

Let me explain. After I cleaned out the trench I dug. We shoveled in dry concrete mix. It was about 3" thick in some areas, maybe more in others.  We used the concrete to fill in the gaps.
Concrete In
Let me tell you, those 80 lb. bags of concrete are not light! Poor Hubby’s back has been on the fritz, so I slid those bags from the work van into a wheelbarrow. Worked like a charm!

So, we’d shovel in a bunch of concrete, smooth it out, then measure.
measure bricks
Hubby gave me a great tip! Always measure the corners, that way your bricks will be circular and the gaps between will be even. We tied a string to the center light post and used that to go around and measure each brick.

You can see it better in this picture.
More progress
Just look at the progress we’re making!! Yay! I have to credit Hubby here! I had to run to the store and get more concrete. He had ALL that done by the time I got back! He's a pro!

Next, leveling. You want to make sure that the bricks are level.
level bricks
Now, we weren’t actually using the leveling bubble, because we were dealing with the slope of the yard as well. We just wanted them to be even with each other and the grass level. So when a brick was off we'd shovel a little more concrete under one corner or the other, or under the whole brick. It's a process with each brick.

Then we started back filling the outer edge. This ring will be needing some grass seed complete it.
Backfill and level

Then on the inside of the ring, we filled in with a bit more dry concrete and stones here and there.
Stones Concrete Inside
Hubby and I were crossing our fingers this was going to work using dry concrete.

A storm was coming so we backfilled the inside of the circle with dirt as well.  There is too much dirt in this ring, so I’ll be removing some before we plant and mulch this garden.
Almost done

Brush off the dirt and any cement powder. Cement powder will make the bricks look gray,
if it dries on them.
Brush off Bricks

Next up, we wet the area. Yeah, we knew a storm was coming, but we still wanted to wet it down. If a storm wasn't coming, we'd be making sure it was nice and damp. Possibly wetting it down the next day as well. We want that concrete to be rock hard!
Wet area

It’s been about 4 days since we did this job. I’ve already tried to wiggle those bricks… They aren’t going ANYWHERE! It worked beautifully! Now time to start another one!! :)

And that’s how you lay bricks the easy way!!
How To Install Brick Borders
The Stonybrook House
The Stonybrook House

I have been blogging for about 7 years and I enjoy sharing all the things that go on here at The Stonybrook House. From building to decorating, crafting and cooking, and so much more. I enjoy gardening and a healthy lifestyle. Most importantly I love The Lord Jesus my Savior and my wonderful hubby of 30+ years!


  1. I love this! I am starting a garden in the area where there used to be railroad ties, but they were old and crumbling so I had to take them out. Now, I'm left without a border and have been trying to think of options... this looks like something I could manage. Love the tip about measuring the corners. Looks really good!

    1. Thanks, Eliesa! I just finished my second one, and I'm actually getting better and quicker at it! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Looks so good!! I like the string-measurement idea.

  3. Your border looks great and your tutorial is really helpful.

  4. Looks great! My first house project once the weather is nicer. Thanks for this blog


  5. It looks great ! what brand of cement did you use ?

    1. We just used what they have at Lowes. Quickrete, I think. It was a yellow bag. Hope that helps!


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