Well-Defined Garden Beds – The Stuff of Magazines

Here’s a  great, little landscaping tip that I picked up over at Fine Gardening Magazine :  “Inside the house or out”, says Ray Baker, “a clean, smooth line provides a finished look and a sense of clarity to an area.”  It’s absolutely true.  Just think about how much crisper your bedroom looks when you make your bed, or your office looks when you tidy up your desk, and your kitchen appears when all of the counters have been cleared and the sink has been emptied of all of the dishes.  Things look messy when there aren’t clearly defined lines.  Tidying up instantly remedies that.  The problem is that, no matter how hard we try, those well-defined lines never seem to last for very long.

Out at My Happy Homestead, when weeds are constantly encroaching upon my garden borders, keeping well-defined lines is tough to do.  All around our 2.8 acres, crabgrass, mallow, stinging nettles, pineapple weed, and a host of other weeds are constantly  swallowing up our  landscape, making it impossible to distinguish between the wild and cultivated areas out here.


But, I am determined to try and keep well-defined lines in my garden lanscape.

It makes such a huge visual difference when all of the “clutter” has been removed, and the lines have been restored.

just weeded border

Believe it or not, creating well-defined lines, in my garden,  begins with a simple garden spade and some good ol’ elbow grease.


I know.  I’m crazy.

But, I have my reasons…

  • It’s cheap
  • It’s a great workout
  • The results are instant
  • It provides green waste for the compost bins
  • It’s safe for the environment and my family and pets
  • It’s keeping money out of Monsanto’s pockets (perhaps another post for another time)

This year, in an effort to keep the weeds from re-encroaching,  I’m going to make use of an organic weeding tip that I found over at Pinterest, where it was suggested that baking soda be used around all of the edges of flower beds, twice a year (spring and fall)  to keep the grass and weeds from growing into beds.  The Pinner said that, “the baking soda neutralizes the PH in the soil [so that] nothing will grow there.”

I’m very anxious to find out if this method actually works.

grass weed control

 I have a sneakin’ feeling, however,  that – just like the Golden Gate Bridge painters, who, once they finally get to the end of painting the entire bridge, have to turn right back around and do it all over again – I’m going to be right back at it with my trusty spade and elbow grease to clear the weeds and make well-defined lines at least two or three times, throughout all of the gardens at My Happy Homestead, this year.

Ah, so it is with organic country living, where the work is never done.   Well-defined garden lines, like clean, smooth lines that we create anywhere else in our lives,  are like a mist that is here one moment and gone the next.  But, oh, what a fabulous moment that is!  –exactly what the stuff of home and garden magazines are made of. 🙂


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