My Cottage Vision for the Yard
There is a vision of my cottage garden in my head, it involves tall trees, winding flagstone paths, peony bushes, plenty of large bushes that create a cozy intimate feel. It is basically the garden from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett but in the middle of suburbia. Setting high goals is not one of my weaknesses, unrealistic goals maybe, but definitely not dreaming big. The trees, bushes, and flowers setting the structure of the garden are getting bigger but it was still missing a critical component; the flagstone. Any cottage garden that you see in pictures from Europe has beautiful stone as a key component. I knew that to really get the feel of a cottage garden I would need flagstone and a lot of it! I wanted all the flowers beds edged in flagstone and wanted flagstone paths winding through the property that the kids could run along and play capture the flag, tag, and hide and go seek. I wanted so much vegetation that when walking along the paths one might not know where you were going to pop out within the garden.
Benefits of Edging in Flagstone
Create a cozy cottage feel
The top reason to edge with flagstone in my opinion is to create a cozy cottage feel. With us living in a new build house it was a great way to create warmth and a old farmhouse feel to yard.
Define the flower beds
The flagstone provides earthy, classic definition to the flower beds.
Prevent the need to edge the garden beds annually
For our flower beds to look polished and defined we needed to have the garden beds edged annually if not more which is a considerable expense. By having the flagstone defining the flower beds edging is not needed.
Maintain mulch within the flower bed
Previously our mulch was constantly getting washed out of the flower beds during heavy rainfall and wind. By having the flagstone in place it allows the excess water to exit the flower beds but the mulch to maintain it’s position within the flower beds.
How Edge with Flagstone
The process of edging with flagstone looks complicated but is really very simple. I placed larger flagstone pieces around the garden beds edge. Then I placed a smaller flagstone pieces on top of where the two bottom pieces came together. This creates a natural looking wall around the flower bed. We didn’t use anything to “stick” the stones together and have not had an issue with them coming apart.
Progress towards the Cottage Garden Vision
Considering that our yard started out as a field of sod nine short years ago we have made tremendous progress towards my secret garden. Our trees that started out as 3 ft sticks from Walmart are now level with the roof line, we have a huge paver patio that takes spans the entire back of the house and the bushes are creating a lush oasis. This summer (and still working on right now before the snow comes) the focus has been completing the flagstone edging. We are so blessed in that we have been able to get all the flagstone from family and friends that no longer wanted it. 6 full carloads later I think we may have enough to finish the edging of the backyard gardens. I am loving the cozy look and the polished feel of the flagstone edging. Next year.. the flagstone paths!