Flagstone as Edging/Border

namiamJune 30, 2012

I am looking for a quick/easy way for stone edging. Has anyone lay flagstone on the side (instead of flat surface parallel with horizontal ground)? I am trying to find pictures here and on Google, but no luck.

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Someone has used it upright in my neighborhood, but I personally don't care for it. Reminds me of Stonehenge. ;o)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 12:12PM
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Not 100% positive about what exactly you're proposing, but as a rule, "edging" for a bed that sticks up vertically from the soil surface (like a curb that is not actually retaining a raised level of soil) usually looks bad. I can't think of ever seeing a case where it looked better than a flush installed wide mowing strip. Having an edging stick up but not retain anything makes it appear as if the level of the bed behind it has sunk (instead of actually being another level.) If the edging is thin (and it always seems the case that it is) it looks cheap. A plain, trench edge (as below) looks better and is easier and cheaper to create.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 12:18PM
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I should clarify, I was doing some pavers for my patio and I ended up about 4 inches below grade. I just need something to build a "mini" retaining wall. It will be holding back dirt/grass. I was thinking of dry stacking chopped stone (about 2 rows high) or just using flagstone/limestone standing up. I figured the flagstone would be easier/less expensive.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 12:55PM
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I just want something simple, appealing, easy to maintain (edging/mowing). I can sacrifice price if there are other benefits like I just mentioned.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 12:57PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I have used stone countertop off-cuts on edge to retain beds adjacent to a sidewalk. I like it because it is thin (does not take away 10-20 inches of bed width, as stacked stone does). What I have found difficult is controlling its angle. We initially installed it with a slight batter (lean toward the bed) but over time it has angled outward a bit. Our pieces are long, so are difficult to correct. Smaller pieces of flagstone might be easier to correct, even if they are even more prone to leaning off-kilter than ours are.

If you go to a landscape supply yard you might also find stone designed for use as treads or something similar - basically, the shape of 4x4 posts but shorter. Or, you could use 4x4 posts and plan to replace them as they give out over time.

However, you might consider whether it is worth redoing the patio to get to the grade you intended, rather than making a wall that may be less than ideal.

Karin L

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 2:01PM
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Bad news: I already did the patio.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 2:17PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I know, I said consider RE-doing it. You don't say how big it is or anything, so I have no idea how feasible this is. But before you sentence yourself to dicking around with building, maintaining, correcting, and tripping over a small wall for the rest of your life in this place, you might consider an extra day or two of work to RE-lay the patio correctly a worthwhile investment.

But like I say, I don't know how big a patio we are talking or how complicated it would be to add to the base and relay the stones.

Karin L

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 5:08PM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

have you thought about ledge stone ?
in some cases it is just thicker cuts of flagstone
photo of ledgestone :

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 9:01PM
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@ namiam... as I read your revised description --"mini" retaining wall-- I think it describes pretty much what a CURB is. Using flagstone on edge is not good because, as I described previously, something that appears THIN looks cheap. Karinl drove home the point that it's also difficult to control the vertical angle of it over time, so it is guaranteed to look unattractive on two counts. Something that has at least 6" of depth min. (from front to back) would look better. 8" or more is preferred. If stone is laid "dry stack" style, that would be OK. (Hopefully, drainage has been worked out and installing a curb will not inadvertently trap water.)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 9:19AM
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Thanks, I ended up not using flagstone. I just got some chopped stone and dry stacked 1 row, about 15 linear feet. I think the drainage improved during my "rain" mock test yesterday, but still need to do some grading / add compost. This one area (about 100 sq ft) is nothing but hard clay.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 12:26PM
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