So when the contractors put in our new driveway, they cut a slice out of the planting area for the Driveway Border and the little bed along the west side of the house where the Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ is planted.

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More than that, they left a gap of 4-6 inches between the level of the edging and the level of the plant crowns. It’s hard to see in this picture, but trust me. It was a particular problem with the Clematis, where some of the roots were left exposed.

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Of course in this time of global pandemic I couldn’t just drive down to the hardware store. But thanks to the magic of the internet, I did find a company called Edge Right selling 4 foot strips of steel landscape edging

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Within a few days, it had arrived!

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These strips were intended to be hammered right into the ground. The instructions recommended using a piece of wooden 2×4 between the hammer and the edging. I didn’t find any 2×4, but in the kids’ room I did find a 2004 ESPN Sports Almanac. That did the trick. I knew there was a reason we kept those around!

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Some handy stakes were also included.

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Once I had the metal strips installed, I filled in with topsoil obtained from edging the borders. It looks a little makeshift, as the edging does not go the full length of the border, but I think it’s ok. For most of the season it will be covered in foliage.

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Here it is by the Clematis. I do worry that this year’s Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ won’t be as magnificent as in past years, since it has lost some of its roots and some of its root run.

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It’s just now coming out of dormancy, so we should have a better idea in a few weeks. In any case, the added inches of topsoil should help.

43 Comments on “A Hard Edge”

  1. Hopefully your clematis will be fine now that it has lovely new soil to spread into. I think they are pretty tough and will hopefully survive being messed about by the contractor. You never know, it might be its best year yet!

  2. Builders always make a mess of things here too Jason! I think the edging will soon disappear when your plants put on some growth. We also are having amazing temperatures in the low 20s (Celsius) and are making the most of the time and weather for outdoor projects.

  3. Jason, this looks like the edging I’ve been considering putting in one of my beds where the soil keeps spilling down on the path. Was it as easy to put in as suggested by the company? Clematis jackmanii is probably the toughest of the lot – I think you will find that it bounces back pretty well.

  4. That was one evil looking edging before you smashed it into the ground. Looks pretty neat now. I am sure that Jack will thank you with many blooms for taking such measures to keep him happy. My Jack is up about 16″. With all this talk of freezing weather to come makes me a little nervous. I was inspired to raise his trellis when I saw your new ones. Mine aren’t so pretty but they will suffice. He can stretch out this summer.

  5. Actually Jason that looks very efficient ! .. and it doesn’t look bad at all. Sometimes clematis need a shock to their system to regenerate themselves .. I don’t think it will bother Jack that much at all .. in fact you may have an abundance of bloom/foliage, maybe it will think you are trying to get rid of it and it will flourish despite you ? LOL

  6. Hello Jason, that edging does look smart. I wish I could grab some edging like that to save me having to re-edge every year but it is very expensive (though probably worth the cost eventually in terms of time saved). I hope your clematis recovers, it seems such a vigorous plant that I wonder if it will even notice. If you give it a little extra attention with feed, mulch and occasional water, then it will be better than ever. I look forward to seeing pictures of it all over its new trellis in summer.

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