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.
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.
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.
Within a few days, it had arrived!
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!
Some handy stakes were also included.
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.
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.
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.
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!
It could be, you never know.
Clematis have such a strong will to grow I expect yours will come back stronger than ever. Fingers crossed!
I hope you’re right!
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.
Here it’s turned cold again for a couple of days. Now the gas company may be about to dig up part of my plantings on the parkway! Argh!
I’m looking forward to seeing clematis ”jackmanii” … even if it is not back to its former glory.
Let’s hope any diminishment is temporary.
That’s definitely a plant that is worth the extra effort. Fingers crossed for another bloom filled season.
I’ve got them crossed right now!
Your clem only has to “see” those beautiful new trellises and it’ll be inspired to take off climbing! Perhaps a bit of top dressing with some compost? That edging looks quite nice.
The compost has already been applied!
It should indeed, and you’ve given me an idea for how to solve a similar problem in my garden. It looks great, and I approve of your tool of choice 🙂
Those almanacs can really take a pounding.
I think that edging looks fantastic. I will be keeping in mind for edging my beds. Many thanks!
I enjoyed reading about your resourcefulness … I’m sure that your plantings will look beautiful this year!
I’m staying hopeful.
A gardener’s ingenuity is hard to beat. I’m pulling for the clematis!
The internet is a great aid to ingenuity.
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.
How easy it is depends on the kind of soil you’ve got. Soft loamy soil is pretty easy – soil with lots of roots and gravel, not so much, but it can be done.
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.
I’m sure the freeze won’t be a problem as long as it’s not a hard and prolonged one. Watching the snow come down right now.
Metal edging is considered the best in landscaping circles. It makes a nice clean edge that doesn’t fall apart like others.
It does last almost forever, which makes up for the cost.
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
That’s a good thought, I hope you’re right.
That looks sorted to me! I know how these disruptions upset plants, my back garden is still suffering since we flagged it. Love your new path though.xxx
And now the gas company is threatening to dig in the parkway!
Good thinking, I didn’t know you could just order sections like that…. hmmmmm. They look handy.
Yeah, I found them to work pretty well.
NICE EDGING and it looks great! You certainly did a fantastic job! I have not heard of the steel edging before. Thanks for sharing!
Clematis might recover very efficiently. It would have been more of a problem if it happened while it was actively growing.
Well … the driveway was installed around the beginning of October, so the clematis was winding down but not dormant.
I like the metal edging
WOW! I wonder if that would work in my heavy clay. Of course, at those prices, I would have to be selective about where I put it. Hmmm. I’ll have to think about that. Thanks!
With the spikes you can get them into clay soil, I think. The cost is an issue, which is why I wouldn’t edge entire beds with this.
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.
Almost all my borders are edged by hand with a shallow trench. Yes, the metal edging is expensive, so I only use it in special situations.