Project #1: Install Rigid Flower Bed Edging
The setup: A crisp edge where the lawn meets the flower beds looks great and eases mowing. Opt for rigid edging — the flexible plastic stuff looks amateurish from day one.
Use a charged garden hose to lay out a smooth curve.
Tip: A “charged” garden hose full of water makes for a smoother, kink-free curve; charge up by turning on the spigot but leaving the sprayer off.
With the hose as your guide, use a lawn edger or spade to cut away excess sod and make an incision for the edging. Tap in the edging with a rubber mallet and add the stakes. Trim the edging with a hacksaw, using a speed square to mark for cuts.
Specs and cost: Steel — $1.25 per lineal foot; aluminum — $2.25 plf; rigid plastic or fiberglass — $1.65 plf.
Tools: Garden hose, flour or powdered chalk, lawn edger or spade, shovel, speed square, hacksaw, rubber mallet, hammer.
Time: 1 day to edge a typical yard.
Project #2: Add an Earth Berm
The setup: Create an eye-catching front yard feature by shaping a few cubic yards of topsoil into an undulating berm. Topped off with mulch, groundcover, and bushes, a berm adds interest and buffers street noise.
Use a charged hose to outline the berm. Remove sod a couple of feet in from the perimeter. Add a few mounds, but max out at 3 feet high.
Tip: Don’t be tempted by those bags of topsoil at the home center: At $2.50 per cubic foot, a cubic yard (27 cubic feet) will end up costing you $67.50.
Specs and cost: Three cubic yards of soil is enough for a good-sized berm. Expect to pay $15-$20 per cubic yard and $15–$60 for delivery — a total of $60-$120.
Have a cubic yard of mulch dropped off as well ($15–$20). A dozen periwinkle starts, plus a few boxwood bushes and evergreens, will set you back another $140.
Total Cost: $215–$280.
Tools: Wheelbarrow, spade, shovel, garden rake, trowel.
Time: A day to form the berm, another half-day for planting and mulching.
Project #3: Build a Wall for a Raised Bed
The setup: A stacked flagstone wall for your raised beds has an old-world look that mellows any landscape. Best of all, you don’t have to be stonemason to build one.
Begin by laying out the wall with stakes and mason’s line. Tamp a level bed of sand for the first course. As you add courses, stagger joints at least 3 inches. Set each course back ¼-inch so the wall leans backward slightly. Once finished, back the wall with landscaping fabric before filling with topsoil.
Tip: Permanent retaining walls should be backed by pea gravel for drainage. In some locations, walls taller than 3 feet high require a building permit.
Specs and cost: Choose a stone of consistent thickness. Flagstone might be limestone, sandstone, shale — any rock that splits into slabs. A ton of 2-inch-thick stone is enough for a wall 10 feet long and 12 inches high.
Cost: About $300 for stones and sand.
Tools: Stakes and mason’s line, spade, shovel, a 2-by-4 that’s 8 feet long, a 4-foot level, garden rake, tamper.
Time: 1 day for a 10-foot-long wall that’s 12 inches high.
For more easy projects, check out the full list here!