How to get crisp edging, plus this week’s garden walks

edging around garden beds in Hamburg, New York
All of the garden beds in the landscape of Sue and Russell Rich in Hamburg have crisp edges. Russell said it takes only 20 minutes to edge all of the beds, and the Riches have a lot of garden beds! Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

The large landscape of Sue and Russell Rich in Hamburg is full of gardens, with flowering perennials packed shoulder to shoulder. Sue made all that happen. Russell mows the lawn and does the edging.

So what is the one thing that people ask most often about this impressive landscape? To Sue’s chagrin, they ask about edging. People always want lessons on edging.

I visited the Riches’ landscape during the Hamburg Garden Walk last weekend, and Russell filled me in on how he gets those crisp lines along the garden beds.

The first time you work on your garden beds for the season, go around and edge with a shovel, he said.

After that, use a weed whip or string trimmer. Russell turns it on its side so it is cutting the edge of the lawn rather than the top of the grass. He walks backwards quickly and says it doesn’t take much time.

“It takes 20 minutes or less to do the whole yard,” Russell said, even though there are a lot gardens that need edging. “I do it about once a week, almost every time I mow.”

Sue wasn’t completely overlooked during the Hamburg Garden Walk. Visitors had plenty of questions for her about the many different plants in her yard.

I also have more photos of the Riches’ landscape, which I will share in an upcoming issue — perhaps during the winter when we need to see photos of gorgeous gardens!

Gardens to visit this week

Garden walks

  • The Ken-Ton Garden Tour will be held from Friday, July 19 through Sunday, July 21. Ken-Ton Garden Tour Night Lights will be held from 8:30 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The daytime tour will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m Saturday and Sunday. 
  • The Lancaster Garden Walk will be held from Friday to Sunday, July 19 to 21. A night showing of approximately 10 gardens will be held from 8:45 to 11 p.m. Friday. The daytime garden walk will be held from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
  • The East Side Garden Walk will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 20.
  • The Village of Williamsville Garden Walk will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 20.
  • The West Seneca Garden and Home Tour will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21.
  • South Buffalo Alive will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, July 21.

For more great gardening activities, see our Events page.

Open Gardens

Open Gardens will be held on Thursdays and Fridays through Friday, July 26.

In order to see the locations of the gardens as well as the times and dates that each garden is open, you need the booklet with the map and schedules. The Tours of Open Gardens booklet is available for a $10 donation at many local garden centers– see the list here.  You can also purchase it online at for $20.

New this year: Purchase an app for your smartphone wherever you buy your apps for $4.99.  Search for “Open Gardens.”

There will be about 70 exceptional gardens to visit in 12 areas: Southtowns Bouquet; Delaware District ; Elmwood Village & Allentown; Parkside; Northtowns East; Northtowns West; Lancaster; South Buffalo, West Seneca & Lackawanna; Niagara Trail; East Aurora & Holland; Cottage & Kleinhans, and Lakeshore.

4 Comments on “How to get crisp edging, plus this week’s garden walks

  1. My nine bark shrub has a disease that causes white matter to form on its leaves…what could that be?

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