How's this for easy diy? No mortar, just 10 bricks in a line and call it a day. Now how long it will last remains to be seen, but it's been a week, and looking good.
Out by the garage of the house we bought last year runs a 4" strip of what we will charitably call "soil" ("dirt" would probably be more apt) in which a collection of tough false sunflowers were initially thriving. The flowers were cheery last year, but they were around 3 feet tall and determined to be bushy, so every few weeks I had to go out and chop a path to the trash can. And then this year, red aphids descended and between the little critters and what I tried to get rid of the little critters, let's just say it wasn't pretty. It's tough spot, because the overhang of the garage keeps the rain from falling there, and the slope of the pavement carries the adjacent water away from the foundation just like it's supposed to. Western exposure, so the morning's okay, but the heat reflecting off the wall all afternoon is brutal. And then of course it's zone 5, so winter's no walk in the park either. So I need plants here that can take the heat, the cold, and do it without much water.
So as an experiment, I bought a selecton of creeping sedums (and a few sempervivium cuttings, to be added next year if I can get them to root)
I pulled out all the plants and weeds over a five foot stretch, and set my daughter to work. Using skills honed by a lifetime of lining up small toys in a row, she set the 8 bricks end to end, with another one on each end. Then she helped me scoop a little extra soil inside. All those hours training at the beach with little plastic shovels really paying off!
After that, we settled in the plants and then mulched the top with pea gravel.
And done! If the sedums like it here, and the bricks don't get knocked around once the snow falls, next spring we'll finish up the length of the garage.
Hopefully I'll be able to populate the extension with cuttings from this first batch of plants, and probably with a few new kinds, because let's face it, it's pretty hard to shop for sedums without falling in love with about 20 varieties. Here's Immergrunchen:
What a little cuttie. Can't wait to see the fall color and hopefully flowering next June.
Bricks (7" long each) + gravel came in just shy of $10, and the plants, from smgsucculents.com were just over $20.