belgian block
Photo: Kindra Clineff
The driveway's asphalt edges are crumbling. Rainwater is washing away mulch. Plus, cars are straying onto the grass, leaving tire tracks where they don't belong. One solution to all three problems? A crisp boundary made of Belgian block.

The rough-cut rectangles of stone, first carried to these shores as ballast in the bellies of ships, have been used for paving since colonial times. When placed side-to-side along the perimeter of the driveway, they add a touch of distinction as they protect vulnerable edges from eroding or being split apart by shoots of grass. And there are the less tangible benefits: "Stone edging looks good in all four seasons," says This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook.

Setting block edging is a one-person project that can be done in a weekend or two, depending on the length of the driveway. If done the right way — with the stones firmly bedded in a thick concrete base for support, and no mortar in the joints, which can become a maintenance headache later on — it will never need any more attention.

On the following pages, Roger demonstrates how to set it and forget it.

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