How to Border a Driveway With Landscape Timbers

Katrina Josey

Installing landscape timber is a straightforward process that does not require a high level of skill. If you have the right tools and materials, you can successfully complete the task. This project is intended to use only one or two layers of landscape timber; anything higher than that is more of a wall than a border.

The following is for a two-layer driveway border.

  1. Dig a trench next to the driveway using a hand-held hoe or garden spade. The depth will depend on the size of the landscape timber and how high above ground you prefer it to lay. Dig 3 inches deep for 4x4 timber so it's 1 inch above ground when finished. Dig 4 inches deep for 6x6 timber to show 2 inches above ground. The trench should be 2 to 3 inches wider than the timber. Collect the soil in a wheelbarrow.

  2. Use a 2x4 to stamp the ground flat, level, and compact inside the trench. Test to see if it's uneven by placing one timber inside the trench and placing the level on top. Make the trench even by filling in with soil or stamping down with the 2x4.

  3. Lay the first course of the landscape timbers in the trench side by side with the ends pushed closely together. Place flush against the edge of the driveway. Use the level to make sure they're even. Trim off the excess timber at the ends using the circular saw and/or hand saw.

  4. Lay the second course of landscape timbers on top of the first so that the ends of the first course do not overlap with the ends of the second course. The ends of the first course should be 3 to 4 inches away from the ends of the second course. In other words, the end of one beam of timber shouldn't be directly over the end of another beam.

  5. Place a metal screw on top of the second course of timber where it will be connected to the second course. The screw should be of a smaller diameter than the metal spike. Drive in the screw 1 or 2 inches with the drill to make a slot for the metal spike. Secure the first and second courses of timber by driving one 12-inch metal spike in every 3 feet, using a sledgehammer.

  6. Fill in the space between the grass and the timber with soil from the wheelbarrow. Pack it down with the 2x4.


Reuse the soil in the wheelbarrow in another part of the yard, garden or compost pile if you have one. If you prefer, start trimming the timber with the circular saw and finish the core with the hand saw.