Planning ahead for this edging project -- as is so often the case in DIY projects -- will make the work easier. In this case, I'm referring specifically to the issue of whether you should install the edging prior to planting in the bed. As I mentioned earlier, while it's certainly possible to install landscape timber edging as an afterthought, you can make your life a bit easier by installing the edging first, then transplanting your plants into the bed. Here's why:
As you can see from my photo, it's very easy to have your shovel get tangled up in the guide string (while you are removing any sod that's in the edging's way) when you're working from outside the bed. If my plants weren't already installed, I could work from the inside of the bed, thereby easily avoiding the guide string while digging. But I cannot do so, because I have plants in the way.
This isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things, to be sure. However, little frustrations add up when you're working on a project. If you can eliminate some of them, you can facilitate your work and derive more pleasure from it.
On the next page we finish the preparatory work....