Garden edging! What is it anyway?
First of all, you worked your butt off! Your yard looks beautiful after all your hard work!
But now, when you’re looking around, it feels like something is missing.
You’re asking yourself how you can take it that one step further, finally get the yard closer toward perfection?
You might consider adding lawn and garden edging to your yard-something to give texture to your landscape.
Lawn edges add easy definition to your yard, they provide the finishing touches to gardens, lawns, and pathways, with minimal effort and cost from you – kind of like the bow tie on top of the tuxedo!
Where to Use Lawn and Garden Edges?
You can use lawn and garden edges to
- Define separate areas, color schemes, and planting zones.
- Provide uniformity to the landscape.
- Form a physical barrier between the lawn and the garden.
- Establish a path or walkway.
It’s a win-win for you when you install edging. Mowing will be more accessible, and mulch will stay where it belongs. One less clean-up chore for you, and more time to enjoy your beautiful yard!
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Design Options for a Garden Edge
You can design your landscape and gardens to give you the function and aesthetics that you want on a budget, without the cost of a professional landscaper or expensive materials. All you need to do is use your budget, location, and landscape as your guide.
An unlimited number of design options are available for you to consider when it comes to designing an edging for a garden or flower bed.
And regarding materials, there’s a myriad of choices to select! Choose from several different materials, including brick, stone, terracotta, wood, concrete, metal, or even glass bottles.
Use whatever you want to use to achieve the look and feel you want. Let your imagination be your guide and create the space of your dreams!
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We found some lawn edging ideas for you to consider to get you started.
Bricks Create a Uniform, Symmetric Edge
Weather-resistant, brick defines borders well. It’s easy to install and offers a timeless look that goes well with any surroundings.
Brick is perhaps the most traditional option for creating lawn edging. It’s beautiful and fits into almost any landscape. Use it in any different formations, going as formal or casual as needed to fit any style best.
We’ve rounded up some brick design ideas for you:
- Create a bordered edge with bricks. You can embed the bricks into the ground either lengthwise or side-by-side.
- This example of turned red brick edge uses bricks placed in a diagonal upright position to make a unique edged look.
- Make short garden walls with finished bricks and capstone. These are an excellent way to create a separation edge while providing additional seating areas!
- Classic red brick lawn edges are easy to build and give the traditional brick edging look with minimal maintenance.
- Linked edging bricks can curve and are used to define any garden area and create a permanent edge. If you want, you can choose to add mortar between the bricks so they won’t shift, or you can place them end to end.
- You can use recycled bricks to add a rustic look while maybe reducing overall cost.
Stone – Natural & Durable Garden Edging
If you want a natural look, stone is an excellent option. And if you live in an area with a lot of rocks, gather them up, and you can use them as free material. Bonus!
When you use natural stone, you want to aim for uniform-sized stones to create symmetry, which will also help make for easier installation.
Here are some ideas for using stone as your edge material:
- River rock is beautiful in the river, but it is also charming in your garden. The rocks are smooth and come in many sizes and color options. Place them side by side to define your edge.
- Small round rock is a versatile material to use. If you are using smaller rocks, consider sinking an old gutter in the ground first to provide a place for the stones to stay – It will hold them in place and reduce maintenance.
- Natural rock edges – Place uniform-sized rocks side by side on either side of a walkway. Spread crushed rock between the rows to form a pathway.
Other Rock Ideas
- Paving stone bricks are also known as pavers.
- This is an interesting look that helps keep the garden confined. You’ll place one brick flat for the mowing edge, and place a second brick behind it raised on its side. Sink the stones into the ground.
- Fill your flower bed with soil without making a mess and keep the garden separated from the lawn.
- Make contrasting edges by edging with white river rock and using a black mulch to make a striking contrast.
- Use cobblestones to integrate edging into a walkway and tie everything together.
- Use flagstone in the country and cottage-style gardens. It is easy to stack securely without the use of mortar. Build it as high as you need with minimal effort!
- Use stacked or raised stones are used to build raised flower beds with stone walls. So many sizes and shapes available that you’ll easily find ones that fit in with your specific garden.
- Make a dry “river bed” to define different areas – Large and small river stones combine to make a dry river. Dry river beds work well in gardens that are on an incline or have excessive rain runoff. The riverbed is beautiful and helps solve common problems such as water runoff and soil erosion.
- Polished stone edges can be made using multicolored stones. They can be piled together or cemented flat.
- Contrasting rock is a striking edge – Use colored stone bricks as the edge material and fill the bed with the same color rock to give a contrasting texture in the same color. Or using different colors, you can have light and dark or complementary colors for a different look.
Other Stone Garden Edging Ideas
Using a couple of different types of rock can define a garden bed. Line the front of the bed with smaller symmetrical stones, and the back and sides of the bed with larger rocks.
- Dress up the base of a tree by planting flowers and edging the bed with natural stone, creating a small garden space separated from the rest of the landscape.
- A Gabion wall or “big cage” is a unique way to build an edge. You can purchase the cage at any hardware store and fill it with a material of your choosing. Stone is the classic fill material and can look modern yet timeless, though other fill options include cut logs, terra cotta, and seashells.
Terracotta Edging – Easily Match Your Pots
The word “terracotta” originated from Italian: terra stands for clay and cotta means burnt. Most terracotta is reddish-orange and is available unfinished or with a smooth edge. Terracotta is very durable in any climate and will stand the test of time.
Here are some ideas for using terracotta as your edging material:
- Terracotta bricks with a smooth finish make a striking edge. And the terracotta probably matches any pots you might have scattered throughout the gardens, tying everything together!
- Make an edge with nested terracotta flower pots lying on their sides. These can easily curve around your beds and create a unique border.
- Terracotta pipes standing on their end and placed side-by-side have a dual purpose: They are edging material and can be planters too! This pic was taken at the San Francisco Flower and Garden show in 2008. A beautiful example of using clay pipes.
- Another way to have plants displayed within the created edge is to bury planted pots into the soil. Cover the bed area around the pots with gravel to create a natural, low-maintenance look.
Go With the Natural Look – Wood
Wood is a natural edging material and makes a soft addition to the landscape.
The wood material can come from anywhere. Use that tree you just cut down, and repurpose an old fence into edging material.
Here are some ideas of edging using wood:
- Create an edge with wood pieces that frame the garden, then backfill with colored rocks and low-water plants for a draught-resistant landscape. Or backfill with garden soil and plants.
- Make a wood panel edge using scrap wood pounded into the ground in different colors and heights. The scrap wood creates a rustic, recycled look with industrial notes.
- Make a natural log edge a couple of ways. You can either cut the logs into short pieces, stand them on-end, and pound into the ground. Or take the entire long logs, place them on their sides, and stack end-to-end.
- Small timber edging is a fun look! You can make a unique edge by connecting three slim logs on top of each other and then place them end-to-end.
Here’s Another Example of a Gabion Wall
Use a smooth wooden garden bench to form the edge between the garden and the path. You’ll have a place to rest after all your work! This bench example is a gabion wall with the bench built on top.
- Incorporate railroad ties into the garden landscape. They can create both a defined border and add raised gardens behind it.
Old Fashioned Wood Garden Edge
- Woven wood makes a genuinely rustic, old-fashioned appearance. Weave tree branches, logs, and sticks together to create a wall. You’ll often see this fence in old-fashioned vegetable gardens.
Concrete: A Permanent Edge
Cement is a very permanent and durable edging material. Cement edges fall into two categories: pre-formed concrete blocks that join together like bricks, or a continuously poured concrete curb that forms the edge.
Here are some ideas for garden edging using the various concrete items:
- Paver stones can be used to make a versatile edge that can curve around your beds. They’re available at your local home store and come in different shapes and colors.
- Use whitestone edging to shape to your garden outline and make a contrasting edge between the green grass and the dark soil.
- Make a circular edge border with pieces of concrete lying down with other concrete pieces lying on their side for a garden edge.
- Concrete curbing will hug your beds and last forever. You can even choose the shape, height, and color of your concrete curb.
- Stone bricks are very inexpensive and come in many styles and sizes. These can interlock with each other to form the edge. Use them to add color to your garden.
- Cinder blocks can perform a dual-purpose! Use them as an edging material. They can be planters too if you put them on their sides and fill the holes with potting soil and plants.
Ornaments Embedded in Cement
- Jewel-embedded borders are very colorful and unique. To make this, pour the concrete, and press ornaments or pieces of colorful broken glass into the wet cement. This one has the bottle bottoms and tops embedded into the concrete. Beautiful!
Metals for Lawn Edging
Metal can last a lifetime. When used as an edging material, it lasts forever. Metal can create a clean line between your grass and garden beds.
Maintenance is easy. Installation can be as simple as connecting sections and bending to the shape you need.
- A simple, decorative black wire fence around the garden is an inexpensive way to separate the garden from the lawn. We use it to deter small dogs from exploring the gardens!
- Use steel edging to create raised beds. It’s stronger than other edging materials and can be used to create raised beds that you can plant with decorative or edible plants.
- A short, scalloped copper edge along a brick path is a beautiful separator and will color with age and weather.
- For a fun look, use decorative dark metal stakes to make short or tall edges. Think of flower stakes or butterfly stakes.
- Bronze raised garden edges add a different color to the garden edge. Imagine bronze planted with colorful perennials.
- Use old car hubcaps lined up next to each other to create a row separator. Your car enthusiast will love it!
Miscellaneous Garden Edging
Look around you when deciding what materials to use to make your garden edges. Here are a few more ideas using stuff that you might have lying around.
- Turn used wine bottles upside down and bury the necks in the ground to make bottle edging. The bottles can be color-coordinated or not. Flea Market Gardening has a post all about using bottles in the garden. The question is: how do you get your bottles? 😉
- Use black plastic edging as an understated edging material. It is inexpensive and easy to install anywhere.
- Drive painted PVC stakes into the ground to make a colorful edge.
- You can use seashells to make garden edges in a couple of ways. Gather large ones to build a wall, and use crushed shells for the walkway material. You’ll feel like you’re at the beach!
- Bowling balls can be lined up to create a very colorful and unique edge. They are heavy and will remain where you put them. But, if you want to start a game of lawn bowling, your balls are waiting.
- Bamboo look edging. This material is siding that has been shaped and positioned to look like bamboo. Flexible so that it can curve to your gardens, it’s virtually indestructible!
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What Do You Think About Garden Edging?
As you can see, the choices for your planting edge materials are almost unlimited in scope, shapes, colors, and durability.
Take your time, use your landscape and budget as your guides, and have fun taking your landscape to the next level!
We use garden edging in our gardens and landscaping at Windy Gardens. Have you made your own lawn and garden edging? Send some pictures to us in the comments below.