With so many garden edging ideas to choose from it can be tough to decide on the right one for your landscape. Discover our nine favorite garden borders that can transform your green space.
Creating a landscape border can clearly define different areas, keep grass from creeping into the garden, and prevent mulch from spilling onto the walkway. Garden edging gives your yard a crisp, clean appearance that looks like you hired a landscape designer. There are many creative modern edging materials that are inexpensive and easy to install.
First, think about what your garden edging will do. A striking visual separation will allow your flower garden to really stand out. A physical separation keeps your mulch from seeping onto the driveway or keeps the grass from creeping into the tree landscape. Garden edging must be durable to endure a lawnmower or weed eater.
No-Dig Garden Edging Ideas
1. Pebbles and Gravel Garden Edgings
Lay stones, pebbles, or gravel between the grass and the garden. Larger stones draw the eye and gravel gives a softer look. The smooth texture of river rock gives a more upscale impression. Persistent weeding is necessary to keep garden edging stones looking nice; line the edge with garden fabric before laying the rocks to help keep weeds out. Be careful when using a mower or weed eater; they can throw the rocks.
2. Bricks and Pavers for Edging a Garden
Simply lay bricks in the dirt where your landscape meets the grass. You can get fancy and lay the bricks vertically or on a slant for a different appearance, but that would require some digging. Pavers are easy to use, and some pavers are cut in a way that makes it easy to form circles and curves.
Lay these materials on top of the dirt abutting the grass. A little leveling may be needed for them to lay flat. As you mow the surrounding lawn, you want to be careful about hitting the bricks with the mower. It will damage the mower blade and the edging. Lay the pavers flush with the grass to lower this risk.
3. Landscape Timbers, Ties, and Planks for Garden Edging
Place pressure-treated 4×4 planks, or 6×9 railroad ties, to create a natural border. You can also use logs for a more rustic appeal. You will need to level the ground a little for the planks to lay flat, so this method is a little more labor intensive. These materials are very straight and work best for layouts with straight edges or 90-degree turns. For curved borders, these will not work as well as other options. Wood can also be used to create a raised garden bed.
Pound-In Garden Edging Ideas
4. Metal Garden Edging
Steel and aluminum edging comes in different thicknesses and is sold in rolls or planks. It is either pounded directly into the dirt or has slots and comes with spikes to hold the border in place. To keep from damaging the metal, place a piece of 2×4 on the top edge of the metal and pound the 2×4 with a hammer.
Metal is easy to install, easy to bend, and the sections link together for a smooth look. It will need occasional maintenance to avoid lifting or developing a rundown look. Metal is more expensive than other choices.
5. Plastic Garden Edging
Plastic garden edging has similar features to metal, so all that was said about metal applies here. As a less expensive material, it is also less durable. Plastic does not do well in very cold or hot climates and can lift out of the ground more easily. The benefit of plastic is that it is lighter, easier to work with, and less expensive.
For the cleanest look, install plastic garden edging with the top of the edging flush with the grass. This also helps minimize damage from the lawnmower blade.
6. Wood Garden Edging
Short planks of wood can be pounded into the ground vertically, and staggering the heights gives the edging a bit of character. Half-round planks give a softer look. Sometimes the wood planks come strung together to make installation easier. Wood garden edging ideas work well on both straight and curved landscape edges. The pressure-treated wood lasts long and the tall planks prevent grass creep.
Free Garden Edging Ideas
7. Natural Garden Edging or Trench Edging
Cut a perpendicular edge or slightly angled edge around the space using a square spade shovel or half-moon edger. That’s it. This is actually the first step to all edging projects, but you don’t have to install anything. The stark contrast of the rich dirt against the grass or walkway is appealing.
Trench edging is the easiest and cheapest option. There is no installation, no risk of damage to mower blades and no materials to buy. But the edge needs to be maintained carefully and constantly as there is no structure to prevent grass creep.
More Costly Garden Edging Options
8. Concrete Garden Edging
Pouring concrete is the most expensive garden edging option and needs to be formed and poured in place. It is also time and labor intensive and can be hard to get right. But concrete can be patterned, can be colored to match house colors, and is the longest-lasting material.
9. Natural Rock Garden Edging
Getting rocks in the consistent sizes, colors, and quantity needed to create a garden edge can take some effort and expense. The results are worth it if you are trying to achieve a more natural landscape feel. It’s also easy to follow curves in a border when using rocks for garden edging. Natural rocks are ideal for creating a more organic, less structured garden design.
Finishing Touches for an Edged Garden
To give your newly edged gardens the ultimate finishing touch, consider applying a fresh layer of mulch, incorporating decorative rocks, or adding night lighting.