When it comes to designing your garden, deciding how you separate the different areas is just as important as what you choose to put in it. Garden edging is essential if you want to neatly define your garden and create different spaces. When it comes to garden edging ideas, you don’t need to restrict yourself, as long as it creates distinct areas, you can use anything to bring your design to life.
To make sure your garden ideas are neat and tidy, garden edging can be anything from stone, brick concrete, or even bolder more eye-catching choices like shells or logs.
‘Garden edging is perfect for lining borders or defining front garden boundaries and driveways. It can also be used to create retaining walls and raised beds. Ready-made garden edging products can transform borders in no time. And there are plenty of options to suit different styles, from mini sleepers and dome-topped edging to landscaping sleepers and log rolls,’ says Jenny Davis, marketing manager at Forest Garden.
Garden edging ideas
Edging allows you to create small partitions in your garden and provide an extra finishing touch to your patios, flower beds and lawn ideas, making them look sleek and polished. If you are looking for budget garden ideas, edging is the perfect way to revamp your garden space, without doing an expensive and extensive overhaul. It is also a great way to get creative with your garden and have fun experimenting with different materials and designs.
Jen Monaghan, marketing manager at Bradstone says, ‘Edging also offers practical benefits as it creates a barrier between lawns and borders, preventing unwanted grass growing in flower beds. Match edging with other paving products for a sleek, minimalist look, or use it on its own to create a focal point. There are plenty of different edging products to choose from, in a variety of styles, stones and colours.’
1. Invest in metal edging
We would all love to have that beautiful manicured lawn look you see at flower and garden shows and metal edging can help you achieve that. If you have spent time landscaping your lawn ideas and want it to last, metal edging is durable and resistant to poor weather conditions. Metal edging provides a sharp and clear barrier and is easy to install, but with heavier metal you will need to use thick gloves to protect your hands.
When thinking about which metal to use for your edging Paul McFadyen, managing director at metals4U advises using steel. ‘Steel is one of the strongest choices, as it holds shape over a long period of time and has slow corrosion rates, so it can withstand strong weather conditions. It also is heavier and thicker than many other traditionally used edging materials and provides a sturdy separator to demarcate different areas of the garden; steel is also tolerant to freezing conditions without becoming brittle or warping.’
Metal also offers lots of different styles and designs to choose from so you can match the rest of your colourful garden ideas.
2. Use rubber edging
Rubber edging is a flexible and malleable material for edging and can be shaped to suit your specific edging needs. Rubber edging is so versatile it can come in brick shapes that can be stacked, in strips which can be laid at different angles and can come in varying colours of bark. Not only does rubber edging look good, but it is also eco-friendly because it is usually made from recycled materials, so would well with your recycled wood pallet ideas.
Not only is it a cost-effective option but Daniel Scholfield, director at The Expert Gate Company says, ‘It only requires pounding into place, so can be installed quickly without too much hassle.’ Rubber is durable and lightweight and is the perfect option if you have curved organic shapes you want your edging to bend around.
3. Keep it natural with woven willow
For classic gardens with an English country feel, woven willow, also known as wattle, is perfect for your garden edging ideas. Wattle is perfect for creating edging that looks like it has grown with the landscape and has been there for years. If you like getting stuck into your garden, you can create your own wattle edging with willow or hazel because they bend more easily and are less likely to snap.
For the post drier twigs and branches which are sturdy work best. Wattle edging makes a great wind barrier so is ideal for edging around vegetable or flower beds which need greater protection from harsh winds.
4. Go rustic with edging hoops
If you don’t need a clean sharp edging line, edging hoops are a lovely way to line a border, especially if it is curved. Edging hoops work best for less formal gardens and hold back plants and flowers off lawns and paths. The hoops are easy to install and are easier to push into softer soil, so wet the ground before installing if necessary.
The hoops often have a decorative design so make a nice rustic feature against the backdrop of natural grass and plants. Gardener Sarah Raven says, ‘By slightly overlapping metal hoops, you’ll be able to create simple but effective edging for plants that tend to flop over.’
5. Incorporate bamboo into your edging
For edging that has a natural style, bamboo is an affordable and easy option to install that will blend in with the rest of your garden and can match your garden fence ideas. You can create your own bamboo edging or buy it ready-made and because it comes in a variety of colours you can mix and match to add variety and a textural look to your edging.
‘If you want to save money, you can even make your own bamboo edging from lengths of bamboo and garden wire,’ says Fiona Jenkins, gardening expert at MyJobQuote.
‘If you create your own, you have the benefit of being able to adjust the height to your specific needs so that it suits your garden. You can use bamboo edging in curves or straight lines to achieve your desired look. Bamboo is a great option for all gardens but looks particularly great when surrounding a water feature or in an oriental-style garden.'
6. Spice up your edging with painted rocks
Pol Bishop, horticulturist and gardening expert at Fantastic Gardeners, recommends combining something natural and colourful by using painted rocks, which can also be included in your garden paint ideas. If you choose to use rocks for edging then, limestone, sandstone, granite or shale would work best and can be bought at a local nursery or landscaping outlet.
Bishop says, ‘You can add a pop of colour to a garden bed by arranging painted river rocks in a gradient of colours along the edge. River rocks and decorative gravel also provide a natural and rustic feel to gardens. To form a border, one needs to simply gather rocks, clean and dry them, and then paint them in colours of their choosing. Once the paint is dry, arrange the rocks along the edge of the garden bed, and touch up the colours as needed if they begin to fade or the paint chips over time.'
7. Lay down pebbles
Pebbles are not only for playing with on Brighton Beach but can create beautiful garden edging ideas. Pebbles can be stacked to create a raised edge if you want them to be prominent or laid out in a trail for a more subtle design. They are cheap and easy to buy in bulk so can be used for large expanses and to create unique patterns.
‘Small rocks or pebbles are easily found in any gardening store and they are a natural way of creating a garden edge area. There will be more variety in terms of shapes, sizes and colours so you can pick and choose whichever style suits your garden the most. We recommend placing them in front of a flower bed for a sanctuary-like feel,’ says Jack Sutcliffe, founder of Power Sheds.
8. Raise your beds
When contemplating your garden landscaping ideas, the inclusion of some strategically placed raised beds can work wonders. Not only do they provide a practical way to access cut flowers and vegetables, but they work as one of the popular garden edging ideas.
The natural definition of the edges neatly separates the beds from lawn, or any other garden zone. The material of the raised beds is up to you. Two of the more common choices are stone and wood.
9. Mix up your paving shapes
Borders in your garden should be designed to fit, not forced in. If you've found the perfect paving stone, find or cut different widths to make the material neatly sit along where it needs to go. Similarly, for edging inspired by garden decking ideas, you can use varying shapes and sizes of wood.
'Match your edging with your paving products for a sleek, minimalist look, or use it on its own to create a focal point,' says Jen Monaghan from Bradstone.
10. Add a bench
A contemporary alternative to the more traditional garden edging ideas is to create a gentle, rather than a solid border. One way of achieving this is by using your garden bench ideas in the same shape as the border of your flower beds.
The seat will give the effect of an edge, but still allow the flora to grow a bit wild and naturalistically underneath. Plus it doubles up as a place to sit and be surrounded by nature while admiring your garden.
11. Opt for tall planters
Smaller or city gardens may not have room for raised beds. A more space-friendly option is to include tall planters. These can be freestanding, if you like to move things around, or built-in, for a more structural feel. The effect works just as raised beds do but with less of a footprint.
'Whether you like taller plants, herbs or flower beds, planting is a great way to save on materials and obtain the same visual effect of edging. Flowers are guaranteed to enhance your garden and give more variety both in terms of smell as well as visually,' says Jack Sutcliffe, the cofounder of Power Sheds.
12. Lay wood chips
Take inspiration from forests and parks by making use of wood chips to help differentiate your garden zones. It's an easy way to achieve a border and is also one of the good-looking budget garden ideas. Note that you may have to replenish these if any start to decompose, get blown away in bad weather, or get kicked about by any little feet. So this time of edging would work best in areas that are not overly exposed to the elements.
13. Set a border in contemporary stone
While edging is one of the most practical buys for your garden it can also be one of the most captivating. A solid edging in contemporary stone is an ideal way to enhance the overall appearance of your garden, giving it clear definition to construct a modern layout.
'Gardeners have plenty of choices when it comes to the creative use of stone. It may be that you favour a sawn stone look in creamy or silvery tones to blend with your planting, or create a contrast with it. Quality natural stone lends a garden real warmth, as well as a natural finish,' says Anna Hampshire, head of marketing at Marshalls.
14. Keep it simple for a low-budget solution
Gravel is the hero buy for many a budget garden. Choose a purse-friendly, practical lawn edged with gravel and edging strip. Adding gravel to a garden landscape lightens the texture. On a practical note, it allows for better drainage and aeration, making it the ideal border as part of your healthy lawn tips.
'Fine gravel is best for smaller gardens and works well around sheds, statues, ponds, and even patios. Larger stones work well around wide or long flower beds. You can get creative with gravel by choosing various colours, sizes, and patterns,' says Fiona Jenkins from My Job Quote.
15. Be bold with traditional bricks
Weather resistant, affordable and relatively easy to come by, bricks are one of the most popular and effective garden edging choices. They offer a timeless look that compliments any surrounding, traditional or contemporary.
Bricks can be laid side-by-side or artfully arranged to create a pretty rock garden. To prevent unevenness, try setting them in a level bed of sand. 'Bricks are incredibly versatile,' says Anna Hampshire from Marshalls. 'You may opt for a modest border of crumbling red brick, a meticulously laid herringbone design or a pretty basket weave pattern, and achieve a different look and feel each time. Plus, of course, with brick, you can choose exactly how wide you want your border edging to be.'
16. Block your garden with slate tiles
Matching the edging on raised flower beds to the patio is a great way to blend a multi-layered garden together. Grey slate tiles look chic and modern in a garden. They are perfect for complimenting a Mediterranean style garden bursting with green plants.
17. Lay down railway sleepers
After an industrial look? Upcycled railway sleepers have become a very popular choice for constructing raised flower beds. And that's not where their potential stops. Reuse old railway sleepers laid at single height, cut down or even double stacked to give a defined edge to pebbled or grassy areas.
They make a great edging choice for raised vegetable beds, too, as they're perfect for drainage and provide a strong barrier against pests such as slugs and snails. A top tip from us: it's worth investing in certified, high-quality timber that's been treated to ensure they stay in good shape as long as possible.
18. Create a wooden wall
Whether laid out horizontally or vertically, using wooden logs is a simple, environmentally friendly way of bordering a raised flower bed. Combine with a contrasting, understated material such as light gravel to accentuate, making it a pretty, as well as a practical, garden feature.
'You can repurpose old fence panels as edging for a flower bed or pathway. They can be laid horizontally, or - for a more stylish look - arranged vertically along the garden edge. Keep in mind that wood may rot over time, so make sure to treat it with some sort of preservative to prevent decay and maintain a natural look,' advises Jane Clarke from Fantastic Gardens Melbourne.
19. Be bold with boulders
For a more natural-looking garden, consider edging the lawn in stunning large stones or rocks. These are perfect for creating a striking but low-maintenance garden. For an extra splash of colour, consider, piling a few of the rocks up and planting some alpine perennials that will cascade over the rocks in spring and summer.
'The rocks themselves can become a feature of their own as well as complimenting wider flowerbeds. Since larger rocks tend to be quite heavy, there is no need for cement to ground them. The weight of them will result in them naturally settling, so there is no need for any further materials when creating a large rock edge,' says Fiona Jenkins from My Job Quote.
20. Edge with hedges
To create a free-form feel for your garden opt for a natural edging – allowing the planted borders to act as a clearly defined edging, without having to put materials in place. Use this free design for a classic method garden feel.
21. Dare to be different with a sculptural design
A playful take on a garden fence idea, this sculptural design creates a clear divide between the soft turf and the modern patio paving without creating a solid barrier – which could disrupt the flow of the open space. These hearty blackened wooden plinths add serious style power to an ultra-modern garden design.
22. Add a finishing touch with roof tiles
Create a layered look by creating stylish step edging with leftover clay roof tiles. Either new or aged, the terracotta finish makes for a stand-out design, adding colour and texture to an otherwise simple small garden. Recycled tiles are easy to come by; don't worry if they're not perfect, the broken edges can be buried in the soil – a handy idea for those on a budget. 'Terracotta tiles or edging products often have a vintage or Victorian feel to them, which can be just right for some garden styles,' says Anna Hampshire from Marshalls.
What can I use for garden edging?
Your garden edging ideas need to reflect the existing style of your garden, so consider what would work with your planting themes, colour choices, garden furniture and general ambience. Off-cut logs and rustic willow are nice edging options for traditional country gardens. Or try combining concrete slabs and railway sleepers for a cool, industrial feel.
When it comes to garden edging ideas, there are many different materials available to use for edging and defining your garden spaces. When thinking about how to plan a garden, edging should factor in so you can choose the right option which will suit your overall garden scheme. You can use materials from plastic, metal, timber, and natural rock to experiment with what works best for your garden.
‘Experimenting with edging is a great way for people to get started with sprucing up their gardens,’ says Suhail Patel founder of Luxury Screens. ‘Why not try using plants of different heights and textures, mix and match materials like rock wood or metal or perhaps add lighting elements to highlight specific areas at night.
'Another way to define the boundaries of your outdoor area could be to try a decorative screen which can also add some privacy. Don’t forget to get creative by incorporating scalloped, zig-zag, or wave patterns as well as curved lines instead of straight ones.’
Jane Clarke, gardening professional at Fantastic Gardeners Melbourne advises, ‘Reusing old items is the most sustainable thing to do and it’s easier than you would think - any basic items available in garden shacks can be refurbished to create a one-of-a-kind garden edge. This unique approach can add a touch of character to any outdoor space.’
What is the cheapest garden edging?
The amount of money you can save garden edging, depends on the type of material you use, and if you decide to go for the DIY or ready-made option.
'Plastic garden edging is one of the easiest options for garden edging out there. Plastic garden edging is also cheaper than metal and other materials, making the low-cost option an extremely popular choice,' says William Mitchell owner of Sutton Manor Nursery. There are lots of ready-to-use products are available at local garden centres or home improvement stores to keep things cost-effective.
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