20 Garden edging ideas to give your lawn the perfect finishing touch

Combine pretty and practical by defining your garden zones
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  • When planning your outdoor space, how you separate areas is nearly as important as what goes into them. That’s where garden edging ideas come in. To achieve a neat and tidy garden, finding the right edging can make all the difference.

    Edging can be decided when finalising your lawn ideas, or added in retroactively, but the earlier they’re settled on, the smoother the process will be. If you leave things too long, the things between your zones will start to blur.

    ‘After all of your hard work filling up your flower beds, making them look bright and colourful, there’s little more frustrating to a gardener than grass invading your flower space,’ says Evie Lane, Gardening Expert at Primrose. ‘That’s why garden edging ideas are essential to line your beautiful flower beds.’

    The ultimate purpose for garden edging is to define space, so as long as it separates two distinct areas, it can just about be anything you like. Popular choices include stone, brick and concrete, while more creative options range from logs and shells to recycled roof tiles and coated-wire.

    Not only do they add charm and character to your landscape, they’re extremely practical too, separating weeds from flower beds and mulch from lawns. As well as providing a clean line for extra-efficient mowing and trimming.

    Garden edging ideas

    Whether you choose stones, wood or brick a clear defined edge gives a professional finish and a clean division between garden zones.

    1. Raise your beds

    Garden with raised beds and path

    Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole

    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.

    2. Mix up your paving shapes

    Back garden with planting and paving

    Image credit: Future PLC/Annaick Guitteny

    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.

    3. Add a bench

    Garden with bench in front of greenery

    Image credit: Future PLC

    A contemporary alternative to the more traditional garden edging ideas is to create a gentle, rather than solid border. One way of achieving this is by using a bench 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.

    4. Include a naturalistic path

    Stepping stone path in garden with flower border

    Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole

    A classic method for zoning areas of the gardens is through the use of a path. For a relaxed feel, opt for something inspired by country gardens. Think wooden or stone stepping stones on pebbles, in a meandering rather than straight line. While this works efficiently as garden edging, it will seem nearly like it has evolved in place.

    5. Opt for tall planters

    Back garden with seating area and planters

    Image credit: Future PLC/Claire Lloyd Davies

    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.

    6. Merge two techniques

    Garden path with gravel and wooden slats

    Image credit: Future PLC/James French

    When opting for the path method you don’t have to choose between materials. In fact, you can cleverly merge two together without it feeling abrasive. Wooden planks naturally form varying lengths when laid out, so rather than cutting to fit, simply lay to your liking, then fill the rest of the space with pebbles or gravel.

    7. Lay wood chips

    Wooden garden bench with hanging lights and wood chip path

    Image credit: Lights4Fun

    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, or simply get blown away in bad weather.

    8. Set a border in contemporary stone

    Lawn with stone border around flower beds

    image credit: Haddonstone

    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.

    ‘The Arcadian Lawn Edging system can be used as a mowing edge alongside flower borders, around a tree or as a kerb to paths and driveways. it is available in straight, corner & curved pieces’ say the experts at Haddonstone.

    9. Keep it simple for a low-budget solution

    Garden with edging and fence filled with flowers

    Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Bolton

    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 to a healthy lawn.

    10. Line your path

    Garden with freshly mowed lawn and gravel path

    image credit: Future PLC/Claire Lloyd Davies

    A perfectly manicured lawn deserves a perfectly stylish path to offer a defining edge. Create an on-trend path with paving slabs floated in a bed of gravel, with clear stone borders to keep the look pristine.

    11. Be bold with traditional bricks

    Flower bed surrounded by brick border

    Image credit: Future PLC

    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.

    12. Block your garden with slate tiles

    Contemporary garden with levels, paving and lawns

    Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole

    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.

    13. Lay down railway sleepers

    Garden planters with borders made of railway sleepers

    Image credit: Future PLC

    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.

    14. Create a wooden wall

    Flower beds with small wooden fence

    Image credit: Future PLC

    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.

    15. Add decorative flair

    Decorative rope style stone garden border

    Image credit: Haddonstone

    Separate different flowers beds or garden zones with decorative edging to make an impact. There’s no overlooking this cast stone Roped Edging Stone from Haddonstone, the ideal way to make a real style statement with your garden edges. The attractive rope decoration is a traditional garden edging design.

    16. Be bold with boulders

    Back garden with line of boulders and trees

    Image credit: Future PLC/Joanna Henderson

    For a more natural looking garden, consider edging the lawn in stunning large stones. 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.

    17. Edge with hedges

    Brick house with climbing plants and hedge borders

    Image credit: Future PLC

    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.

    18. Dare to be different with a sculptural design

    Modern garden with contemporary fence and sculpture

    Image credit: Future PLC/Howard Walker

    A playful take on a garden fence, 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.

    19. Stick to a natural weave border

    Woven garden border between stones and plants

    Image credit: Future PLC

    For edging that blends in seamlessly with vegetable patches and flower borders, opt for a cute border crafted from woven sticks. Overtime, plants will entwine, making it less obvious but still neat – great for rustic cottage gardens.

    This intricate woven wood option is not exactly the easy to make. You’ll therefore be pleased to know there are plenty of ready-made designs available, in most garden centres.

    20. Add a finishing touch with roof tiles

    Terracotta pots and broken tiles

    Image credit: Future PLC

    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.

    Which materials work best for garden edging?

    Before deciding what material and style of garden edging to go for, think about the overall outdoor look you wish to achieve. It needs to reflect the existing style, so consider what would work with your planting themes, colour choices, garden furniture and general ambience. For example, off-cut logs and rustic willow are nice options for traditional country gardens – and work particularly well as lawn edging and path edging. Alternatively, try combining concrete slabs and railway sleepers for a cool, industrial feel.

    ‘There are a multitude of materials that can be used for garden edging,’ says Evie Lane, Gardening Expert at Primrose. ‘More subtle options include deep strips of metal or plastic that disappear between the grass and garden bed. If you’re looking to create more of a feature with your garden edging, you can invest in stone, clay or wooden border edging.’

    ‘A more eco-friendly approach to garden edging includes using any spare materials you have from projects around your garden. You can cut wooden pallets, broken paving slabs or even old terracotta plant pots to line your flower beds.’

    What is the cheapest garden edging?

    The cost and effort involved in laying your garden edging depends very much on what material you’ve selected. There are plenty of ready-to-use products available at local garden centres or home improvement stores to keep things cost-effective. ‘If you’re looking for a wallet-friendly option, plastic edging is usually more cost-effective, but still has the flexibility to bend around the outside of flower beds to create crisp and tidy edges,’ advises Evie from Primrose. However if you’ve opted for a cheaper DIY option, such as laying concrete slabs or hammering in logs, it might take a little more effort – or teamwork!

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