Create a Beautiful Garden Bed with These Edging Ideas

Create a Beautiful Garden Bed with These Edging Ideas

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Whether you’re growing fruits and veggies or herbs and flowers, edging is the finishing touch for any type of garden. It’s like wearing the perfect pair of earrings to set off your favorite outfit! By placing edging around garden beds full of annual flowers and perennials, they’ll look more polished and your mulch will stay in place. Plus, it will add character and charm to your home’s curb appeal. For the best effect, look for edging that coordinates with the style of your house. For example, a classic saltbox looks best with traditional edging materials such as brick or stone. A more modern home looks good with the clean lines of metal edging.


And we’re not going to lie: Installing garden edging also takes some effort! It’s sweaty, dirty work, and it’s going to take at least a half day to install. Probably more! Get your tools together first, including gardening gloves, an edging shovel, garden spade, rake and kneeler pad. The good news is that if you do it right, your edging should last for many years.

Here are some of the best materials for edging your garden beds.

1 Plastic

Plastic isn’t glamorous, but it’s relatively easy to install. It’s available in short individual sections you pound into the ground or long rolls of edging, which require you to dig a trench in which to sink the edge.

Pros: Inexpensive and long-lasting

Cons: Not particularly attractive


2 Paver Stones

Pavers made from concrete are nearly indestructible. But they’re heavy to handle and time-consuming to install, so plan on a few days of heavy carrying and digging. You can make paths with pavers, or just use them for edging beds.

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Pros: Lasts forever and very attractive

Cons: Time-consuming to install


3 Woven Willow

Also called “wattle,” this natural edge is perfect for English or country gardens. It’s used extensively in Europe.

Pros: Beautiful in the right setting

Cons: Easily damaged and pricey for large areas


4 Natural Rock

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Rocks are available in an array of sizes, colors, and shapes, and creeping flowers look amazing tumbling over them! Simply line the edges of each bed, but opt for rocks that are the size of a soft ball or larger for the most visual impact. Visit a nursery or garden center for options.

Pros: Lasts forever

Cons: Takes time to fit them together in a pleasing way


5 Metal

Many types are no-dig, meaning you hammer them into the ground. Painted finishes or galvanized metal last the longest, but unfinished metal has an attractive rustic appearance for country gardens.

Pros: Relatively easy to install

Cons: Hard on your hands; wear heavy gloves

6 Flagstone

Flagstone comes in many different shades and thicknesses. Set the flat pieces along the garden edge, or stack them for a classic look in a cottage or country garden. Check with your local nursery or garden center for options.

Pros: Pretty and lasts forever

Cons: Relatively expensive

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7 Brick

Lay bricks in a shallow trench on their side with the wide side down, or stand them upright. The hardest part is getting everything level. Hint: Use a rubber mallet and line level on a string.

Pros: Lasts forever, relatively inexpensive

Cons: Labor-intensive to install


8 Poured Concrete

This is typically not a DIY job for newbies, as you must build a form, then mix and pour concrete into the mold. Consider hiring an expert, because mistakes are not easily fixed.

Pros: Lasts a long time

Cons: Can’t easily adjust the layout of the planting bed in future years


9 Shovel Edging

Here’s a great idea if you don’t like the look (or expense) of edging: Use an edging shovel, which looks like a half-moon, or a spade, to cut the grass away and create a sharp edge, which keeps grass from creeping into beds.

Pros: Clean look that works for all garden styles

Cons: Must be done annually, difficult in clay or rocky soils


10 Landscape Timber

If you’re handy with a saw, landscape timbers are a cost-effective method of edging. They’re often pressure-treated to prevent rotting. You’ll need to level the ground and cut sections as needed.

Pros: Inexpensive and long-lasting

Cons: Cannot be used to create curved borders


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11 Cedar

Small cedar shingles or cedar shake “fences” are simple to hammer around the perimeter of beds. They last for several years, but not forever, as they’re easily damaged by string trimmers or lawn mowers.

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Pros: Inexpensive, easy to install

Cons: Easily bumped out of place


12 Decorative Fence

Small sections of fence are super-easy for lining a garden perimeter. Many different types and sizes exist including metal, wood, and plastic, so you’ll find the one that suits your garden’s style.

Pros: Easy to place

Cons: Easily damaged, doesn’t hold mulch in place


13 Recycled Rubber Edging


A few companies now make rubber edging that’s pounded into place. It’s nearly indestructible, as it’s usually made from recycled tires.

Pros: Lasts a lifetime

Cons: Doesn’t look great in formal or cottage gardens 

14 Coco Fiber

If you’re seeking a more natural look, a coco fiber edge stops weeds and is easy to place along the perimeter of beds. You also can cover it with mulch. Use landscape staples to the keep the mat in place.

Pros: Easy to install

Cons: Doesn’t last forever

15 Bamboo

Bamboo is the natural choice for a Zen-style garden. It’s typically sold as short fencing that you pound into the ground.

Pros: Almost indestructible

Cons: Doesn’t look right in all gardens

Arricca Elin Sansone Arricca SanSone has written about health and lifestyle topics for Prevention, Country Living, Woman’s Day, and more.

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