Think of edging as a functional finishing touch that you use for your yard: it not only provides a visual separation between lawn and cultivated areas, but it also provides a barrier to prevent crabgrass and other weeds from invading your flower gardens. There is no shame in going with traditional edging ideas to enhance your home’s curb appeal, but edging can also be creative. Let your imagination fly and use unexpected materials to create a unique or whimsical visual statement to draw attention to flower beds and other featured areas.
Before choosing what type of edging you want, figure out how much you wish to spend on materials. Natural materials like stone and wood carry a bigger price tag compared to other options. Local DIY home centers or hardware stores offer ready-to-go metal, plastic, concrete, or brick edging options. If this is a solo venture, remember that some options, like rocks or concrete blocks, are heavy and not easy to work with if you don’t have an extra set of hands to help with the lifting and arranging. As an alternative, use plants such as herbs, alyssum, moss phlox, or fountain grass as edging options.
Some condominiums and homeowner associations have specific regulations concerning your outdoor spaces, such as maximum lawn and shrub height and what color of mulch to use. There could also be rules or restrictions for landscape design and specifications about edging materials. Some state or local governments may restrict or ban outdoor sculptures, lawn ornaments, birdbaths, or non-traditional edging materials. Before you start your project, check the rules.
You’ll encounter tons of edging options when you search for project materials, including metal edging, which extends below the soil line. Generally sold in bundles or kits, this option creates a neat, manicured appearance that’s easy to install and long-lasting. Look for steel with corrosion-resistant finishes if you don’t want it to rust. Opt for an unfinished steel finish if you prefer a more rustic option. Eventually, the steel rusts and blends in with its surrounding landscape. Decorative wrought iron metal fencing is also a great option.
If you’re planning a big edging project, but you’re concerned about the cost of materials and the amount of time invested, consider plastic landscape edging. It’s a durable-yet-bendable, cost-effective solution that you can install quickly and easily. You’ll find a wide array of ornamental or natural-looking options in various shapes, forms, and colors to create a manicured, romantic, or organic look.
Most landscapers have moved beyond treated railroad ties and landscaping timbers for edging purposes. These types of wood deter beneficial insects and can affect some plants negatively. Instead, consider using wooden log garden edging. Use a chainsaw or hand saw to cut pruned tree limbs and edging sections to the desired height. You can also buy half-log and full-log versions online or through your local home improvement store. Reclaimed wood sections cut in varying heights work well and add a playful touch.
Pliable twigs can be transformed into a biodegradable, natural, and fanciful edging for your outdoor spaces. Willow tree and hazel shrub branches are examples of pliable twigs that you can transform into decorative edging should you have time on your hands. Look for how-to videos online for step-by-step instructions. This organic approach makes use of fallen limbs you find around your yard, so it’s budget-friendly.
Stone and rock borders are durable and can withstand any extremes in weather from one season to the next, year after year. Highlight the beautiful greenery and florals in your garden with smooth river stones. Choose a variety of colors or a mixture of sizes and shapes for a soft, natural ambiance around peaceful country gardens. For a less-polished look, try rocks with angles, straight lines, and sharp corners. Stack flat rocks or flagstone in layers to build a natural wall edging along garden borders or to create walkways between specific areas in your yard.
If it’s design versatility you’re seeking, look no further than bricks as an excellent edging material. There are endless color palettes, shapes, textures, and sizes to choose from. Lay bricks end-to-end for a sleek and classic look. Surround your garden with bricks laid at an angle around specific areas you wish to highlight. Create mosaics using repurposed bricks embedded into the ground around trees or gardens.
For centuries, people have used terracotta clay to create sculptures, pots, and decorative objects. Terracotta landscape edging is an elegant choice for walkways, yard perimeters, and enclosed gardens. You can purchase it online or at garden centers, but they can get pricey. Another option is to use square or rectangular terracotta floor tiles to add a pop of color. If you want edging with a bit of height, try terracotta flower pots. Turn them upside down on the ground or lay them on their sides end-to-end to surround your garden space.
You’d be surprised to discover how many items you have around your home or can collect elsewhere and easily transform into beautiful and innovative edging for your landscape. Consider shapes, textures, hues, and sizes when choosing materials.