The Ultimate Guide to Garden Edging: How to Create a Beautiful and Well-Defined Landscape
A well-defined landscape can truly transform an outdoor space from drab to dramatic. Installing garden edging is one of the best ways to create crisp borders in your garden beds and clearly delineate lawn areas. The right edging lends polish and refinement, giving your landscape design a neat, tailored appearance.
Garden edging comes in a variety of styles and materials to coordinate with the overall look you wish to achieve. Carefully chosen edging defines spaces visually and acts as a physical barrier to contain mulch, soil, and plants. This helps keep lawn areas tidy and makes garden maintenance easier overall.
When selecting, installing, and caring for garden edging, there are some key considerations to bear in mind.
Types of Garden Edging
Many different types of garden edging are available, each with its unique benefits and drawbacks. Some of the most popular options include:
Wooden edging – Made of pressure-treated lumber, redwood, or cedar, wood edging gives a natural appearance. However, it can rot over time. It also tends to shift and may require occasional re-leveling.
Metal edging – Aluminum and galvanized steel are very durable options that are perfect for modern garden designs. Look for thicker gauge metals and coatings to prevent corrosion. Metal edging requires little maintenance but can have a cold, urban look.
Plastic edging – Flexible plastic garden edging is very affordable and easy to install. However, plastic is less durable than metal or wood and more likely to become brittle and crack over time when exposed to weather extremes.
Concrete edging – Concrete offers a seamless, polished look and is highly durable. Professional installation is recommended, making it one of the more expensive edging options. Weight and cracking may also be disadvantages.
Cobblestone edging – Natural stone like granite is very attractive but requires skill to cut precisely. Concrete cobblestones are more affordable, combining visual appeal with durability. Installation is labor-intensive for both.
Choosing the Right Garden Edging
The best type of garden edging for you will depend on your needs and preferences. Here are some factors to consider when choosing garden edging:
Durability – Assess conditions in your landscape like weather, foot traffic, and soil type. Prioritize longevity by selecting harder, thicker materials that are less prone to cracking, rotting, bending, or warping.
Affordability – Weigh the cost against durability and appearance to find the best value option. For example, plastic is cheaper upfront than metal, but metal edging often outlasts plastic and avoids replacement costs.
Ease of installation – Determine whether you'll tackle installation yourself or hire a professional. Plastic and flexible metal edging are good DIY options. Heavier materials like concrete may require landscaping expertise.
Appearance – Consider your overall landscape vision. Curving steel edges have an elegant, refined look where natural stone lends rustic charm. Match edging and hardscape finishes for a cohesive effect.
Budget – Decide how much you're willing to spend upfront and over your garden's lifetime. Long-lasting materials like heavy steel may come with a higher initial price, but avoid frequent replacements.
Installing Garden Edging
Installing garden edging is a relatively simple task that most homeowners can do. Here are the general steps involved:
Measure and mark the area where you want to install the edging using string and stakes. Outline gentle curves for visual interest; avoid sharp angles that protrude into pathways. Plan edging placement when plants are young, allowing ample room for growth.
Dig a trench along the marked line deep enough to accommodate the edging material, with 2-3 inches above grade. A trench 8-12 inches below grade is typical. Level and tamp the soil to offer stable edging support.
Lay the edging material in the trench and anchor it in place with stakes or gravel backfill, ensuring proper alignment and leaving no gaps. Connect pieces as recommended by manufacturer instructions.
Fill in the trench with soil and tamp it down firmly around the edging using a hand tamp or mallet. This locks it firmly in place to resist shifting. Leave the desired edge exposure above soil level.
Maintaining Garden Edging
To keep your garden edging looking its best, it is important to maintain it regularly. Here are 6 tips:
Check edging boundaries at least twice per year and re-secure any sections that have lifted or shifted, re-leveling as needed.
Prune back plants and grass encroaching over the edges. String trimmers can damage some materials, so maintain margins manually.
Prevent corrosion and extend lifespan by cleaning metal edging annually with mild detergent. Touch up chips/scratches on painted finishes.
Re-apply protective sealants on wooden edging every 2-3 years. Spot treat any rotted or damaged sections promptly.
Address cracks in concrete/stone edging with flexible sealants to prevent further deterioration.
Over time, some settling is normal. Add a bit of soil beneath sunk sections, tamp down, and re-edge for a consistent border.
These maintenance tips will keep your edging clearly delineating garden spaces for many years. Reach out to landscaping specialists FormBoss for repairs beyond DIY capabilities or complete garden edge replacements when materials near the end of their lifespan.
As Australia's leading manufacturer of steel landscape borders, they offer unparalleled visual appeal, longevity, and value. Their precision-crafted, galvanized, and powder-coated edging is made to order, ensuring a customized fit for your unique outdoor space.
Investing in quality Australian-made edging from FormBoss allows you to breathe new life into your landscape vision. These low-maintenance steel edges will maintain their sharp lines year after year, keeping your garden beds neatly defined with long-lasting beauty.
Installing quality garden edging is one of the highest-impact enhancements to define and organize planting beds, tree rings, driveways, patios, walkways, and lawn areas in your landscape. Not only is crisp edging visually appealing, but it also simplifies tending the garden by containing the elements neatly in their designated spots.
With the wide variety of quality edging materials on the market today, finding the perfect options to realize your landscaping vision is very achievable. Whether your tastes tend toward traditional wood, sleek steel, or natural stone, there are durable, aesthetically pleasing choices to address both form and function.
By carefully assessing your landscape's unique needs and style, you can confidently select long-lasting edging that visually defines your flowering beds, tree rings, and lawns for many years.
Jenny Kakoudakis likes to blog about interiors. She launched the award-winning Seasons in Colour in 2014. When she is not chasing criminals out of the financial system (her day job), she gets creative by redecorating her own home.
Download her free bathroom renovation guide here.