Defining your garden shouldn’t be overlooked. If your garden seems to need some enhancing, look at the edges. One of the easiest ways to improve the appearance of your garden is boosting or installing new edges. Besides their aesthetic value, edging also keeps your garden neat and clean by holding back soil, blocking weeds and invasive roots, defining soil beds and preventing mulch from drifting. Here are some options to choose from in edging your garden:
One of the most traditional gardens edging option, brick defines a border well by offering a classic appearance. Bricks are widely available, relatively inexpensive and weather-resistant. You can set them in a row by digging a shallow trench, putting a thin layer of sand, then placing the bricks tightly together so no grass or weed can slip through. Or you can set the bricks diagonally for a domino effect. Dig a deeper trench, put several inches of sand, then set the bricks diagonally on the trench, keeping every brick leaning tightly against the next. Keep the bricks half-exposed for the effect to be visible.
Concrete is fluid at first, so any shape for a garden edge can be possible. Building a concrete edge is a great way to hold back grass, discourage moles and gophers and ease lawn mowing. Since it’s sturdy and relatively permanent, the installation must be properly conducted. Dig a 6 to 12-inch deep trench for a strong foundation. The concrete above the ground can be personalized by imprinting shapes, mixing pigment for color, or pressing in shells, decorative glass or pebbles. To set-up, the form for the concrete edge, use temporary sides in which you’ll be pouring out the concrete such as hardboard siding, bender board or lumber.
Simple and easy to source, stones are the most natural-looking edging choice. Stones can be simply gathered around or purchased from the supplier. The size and shape of the stones you choose make a difference in creating the desired “wall” effect. Before placing stones, first mark where you’d start and finish edges. Find every stone’s best side and keep it exposed while burying the lower half to at least 1 to 2 inches deep.
If you want a stackable stone variety, choose flagstones. Their flat yet irregular shapes give a classic look that suits cottage and country gardens. Flagstones are available in different colors and thickness. If you want stones with a more defined shape, choose square granite cobblestones. This best suits gardens placed next to a walkway.
If you happen to own a lot of beer or wine bottles (or if your household tends to drink a lot), you can use those bottles to edge your garden while infusing it with a funky look. Simply gather a lot of bottles and clean them. Bury the bottles with the neck down and place them side by side. You may combine randomly colored bottles for a colorful look, or color-coordinate the bottles to define different areas.
5. Cinder blocks
The use of cinder blocks for garden edging is pretty common, and it can double as an edge and a planter. Simply dig a 2 to 4-inch trench to keep it in place and line them up to completely line the area you want to define. Since it has holes, cinder blocks allow the gardener to create a second layer of plants that will further define the area.
Logs are a natural and environmentally-friendly choice for garden edging. Whether laid out vertically or horizontally, logs are simply beautiful. Using cut real wood that is either bought or from a cut tree of yours or a friend’s, you can chop them off to desired lengths to cover the area you want to delimit. Then, dig a shallow trench enough to keep the log from rolling, and keep it in place. If you prefer a vertical orientation, chop logs into shorter pieces, dig a trench that is at least 3 inches deep, and simply place the logs side by side to make a border.
Seashells are unique items to use as a garden edge, but it makes a striking border that brings contrast between the earthy greens and seaside views. Large seashells are easy to stick under the ground to make walls, while some crush up smaller shells to lay horizontally on the soil for a rock effect.
A gabion is a big cage that can be filled with a number of materials such as stone, cut logs, terracotta, and shells. This can be purchased at gardening and home improvement stores.