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Structural Elements: Garden Edging

March 8th, 2011

Edging plays an important role of setting boundaries for specific parts of the garden. Not only does it provide a clear visual edge to different garden spaces, it keeps the lawn out of the flowerbeds and the peppermint out of the edible beds. Edging can be made of all sorts of things, from concrete and bricks, to metal or wood or a simple edge cut with a shovel. My mom’s neighbor uses cinder blocks for her raised beds in her edible garden.

I like edging my flowerbeds with stone. I have plenty of those in the garden and I think they help tidy up the edges. I have a few spots that I need to redo the edging because I want to expand the flower beds. Since our lot slopes fairly steeply towards the street, these work perfectly to keep the soil in the bed where it belongs. I like to cut a crisp in the grass in 3-4 inches in front of the stone edging because it looks nice and it makes mowing much easier.

This spring I need to add a row of large rocks along the lower side of my driveway. Since it slopes down towards the street and to one side, the gravel has a tendency to migrate into the flowerbed on the lower side. It’s quite annoying when I want to work in that flowerbed and have to spend half my time picking gravel out of the soil. It will also help with erosion control in the lower flowerbed as it will slow the water running off the driveway. I already have a pile of rocks that I’ve been collecting just for this purpose. Since it is the driveway, I’ll need to use larger rocks so they don’t get pushed out of the way easily. I should be able to collect enough large rocks from the various piles I’ve made around the gardens for this purpose.

If I didn’t have rocks all over my property I would consider using bricks as edging. I love the look of red brick like this beautiful edging around the kitchen garden at Ash Lawn Highland. I also love brick walkways as well, there’s something very classic about them.

I’ll stick with stone in my garden since it’s free and it looks really nice with my cottage gardens.

How do you edge your flowerbeds? What kind would you use in your dream garden?

8 Comments to “Structural Elements: Garden Edging”
  1. Dave on March 8, 2011 at 10:51 am

    The stone looks great! I try to use stone in most of my beds but since I have to bring it in some areas are without actual borders and just have to be edged. I’ve used wood in the vegetable garden but I’m going to move toward more concrete and stone in the future.

    Reply to Dave's comment

  2. Nebraska Dave on March 8, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I use plastic edging that comes in a roll. I did use wood but it rotted in just a few years and I couldn’t get the mower close enough to the edge which required edging with the weed wacker. The plastic edge material is buried about 6 inches in the dirt and provides a definite barrier for the lawn creep and the top is low enough to mow over it and give a nice clean look to the flower bed with out week wacking.

    For the garden I use landscaping timbers which works OK but is a little pricey. I think I’ll switch over to 2X12s but I’ve heard the all lumber has increased tremendously in price.

    Have a great stone border day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  3. MAYBELLINE on March 8, 2011 at 11:38 am

    I like the neatness of the combination of concrete and gravel that you have pictured.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

    • Susy on March 8, 2011 at 10:58 pm

      That was at the National Gardens in Washington D.C. It is very neat & tidy.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • MAYBELLINE on March 9, 2011 at 2:10 am

        Love it. Sadly, I probably won’t make it to the East Coast to visit so I really enjoy your photos. My raised vegetable beds were formed with cinder block. I use the holes to plant things like herbs and strawberries.

        to MAYBELLINE's comment

  4. Jennifer Krieger on March 8, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I work in a cemetery and have access to mass quantities of rocks. Nice sized ones from grapefruit on up. I’ve hauled bushels home with every intention of building a wall. We’ll see about that. They make great garden edgers, and pretty.
    I happen to have brick paths and edges in the front, lovely, no credit to me, they came with the house.
    And I love love love Kentucky blue flagstone.

    Reply to Jennifer Krieger's comment

    • Susy on March 8, 2011 at 10:59 pm

      I too LOVE blue flagstone, although I’ll probably never have it in my garden, I dream of having a patio paved in it!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. meg on March 8, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Hi! Beautiful pictures! Our raised beds are made from recycled cinder blocks that decorated (you can read about that here:
    Our paths are lined w/ brick, but as the soil builds we are finding that too low so we have started edging them additionally with small logs as we find them.
    We have an area that hasn’t been edged and I’m thinking of using recycled wine bottles for that. I used them to demarcate our asparagus bed and it worked great.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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