The best garden edging ideas will not only be practical, but they will also pull the overall look of your outdoor space together, define your garden beds and add a polished feel to your entire backyard.
Garden edging can be used in a variety of ways, from giving a lovely definition to your borders to framing a water feature. It's often used along the perimeter of a lawn also, known as lawn edging, to help keep grass in check and reduce the need for mowing – always a plus!
Edging is an integral part of garden landscaping and can be installed using a range of materials that are, more often than not, easy on the budget. You can use everything from garden plants to wood, stone and more depending on whether you want to achieve classic or more modern garden edging ideas.
The best garden edging ideas for beautiful beds
The garden edging material you use depends on the space you're working with as well as your garden's style, and your budget. Brick and log edging is the traditional route and it does have a good success rate at keeping your garden borders in check. More modern backyard owners might look to use either natural garden edging solutions or stone and metal for a more sophisticated edge.
If you like the simple, clean look of invisible garden edging, Alex Kronk, landscaping specialist from The Lawn Review (opens in new tab), prefers steel edging to all others, because it 'keeps a super low profile and lets your garden speak for itself.' Whereas other, fancier types of edging may be 'prettier', they also 'are a distraction; true
gardeners will love the clean, neat look of steel edging. I think the most
popular brand is called COL-MET and is available from Home Depot (opens in new tab) for pretty
Lyle Mosca, the owner of Imperial Landscape and Masonry (opens in new tab), Cape Cod's leading provider of property maintenance, landscaping, and masonry construction services, agrees, commenting that 'using steel edging can give you a great raised bed look in your garden. As a bonus, the ageing effect of steel gives your yard a highly unique look and color contrast!'
1. Use stone garden edging to enhance evergreens
For a long-lasting, elegant finish, you can't beat real stone lawn edging which happens to look beautiful next to evergreen planting. Combine straight and curved sections to create the perfect contour. And pick a material and finish that complements other hard landscaping in your garden, such as retaining walls or any garden paving ideas you have going on. The Arcadian lawn edging (opens in new tab) is from Haddonstone. It's frost-resistant and weathers beautifully over time.
2. Choose flower edging for natural borders
An abundant mixture of Dahlia, Lilium and Gladiolus act as one of the most colorful garden edging ideas to keep your space a little more free-flowing too. Mix it up and add in more plants for fragrance, including herbs like lavender, rosemary and thyme, and be sure to keep some evergreens in there for year-round structure. Remember: your flower bed ideas are also your garden edging ideas, so add a bit of height to create the separation you desire.
3. Use sleepers to DIY garden edging
You could DIY garden edging using sleepers like this one from Wayfair (opens in new tab) to create a mini garden bench as well as robust lawn edging. A place to sit, and to house your beautiful planting too, it's too easy. One of those low-maintenance garden ideas suitable even for beginners – and one of the best alternatives to grass too.
4. Line bright borders with natural rocks
Another beautiful and natural garden edging idea: rocks not only look and work a treat at not moving if you secure them well, but they also are fairly easy to install. There's also more variety in terms of shape and size. Plus, it's a pretty low-budget DIY. Fill your beds with a stunning flower mix from Suttons (opens in new tab) or your local garden center.
5. Edge your garden pathways with brick
Using brick to edge your garden space will give a lovely rustic finish to your borders and is also guaranteed to keep mulch for evergreens and other garden plants in place. Use reclaimed bricks for an even cheaper DIY project. The soft look will suit cottage-style gardens perfectly.
6. Use roped edging posts for modern definition
Want more definition to your lawn edging? Edging posts are a great way to achieve a flawless finish and more modern garden edging look. These roped edging posts (opens in new tab) are from Haddonstone, and look just as good edging borders as they do as lawn edging.
7. Cheat with plastic lawn edging for a real stone effect
If you're looking for cheap garden ideas that are still easy to install and nice to look at too, look no further than stone-effect plastic lawn edging. Made from tough polymer, this lawn edging is very easy to hammer in yourself, easy to clean and easy on the eye. Win.
The Grey Stone Effect Lawn Edging by Maison & White is available from Amazon (opens in new tab). Our advice? Bury it a little deeper than shown here and plant right up to it in your garden borders, and no one will notice it's plastic. but your garden will look super neat.
8. Use wood garden edging to add height(opens in new tab)
Timber lawn edging works particularly well in rustic garden schemes and in cottage gardens. Leave it natural for a simple look, or stain or paint it for a more contemporary effect. This natural timber lawn edging is from B&Q (opens in new tab) and is made from pressure-treated, FSC-certified wood. The spiked ends make it very easy to fit, without the need for fixing pegs.
9. Pick recycled plastic lawn edging for eco-friendly vibes
If you are conscious about reducing waste and making your garden eco-friendly, then recycled lawn edging is definitely worth considering. Made from recycled tyres, the recycled garden border from Waitrose Garden (opens in new tab) is flexible, frost-, mold-, and rot-resistant, and comes in a variety of textured patterns.
10. Use real brick garden edging inside a patch of lawn
Brick garden edging is one of the most popular lawn edging types, and one that's perfectly within a competent DIYer's remit. You will need to lay your bricks onto a cement base, or they'll move or collapse. Gently tap your bricks into the cement with a rubber hammer, brick by brick. You'll then need to rake up the soil up to the bricks and let the bricks settle for a couple of days. Expect natural weathering to the brick over time.
An alternative to real brick is brick-effect concrete lawn edging, which will require professional installation. This may be better suited to people who don't want to do DIY and who would like their edging to look new for longer. With a realistic brick effect, this clever Kwik Kerb Eurobrick concrete lawn edging (opens in new tab) is used in a garden in Dorset, England, and works really well to add a focus point in what is a very large patch of lawn.
11. Pebble lawn edging
Pebbles are great for creating a natural look in the garden, but you should know that pebbles are notorious for not staying in place. This pebble border from Coopers of Stortford (opens in new tab) is mounted onto a mesh, making it easy to fit and ensuring the pebbles won't budge.
12. Keep garden edging neat and modern with metal
A flexible, easy-to-fit option, the above galvanized steel lawn edging from UK-based Waitrose Garden (opens in new tab) will protect your lawn from erosion and strimmer damage. What's really great about this type of lawn edging is that it won't rust, and you can pretty much forget about it once you've fitted it. Perfect for contemporary garden ideas and designs.
13. Use low box hedge as garden edging
Dense, low-growing hedge plants are excellent candidates for natural garden edging – all you need to do is remember to trim them with a hedge trimmer every year. Traditional box hedge is easily the best shrub for this purpose as it can be trimmed to the exact height and shape you require while maintaining the thickness you need for garden edging.
14. Mark out a garden pond with paved edging
If you have a natural water feature like a garden pond in your backyard, it will look even prettier if you frame it with paved garden edging. Simply use stone paving slabs used for patios along the perimeter of your pond. This will look more natural than brick and can be combined with raw lawn edging.
15. Use woven edging to define beds
For a rustic, relaxed look, woven or pleated garden edging is a beautiful choice that looks even more characterful than stone. Here, a kitchen garden has been separated from the rest of the garden with woven hazel branches. A great DIY option that can be made for free if you can source fallen branches from a woodland – or very inexpensively if you get the material from a local garden center.
What is the cheapest garden edging?
According to Kronk, the cheapest garden edging is 'the plastic paver edging pieces that spike into the ground. These are super easy to install, actually look kind of nice, but are not very durable and scratch very easily. Your mower or trimmer will damage these with contact.'
Kristina Matthew, a landscape designer and Co-Founder of the gardeningit.com (opens in new tab) blog, prefers working with no-dig materials for a cost-effective garden edging solution. She explains that 'these materials require no digging and can be stacked on top of each other to beautify your gardens such as river rocks, terracotta pots, or bricks. All these materials are super-easy to source and install to provide a manicured touch to your lawn.'
What is the easiest garden edging to install?
Alex Kronk believes that the easiest edging to install is 'probably laid brick, where you simply use bricks to stack diagonally on top of each other. This requires no digging or nailing, and many have easy access to some old bricks.'
Mosca's top choice of easy-install garden edging is plastic edging: 'you can often install it without significant effort. Once you have decided on the shape of your garden bed and cleaned up with area around your working space, it can often be as easy as setting the plastic edging in and anchoring it with a few pegs.'