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25 Garden Edging Ideas to Make Your Garden Pop

Colorful flower garden
 Elenathewise / Getty Images

One of the many important elements of garden design is edging. Whether straight, curved or irregular, an edge defines space and form and draws the eye to different garden features. Edging is also a technique that can help keep weeds and turf grass from creeping into your garden beds. There are a number of methods for edging covering an array of looks and styles as well as a range of difficulty and expense. Edges and borders can also be enhanced with plants in many different ways.

What Is Garden Edging?

Edging refers to the methods and/or materials used to divide garden beds from a feature to which it is adjacent (like lawn, driveway, walkway or patio). Garden edging can be subtle or obvious and can be designed with a variety of methods and/or materials ranging from hardscaping to plants.

While many home gardeners believe a hardscape approach to edging is best, there really are many other options beyond using physical barriers made of stone, plastic or metal (but these have their usefulness, too). Deciding which kind of edging to use will depend on your needs and tastes. Do you want your edging to help hold back mulch? Do you prefer a formal or informal look? What is your budget? How much maintenance are you willing to do? The following ideas might help guide your decision making.

  • 01of 25

    Straight Natural Lines

    Country Tudor style house with large garden with straight borders
    @loving_my_garden / Instagram

    There are so many shapes and textures in this wonderful garden in Yorkshire, England. From the lush herbaceous border to the potted tree-form hydrangeas to the lines of round boxwoods, the variety of plants looks balanced yet complex. Having simple, straight edges pulls all these elements together, and it can be done easily with common garden tools. This kind of dug edge usually needs refreshing every year, but it’s worth a little effort for this clean, sharp look.

  • 02of 25

    Cottage Garden Color

    Cottage style garden with foxgloves and blue geraniums
    @the_little_end_cottage / Instagram

    The freewheeling and organic edges created by cottage garden plantings can be a vibrant cacophony of color. These palettes can change throughout the season, too. This garden is blooming in summer with lovely pink foxgloves, blue perennial geraniums and purple creeping phlox. Cottage gardens never fail to please with their ever-changing parade of colorful blooms.

  • 03of 25

    Shifting with the Seasons

    Colorful garden with flower beds and green lawn
    @loving_my_garden / Instagram

    Sometimes the edge of the garden explodes with seasonal blooms, like these frothy blue forget-me-nots. Once these flowers die back, they can be deadheaded or pulled up (they’re famous for re-seeding themselves freely), allowing other perennials to fill in or making room for annuals.

  • 04of 25

    Gravel Walkway as Divider

    Backyard with concrete patio and lawn separated by gravel walkway
    @life_of_isatu / Instagram

    This sleek garden design features straight clean lines balanced with flowing, feathery plant shapes. The basic surfaces of lawn, gravel walkway and patio form the main structure and are clean, low-maintenance options. The container plantings allow for flexible design possibilities.

  • 05of 25

    Lavender Hedge

    Round clumps of lavender plants edging a garden between lawn and gravel drive
    loving_my_garden / Instagram

    If you are gardening in a suitable USDA cold hardiness zone, lavender can create an attractive and fragrant low hedge that attracts pollinators. There are a number of varieties of lavender in colors ranging from white to blue to pink to purple. Lavender likes plenty of sun, sandy loamy soil, and dry conditions.

  • 06of 25

    Clean Curved Edges

    Garden bed full of flowers and small trees with lawn
    @loving_my_garden / Instagram

    The full lushness of this garden border needs nothing more than a clean, simple trench edge that can be achieved with a shovel or another garden tool. Creating a sloping trench creates a dividing line between lawn and flower bed.

  • 07of 25

    Hostas at the Deck Edge

    Wooden deck alongside house with hedges on one side and hosta bed on the other.
    @themayflygarden / Instagram

    Decking is a great backyard feature for comfortable walking and making use of space that isn’t ideal for planting. But how to create an attractive and functional edge for the deck? These hostas leaf out in spring and last through late autumn, providing a full, lush accent for the clean lines of the deck, and complementing the shape and texture of the hedges and ornamental grasses opposite.

  • 08of 25

    Brick and Mortar

    Bed of succulent plants with large smooth stones and brick and mortar border
    @locolandscapedesign / Instagram

    Vintage bricks are a favorite material for creating garden borders. You can make a stable and neat edge by using mortar to attach the bricks to each other. The soft colors of these bricks are a nice contrast to the smooth river rocks in this succulent bed.

  • 09of 25

    A Curving Stone Border

    Curved stone path that doubles as a border for shade bed with trees
    @thepsychgarden / Instagram

    This charming stone border is wide and sturdy enough to serve as a walkway for this curvy shade garden. The meandering edges are a good design choice for this large property that contains a number of separate planting areas with lawn in between them.

  • 10of 25

    Gravel and Containers

    Gravel bed next to stone walkway with large clay pot and blue agapanthus
    @loving_my_garden / Instagram

    Many gardeners are choosing to fill in large areas with gravel, which can cut back on maintenance and offer plenty of area for walking or entertaining. But that doesn’t mean there has to be fewer flowers! Bloom-filled containers add color and texture to the edge of this walkway: these stoneware pots full of colorful agapanthus can also be moved wherever color is needed, even indoors.

  • 11of 25

    Seashell Border

    Hosta bed with large seashells on edge border
    @sandandsisal / Instagram

    Sometimes using unexpected objects in the garden can go beyond decorative and become functional. These large seashells make a striking and effective border material for this garden bed.

  • 12of 25

    Late Summer Annuals

    Bright pink cosmos planted along a gravel walkway
    @the_little_end_cottage / Instagram

    This simple garden edge bursts into vibrant color in late summer when these cosmos in shades of bright pink start flowering. Cosmos often re-seed from the previous year and can also be started from seed after the last frost. They bloom for weeks and need only gentle deadheading to stay full and luscious. A similar effect can be created with zinnias.

  • 13of 25

    Stone Edge Times Three

    Small grove of trees with circular edge made of rocks, brick and gravel
    @locolandscapedesign / Instagram

    This small grove of trees has an attractive and functional edge design that includes inlaid bricks, gravel, and rough cut larger stones built into a low wall. The three sizes and shapes of stone create a pleasing interplay of textures and color.

  • 14of 25

    Varying Heights at the Garden Edge

    Large English garden with perennials of varying heights lining the paths
    @the_little_end_cottage / Instagram

    Having a mix of plant heights alongside your walkways lends drama, beauty and a sense of the unexpected. This large English garden has flowering perennials both tall and small along its traditional paver paths, edged with small stones

  • 15of 25

    Evening Blues

    Edge of garden beds with wooden bench, shrubs in different shades of blue and green
    @thepsychgarden / Instagram

    If you have a large garden, spending time in it as day turns to evening can be a magical time to walk or just sit. Plants with blue foliage look especially beautiful at dusk and draw the eye as the late sunlight moves across the garden. Blue foliage plants can include juniper, firs, hosta, fothergilla, dianthus, and many others.

  • 16of 25

    Winter Geometry

    Winter view of garden with clean border edges visible through the snow
    @the_little_end_cottage / Instagram

    A nice winter walk through the garden after a light snow lets you visualize the garden’s basic lines, borders and edges. This garden photo shows the balance of straight walkways to curved beds and can inspire ideas for what to plant to enhance these shapes come spring.

  • 17of 25

    Paver Path and Edge Combined

    Large stone pavers and gravel succulent bed on side of a house
    @locolandscapedesign / Instagram

    If you have a need for both a path and an edge, why not combine them? This succulent garden in Australia has large smooth stone pavers for walking that form part of the edge of the gravel bed

  • 18of 25

    Metal and Stone

    garden with metal borders and gravel walkways with beds of ferns and grasses
    @themayflygarden / Instagram

    Flexible metal edging is becoming a welcome alternative to plastic edging. It is more durable and has a more solid presence in the garden, and over time, the weathered look and light layer of rust gives an organic, vintage look. This Swedish garden has metal edges bordering the beds with gravel walkways setting off the many shades of green shade perennials. The round rainwater basin balances straight and irregular edges with a perfect circle.

  • 19of 25

    Drystone Wall

    Drystone wall with wooden fence and sloping lawn
    @ucstoneco / Instagram

    if you have a sloping yard and need to build a retaining wall for edging and support, consider a drystone wall. This involves fitting stones together in a close-fitting way without using mortar. Not only do these walls look great, they are sturdy and long-lasting and can be easier to repair than walls made with mortar.

  • 20of 25

    Faux Railroad Ties

    Stone pavers made to look like railroad ties with gravel as a garden walkway
    @gardenstone.co.uk / Instagram

    Many gardeners are aware that using old railroad ties in the garden can leach toxic chemicals into the soil. But you can get that same look with these concrete molded pavers made to look just like vintage railroad ties. They can be used for pathway pavers as pictured here or for edging garden beds.

  • 21of 25

    Repeating Shapes

    Flower bed at garden edge with echinacea, feverfew and yarrow in yellow and pink
    @gardenfromscratch / Instagram

    The edge of this narrow garden bed is bursting with color and also has a pleasant repeating pattern of daisy-like shapes in the dainty feverfew and different varieties of echinacea.

  • 22of 25

    Spring Palette

    Bright orange and magenta tulips in garden bed edged with low boxwood hedge
    @gardens_and_architecture / Instagram

    In temperate climate gardens, the spring border is doubly significant: it’s the first bright spot of color of the season, and it’s also the beginning of the cycle of perennials until winter comes again. Little wonder so many gardeners enjoy planting many colorful bulbs to start the show! These bright orange and magenta tulips light up the edge of this garden next to a trimmed yellow-green boxwood hedge, creating a brilliant palette of bright colors.

  • 23of 25

    Try Scalloped Stone

    Traditional scalloped terracotta stone edging on a garden bed
    @gardenstone.co.uk

    We’ve all seen those scalloped stone edgers at the large DIY chain stores, but did you know they’re based on traditional terracotta stone? Some companies still make these in the traditional way. They provide a colorful vintage-looking edge for this flower bed.

  • 24of 25

    Soften Edges with Ground Covers

    Small pond edged with rock and paver walkway with ground cover growing in between
    @locolandscapedesign / Instagram

    This beautifully installed water feature and stone paver path are given a softer, more organic look by allowing natural ground cover plants to grow between them. Many ground covers could work in similar designs, including sweet woodruff, dianthus, creeping thyme, campanula (like ‘Dickson’s Gold’), perennial hardy geraniums, or creeping phlox.

  • 25of 25

    An Authentic Vintage Look

    Brick thatched roof house with scalloped stone edging and flagstone patio
    @gardenstone.co.uk / Instagram

    This stone house with thatched roof in England has authentic-looking fluted stone garden edging popularized during this Victorian era. This edging can be sourced through salvage yards or purchased from stone workers who create vintage designs. The edging is clean and graceful alongside the flagstone patio.

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