When you decided to take up gardening, the last thing you probably considered was what you would use to enclose your space. You probably planned out exactly which flowers and plants you wanted to include but most people never stop to think about a border for their gardens. But borders are necessities for every gardener. They create a stopping point so that your flowers can’t overflow and take over your yard. They also keep loose gravel, stones, or mulch inside the barrier so they aren’t washed away by rain or lost to the larger yard.
There are lots of choices when it comes to what to use for your garden’s border. One of the most popular materials for edging is treated timber. Simple wooden planks, laid on their side, will also do wonders for keeping your garden in place. At most hardware stores, you can buy pressure treated pine that’s been rated for ground contact, so you don’t have to worry about it rotting quickly. It will last for years. You can also find cypress, cedar, and redwood planks but these are not always treated or meant to be in constant contact with the ground.
When you’re ready to install your edging, start by creating a small trench around the outside of your garden. You can then fill the trench with your choice of materials. For decades, plastic has been a go to for many gardeners because it’s incredibly flexible and affordable. You can also purchase bending board, a wooden material that comes in a roll and will conform to the shape of your garden. If you can’t find bending board but are set on having wood edging for your garden, you can still cut pieces of rot resistant board to different sizes and then fit them into your trench to create a chic look with lots of angles.
Many professional landscapers actually tend to use metal edging instead of wood or plastic. If you choose to go this route, you can place your edging around the perimeter of your garden and then gently tap it into the soil with a hammer. This will help keep it in place. If the metal you are using for your edging is fairly soft, you may want to put a board between your hammer and the edging, so that you don’t leave any dent marks on the metal itself.
You can also use concrete, brick, or stone for your edging. These choices are the most expensive but tend to last the longest. The downside to these types of borders is that grass will quickly sprout up in the cracks between the pieces. Mulch or gravel inside the garden can also be washed out with the rain. You can set these types of edging inside concrete, though it can take away from the aesthetics of the garden and the concrete generally will not last as long as the actual edging pieces.
With so many choices out there, you can be as creative as you want with edging from your garden. If you really want to make a statement, try using railroad ties or even glass bottles.