Spring is almost here and it’s time to start spending some time in the garden to have it looking good for the hot months ahead, so we put together a collection of creative ideas for edges around borders and beds.
by Janice Anderssen
After a cold – and sometimes wet – winter we all look forward to the arrival of Spring. But the warmer weather that heralds in the new season also bring with it much needed rain and drastic growth in the garden. Adding edges to borders, beds and pathways not only allows you to be creative, it’s also a way to make it easier to tame your lawn and keep your beds and borders looking great.
Edging beds and borders gives your garden a finished look, and there are plenty of creative options for what you can use to edge borders and beds, from recycled or salvaged materials to inexpensive landscape ideas. We took a look around for some of the most creative ways to add edging to beds, borders or pathways.
Pebbles are one of the easiest ways to add a contrast between lawn and beds, or down the sides of a pathway. Pebbles also allow for drainage in areas where water tends to collect. If there are other areas in the garden where water tends to pool or flood the garden, create winding river beds using assorted pebbles to improve drainage.
GOOD TO KNOW: To prevent weed growth, place a layer of landscape fabric down before laying the pebbles on top of this.
Reclaimed timber is another excellent material that can be used for edging borders and beds, flat or raised. If you’re thinking about adding timber edging, pop into your local Builders Warehouse for untreated and rough cut pine. If it’s not PAR (planed all round) it’s far cheaper and perfect for using as an edging material for borders and beds.
A variety of rough, untreated pine planks are available in different thickness, width and lengths. Prices range from about R70 upwards for a 50 x 76mm untreated pine of 3.4 metres length.
Timber is a versatile material to use in the garden and you can leave it to age naturally, or apply a timber preservative to stain and protect the wood. You can use timber to build decorative outdoor structures, use it to frame raised beds, or lay timber flat as an edging between lawn and beds or lawn and walkways.
Galvanised steel is an edging material that is becoming increasingly popular with gardeners. Thin strips are laid around the edge of beds and border and then left to age naturally for an unobtrusive way to divide beds and lawn. The most practical way to install steel edging is by using pegs to support the steel along its length.
One advantage of using galvanised steel for edges around beds and borders is that can easily be shaped to fit around circular beds, square or rectangular borders, or for awkward shapes. Another advantage is that sheet metal and galvanised steel is relatively inexpensive.
Galvanised steel edging strips are ideal if you are looking to keep gravel paths and walkways neat and tidy. The defined edge helps to keep gravel where it’s supposed to be.
Rock and stone are wonderful to work with for edging beds and borders, although this can work out expensive if you have a large garden. If you notice any excavation or building work going on in your area it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out to see if you can pick up any dumped materials for use in your garden.
You don’t necessarily have to use rocks or stones of the same size, or even the same type of stone. Mix different varieties up together to edge borders filled with flowers and shrubs and the rocks will help maintain moisture levels in the soil and cut down on weeds.
Bricks continue to be one of the most versatile edging materials for borders, beds and pathways. If you can source a supply for reclaimed bricks, perhaps you know of someone having their paving replaced and can take some bricks off their hands, then using bricks can also be an affordable way to add edging to borders and beds.
Brick edging can be laid in a variety of configurations. Lay bricks in straight lines for a formal garden or where you want hard edges to divide up garden beds and lawn. In this way, bricks can be used to create a neat edge that breaks up the two areas and is easy to mow, since the lawnmower blades run over the top of the bricks.
For a more casual approach when laying bricks, these can be laid in almost any pattern around edges, or stacked upright for a more defined edging material.