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A Comprehensive Guide to Garden Edging

Garden edging is one of the simplest ways to make your garden neater and easier to work with. Read this guide  to learn the benefits and types of lawn edging, and how to do it yourself.

Benefits of Garden Edging

1. Aesthetics

Edging your lawn createes a neat, sharp-looking edge. You can also use edging to create some character in your garden depending on the style you use.

2. Clear flowerbeds

Edging your lawn prevents it from growing over into your flowerbeds. It also helps to prevent weeds from creeping into them.

3. Reduced maintenance

Without an edge around your lawn, you may find yourself cutting back your lawn from your flowerbeds every few months, or consistently needing to hand-edge it.

Types of Garden Edging

Hand edging

Hand edging is the simple act of using a tool to create a definitive edge around your lawn. Usually for this you’d use a half-moon edging iron or a flat-bladed spade. You could also use shears to just trip the edges of the grass. Use the tool along the edge of a lawn to tidy up the borders, making sure the lawn is ending in clean lines.

Wooden edging

Wooden edging allows for a neat border while maintaining a flow of natural materials in your garden. It is an affordable and commonly used option.

Plastic edging

Plastic edging – while less eco-friendly – is an affordable option that is aesthetically versatile. It is very flexible and easy to install.

Metal edging

Metal edging – which is often made of steel – is a durable option for your lawn. Aesthetically, metal edging tends to work best in a contemporary garden.

Paving

Paving an edge around your lawn may cost more time and money, but it looks beautiful in both contemporary and traditional gardens. It is a long-lasting way to create a border around your lawn and can also easily create a path in your garden.

Rubber edging

Rubber is a slightly less affordable option than wood or plastic, but has its own unique set of benefits. For example, it’s durable and eco-friendly as it’s often made of recycled materials.

Woven branches

Willow branches are often woven together to make garden edges. Sometimes this is in a straight, horizontal line, and sometimes it is made in patterns like small arches. While this is an aesthetically pleasing way to edge a lawn, it is not the most durable.

Natural rocks or boulders

This is a versatile option as rocks are available in so many forms. It is a great way to edge a lawn while keeping a natural look.

Hedging

Installing a low-growing hedge around your lawn makes for lovely edging and is great for wildlife.

Design Ideas for Garden Edging

Here are some ideas for adding some character to your garden through edging design:

Painted rocks

If you opt for natural rocks or boulders, you could paint these to your tastes for a bit of extra flair and colour.

A mixture of paving shapes

If you’re paving the edge of your lawn, the design options are limitless. You can choose from a huge variety of colours and shapes of paving stones to add your unique touch to this area of your garden.

Upcycled materials

For a more rugged look, you could go for the eco-friendly option of upcycling materials. For example, some people use broken terracotta pots or tiles in place of gravel or stones. In this case make sure you file down the edges to avoid any injuries to children or animals.

Another upcycling option is to edge your lawn with old railway sleepers. This tends to work best with straight-edged lawns.

How to Install Garden Edging

While different edging methods will be installed differently, here is a basic guide to installing the most commonly used types of edging – metal and plastic.

1. Hand-edge your lawn for a neat border to work with. Use a half-moon edging iron or flat-bladed spade to repeatedly dig into the ground, creating a sharp edge.

2. Line up your edging to ensure you have enough.

3. Holding a piece of edging upright in place, use a mallet to hit the spikes of the edging into the ground.

4. Some edging supplies will come with a connection tool like pins. Where necessary, follow the instructions that came with the supplies to secure these into place.

Remember, different types of edging will require different methods of installation. When you buy edging, it should come with its own unique instructions.

Maintenance

After installing your lawn edging, make sure to keep an eye on it to ensure it remains clean and upright. If you have pets – or are lucky enough to get lots of wildlife in your garden – taller edging may get knocked out of place. When you’re out in your garden, give it a quick check to make sure it still looks as it should.

Metal and plastic edging are the easiest to clean as you can simply wipe them down with a wet cloth. If you have wooden or paved edging, you may need to power-wash off any stubborn mud or dirt.

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Updated on April 4, 2024

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