These days, living space is premium. That dream of owning a home in the suburbs is … a dream. So if you do have generous yard space, enjoy it. But if you live in a tiny flat with a minuscule balcony, you can still spice it up with smart garden edging ideas.
These range from simple ideas you can cobble in the kitchen to complex concepts. The latter may require lots of money and a licensed landscaper. The former includes basic tips and tricks for a lazy afternoon DIY project. So let’s get started, shall we?
1. Tied Down
Frame off a section for your potted plants or kitchen garden. You can use old broomsticks, dedicated fence posts from the hardware store, or tough sticks strewn across the yard. ‘Plant’ these posts strategically and tie a rope between them. This can be manila clotheslines or abandoned skipping ropes from the Salvation Army.
2. Floating Gardens
For outdoor spaces without lawns, you can still introduce attractive garden edging. Just plant a ‘hanging garden’ off the edges of your perimeter walls. You can use a variety of pots – terracotta, organic gourds, coconut husks, hollowed-out bamboo, or even plastic pots. But they must be lightweight. Anchor them to windows and doors.
3. Live Edging
Hedges make great boundaries. Yes, pets (and pests) can burrow beneath, but live fences refresh the air and make everything pretty. Within the yard, a scaled-down version involves using rows of plants as borders. It’s the simplest of garden edging ideas – just plants peonies or similar flowering shrubs and prune them neatly.
4. Paved Perfection
Lawn edging is the art of creating a visible boundary between your yard and your walkways. In this sense, the walkway forms the edging. Concrete slabs in abstract shapes form an attractive, low-maintenance border for this pristine trimmed lawn.
5. Stones and Pebbles
For long-term garden edging ideas, plants your shrubs in neat rows. Here, two lines of shrubs are lined next to each other and carefully maintained to segregate their shades of green. A row of rounded river stones forms the outermost edging. These stones are best placed at the ‘soil-line’ since it’s easier to rinse the mud off the cobbles.
6. Crafted Paving
Pavers are a favoured form of lawn edging. They don’t need much maintenance, are versatile in terms of lawn design, and are easy to install. But wedding the gas between pavers is a nightmarish chore. In this example, the gaps are part of the design. Fine grass is carefully planted in those spaces and it all comes together!
7. Reversed Arrangements
In the previous garden edging idea, it’s the grass that served as lawn edging. This is a similar concept. The concrete pavement has little slots where grass is deliberately planted in stylish oblong patches. They offer a pretty contrast to the stark grey.
8. Two by Fours
That’s what they’re called across the pond – these generic wooden planks. It’s intended as a description of their dimensions, but it’s now a catch-all term for roughly sawn planks of wood. So position a few on the edge of your garden. Raise it high enough to prevent spill-off especially for red soil that will stain the pathway.
9. Kerb and Tarmac
For flower bushes that are more voluminous, lawn edging can be a tricky thing. So instead of bruising your blossoms, settle for a slightly raised kerb and a loose gravel path. Crushed stones are attractive in this setting but you might prefer firmer tarmac. Tarmac won’t come off as you sweep the leaves and twigs in autumn – less mess.
10. Cast in Stone
If you have an interest in pottery or sculpture, you might have brick moulds or a kiln in the garden shed. In that case, you can bake a few bricks, chip a few stones, or pour coloured concrete into your pre-prepped mould. Use these crafted boxes to edge your garden. But get your energy up – the process of mortaring blocks is a strenuous one.
11. Composite Couture
Organic materials are beautiful and green, but they can also be expensive and high-maintenance. So you can always incorporate simulated materials into your garden edging ideas. Here, a composite of wood and plastic is ideal for decks, balconies, and garden edging. Use it to craft a low hedge that separates the grass from the gravel.
12. Grass Cubes
Glass cubes are nice … but grass cubes are better. This could be organic grass or artificial turf. The greenery is mounted (or planted) on a suitably perforated mould. The moulds are both structural and practical – they provide support for the edging and leave space for cleaning and/or watering. They also make your edging pretty.
13. Stone Stacks
The best garden edging ideas are simple and pocket-friendly. So if you live in a rocky area, grab a wheelbarrow and go scavenging for boulders. They can be any shape, size, or texture of your choosing. But they should have at least one stackable surface. This way, you can wedge them into position and create sturdy garden edging.
14. Labyrinths and Mazes
In the early stages, this garden edging idea resembles concentric concrete circles bordered by bright tufts of grass. It’s a gorgeous result that gets better with time because this garden will eventually grow into a mesmerizing maze. Not bad for a casual backyard summer project. But you’ll do a LOT of weeding over the years.
15. Terrace Treatment
You’ve probably only seen terraces on documentaries. But you can bring some of that technology to your back garden. These composite slabs of WPC are routinely used to create commercial ‘staircase plantations’ but you can repurpose them into domestic garden edging. Mount them vertically to cut down soil stains and splash-back.
16. Antique Artistry
Depending on where you live, you may have easy access to abandoned castles, old farmhouses, and colonial cottages. Or maybe you’re just good at finding treasure in junkyards and estate sales. Either way, lots of retro items and vintage products can be repurposed for your garden edging ideas. In this case, a series of wagon wheels.
17. Stylish Stacking
We assume when someone piles or stacks things, they will look cluttered and disorderly. But this garden edging idea applies slim slabs that are carefully cut and shaped. The symmetry allows you to edge your lawn with a neat low stone hedge.
18. Paths and Walls
The quality of garden edging here is definitely professional, so expect to spend a lot if this is what you have in mind. This garden is divided into tons of mini spaces. The edging is a mix of narrow paths and short stacked walls, all in mortared grey slate.
19. Full-Grown Fencing
We often see live garden edging in its initial stages, so here’s an example of a completed project. The hedge has grown into a 6-foot perimeter fence that offers privacy, beauty, and fresh garden air. This is a high-maintenance concept though. The fence needs regular watering, pruning, and weeding – mare yard work for you.
20. Stack and Pack
Stacked edging is often plain grey for easy maintenance. But if you want to introduce some colour, you can construct the hedge use brown packed mud or red baked bricks. Pick a mortar material that matches the shade of your stone hedge. You can also opt to paint the hedge – anything from artsy graffiti to weatherproof tints.
21. Living Hedges
Water features are a common part of landscaping. So if you have the cash and space, build some into your garden edging. If you have a pool or pond in the garden, try erecting a hollow glass balustrade to separate the grass from the water. Fill the ‘glass fence’ with hardy fish – they won’t be coddled lie their aquarium cousins.
22. Grassy Knolls
The paving samples we looked at so far were … discrete. They had a clear separation between stone and grass. But here’s a … greener edging option. If you’re not upset by colouring outside the lines, consider this type of laid-back edging. It lets the grass grow casually over the paving stones but needs far more attention to stay neat.
23. Packed Earth
Think of it as a murram boundary. For those who don’t want ‘unnatural’ materials in their gardens, you can get a steam roller to densely pack the soil around your garden edges. This creates a firm earthen frame that separates the garden from the pavement or grass. Any type will do but laterite and clay-based soils work best.
24. Extended Coping
You might have heard the term ‘hardscaping’. It refers to the ‘solid’ part of landscaping. Things like paving the garden or decking the pool. So if you have both water and grass in your yard, consider ‘stretching’ the idea. Edge your lawn using the same material in your pool coping – ceramics, concrete, or pressure-treated wood.
25. Complete Package
Here’s a set-up that shows how you can combine diverse garden edging ideas within the same space. A retro brick pathway separates grassy spaces while multi-tone hedges at varied heights form perimeter markers. The outer border is tarmac. Tall palm trees also create an edging effect you can view from the sky (or the porch steps).
26. Stone on Stone
A terrace could be a green staircase of planted rice and tea. Or it could be a deck at the back of the house. In both cases, stone and composites are way less fussy than timber. As garden edging ideas go, consider reversing the order. Instead of edged grass patches, create a garden in the terrace. Carve a plant section amid the stone.
27. Bring on the Water Works
We often joke that the British Isles have 3 days of annual sunshine. The rest of the year is largely grey and gloomy with endless clouds and drizzly weather. But that climate is perfect for garden edging ideas like these. The multiple stone staircases and kerbs guide water onto the grass without creating an excess mess or water waste.
28. Metal Magic
Rail fences are often restricted to warehouses and commercial facilities. But those powder-coated rods and steel balustrades are great for lawn edging. They form distinct boundaries without damaging the grass or ruining the view. And you can add creepers to hug the bars and make your garden borders look even more organic.
29. Tree Potting
The scope of your yard could be tiny. You might have a single tree and a few feet of grass. Or maybe you have massive orchards with greenery between. But whether you transplanted the tree in plastic or terracotta, its potting material doubles as garden edging. You can press and back it beneath ground level or leave it slightly raised.
30. Kerbs and Cobbles
The edging in the middle of the garden could be visually distinct from the edges. In this case, the larger, more colourful plants are clustered among massive boulders. This creates a ‘cultivated jungle’ effect that’s neat but wild. The outer edges marking the driveway are separated by tightly packed cabro concrete blocks and a raised kerb.
31. Stone Oases
We’ll look at several suggestions for inverting your garden layout. Here’s one more. The idea behind commercial garden edging is to keep people off the grass. Shrink that idea for your back yard too. Design a network of stone or concrete pathways with grass between. The stone sections can have benches or a table.
32. Greens and Dries
Seasonal vegetation is relatively predictable. So if you have an active interest in your green, you know which flower bloom in which month and when the branches stay straggly. Plan your planting that way. The barren branches can form a twiggy fence around your more bustling blooms. That way, you have a natural ‘calendar’ outside.
33. Patterns and Colours
For the last of our garden edging ideas, we’re playing with hues and tones. The bright green grass is edged with two-tone stone cut into curious curves and abstract shapes. These carves and acute angles serve a functional purpose but they’re pretty too. For the paler section, you can use concrete, gravel, mosaic tiles, or even coloured sand.
As you explore garden edging ideas for your yard, consider the theme of your overall outdoor decor, locally available paving materials, and – of course – yard size.