7 Smart And Low Maintenance Garden Border Ideas

Do you want a garden that looks chaotic and unplanned or one that looks professionally groomed? The answer to a lawn with a well-manicured look is bordering! Lawn edging is a permanent divider between the lawn and another area in the yard, such as a flower border or a path. 

Garden with green grass and flowers

Besides aesthetics, there are several edging benefits, including cleaner lawn lines, reducing weeds, and improving the garden’s overall health. With a bit of know-how, you can keep your borders looking colourful year-round, even in the depth of winter! Do you want to create a neat, modern look for your property? Make your garden look more finished with our edging design ideas!

What are the benefits of having garden borders?

1. They keep the border crisp and neat

Landscape edging provides space definition and marks off the gardening space from the rest of the yard. You can either install the border in the early stages of creating your garden to design the shape or add it later. Edgings will mark the areas where plants and grasses should not meet. Therefore, you can take care of your garden with ease. Finally, it can be a visual barrier to direct people to walk in certain areas and not others.

garden with border for flowers

2. They keep all the gardening components where they belong

A common problem in most gardens is that grass and even plants go out of their way. To avoid this problem, you should install a border that extends above and below the soil line. A barrier for the plant roots will not let the grass grow out of its place, and flowering plants will not grow into the lawn. The upper portion of the edging material will keep mulch and soil in place. Keeping the garden components contained can save you hours of trimming and at the same time, your plants are healthy and beautiful in the gardening bed.

3. They make maintenance of the landscape easier

Maintenance is more manageable with borders along planting beds. Lawn mower wheels fit easily on the leading edge, and edgers or trimmers will not damage the frame. It would take more time for the homeowner to take care of an open garden bed. Edging protects the plants inside the border and is less likely to become damaged from the weeding and mowing process. Also, separating the planting bed from the rest of the lawn makes it easier for you to control the irrigation, fertilisation and chemical applications. Finally, concrete borders prevent erosion and will preserve your bedding materials. This saves you from having to work so much to maintain your beautiful landscape.

Woman is trimming the edges of flower bed with small electric pruning shears hand tool

4. They provide aesthetic benefits

Lawn edging is both functional and has aesthetic value. A properly edged lawn gives a clean, tidy look to your landscape, enhancing its curb appeal. There are various design options available to find the one that matches your taste and bring artistic value to your garden. The right design can draw attention to an attractive focal point, such as a large architectural plant surrounded by a “tree ring” lawn edging. Keep on reading to find out which border ideas suit you best, and choose a style that compliments your house and yard!

What garden border ideas suit you best?

1. Concrete edging

Keep your garden neat while adding an extra touch of style with concrete edging. Concrete borders have several features, advantages, and benefits that you should consider:

  • They provide a practical, continuous root barrier.
  • They are durable and won’t rot, shatter or splinter.
  • Maintenance is simple. Lawn mower wheels fit easily on the leading edge, and edgers or trimmers will not damage the border.
  • They save you hours of edging, trimming and weeding time.
  • They provide a picture-perfect frame around your bedding plants.
  • You can choose between straight lines, curves, turns and contours, thanks to design flexibility.
  • They come in a variety of shapes, styles and colours to accent your garden design.

palisade made of concrete

2. Log roll edging

Are you looking for an easy to install edging? Here are some more benefits of log roll edgings:

  • They are quick and easy to put in yourself.
  • You can paint them to complement your garden and house style.
  • You can use them for both straight or curved edges, having a flexible curve design.
  • Curve designs can add a lease of life to redundant corner spaces in your garden.
  • Pressure treatment helps protect against rot, ensuring a long lifespan and durability when holding back the growing soil that your plants are in.
  • You can curve them around any space, so it works very well in even tiny gardens.
  • They offer a rustic farmhouse style for all-natural and rough-hewn lovers.

Various-Colourful-Flowers-In-A-Garden-Border-With-Wooden-Fencing-And-Log-Roll-Lawn-Edging

3. Metal lawn edging

Do you want a sturdy material to create neat, protective borders between your garden beds and grass? Metal garden edging is the answer, offering you:

  • A clean separation between garden beds, grass and paths using little space and minimising visual distraction.
  • Durability and a timeless design that will not rot, crack, chip, or become brittle in cold weather.
  • Customisation thanks to its ease of use and adaptability to specific lengths, thicknesses, shapes and sizes.
  • Meagre environmental impact since you can recycle metal without losing its strength.
  • A professional look over time, since it stays firmly in place and protects against weather elements.

grass lawn mulch steel edge material

4. Plastic lawn edging

Plastic lawn edging is one of the best budget-friendly materials but can offer you so much more:

  • It is easy to install yourself. It usually comes in sections that can easily fit together, allowing you to adjust the size and shape.
  • It comes in many different colours and styles to match your overall house aesthetic.
  • It can provide a root barrier when pushed into the ground.
  • It is a durable choice but have in mind that plastic can become brittle in time, so you will have to replace it.

woman install plastic lawn edging around the tree in garden

5. Brick edging

A beautiful way to add a clean, finished look around beds is to add brick edging and paving. This landscaping element offers both aesthetic and functional benefits to your property:

  • Bricks act as a barrier to control soil erosion. Being similar to a small retaining wall, it prevents water runoff and limits soil from washing away. Less erosion keeps your landscape design in top shape and your soil healthy.
  • Brick pavers are easy to install and repair if any becomes damaged or stained.
  • This edging is durable and long-lasting. Bricks are structurally strong and can survive a range of temperatures and weather patterns.
  • Brick edging adds a professional finish to landscaping.
  • If you have brick elements in your property, you can achieve style cohesion by matching pavers to your home style.

flower bed edged by bricks in front of a white wall

6. Stone edging

You can use stones to highlight and edge walkways, flowerbeds, gardens and driveways or any other area, offering you many advantages:

  • Stones come in many colours, styles, patterns and sizes, which make them a flexible choice.
  • You can use durable stones to shield your flower beds and gardens from pesky critters and animals.
  • Stones ensure that mulch is in place. They also provide a barrier that prevents water from running off the flowers and control soil erosion, even if it rains heavily.
  • They look fantastic and will help guard your yard and areas from ice, rain and snow.
  • They will protect against heavy foot traffic and daily wear and tear.
  • Stones are very durable and will last for decades, which makes them a good investment. They are sturdy and will not easily crack or chip.
  • Stones have a natural beauty that will improve the look of your property.
  • They are easy to install and maintain. In case some stones are damaged, you can easily remove them and replace them with others.

The flower bed with blossoming irises and vinca is limited by the big stones

7. Trench edging

Another alternative is a natural edge. Do you want to know what trench edging can offer?

  • This method is the least noticeable way to keep pesky weeds and grass out of your garden beds.
  • You can do it yourself in no time and repeat the process each time it needs to be done.
  • You don’t have to pay anything, just grab your shovel and get started!
  • Have in mind that this option is better suited for the full sun days in late summer since rain is not its ally.

Curvy lawn edge

Simple steps to help you create your garden border

Creating a new plant border in your outdoor space is like decorating a room in the house. You have an idea of what it might look like, but there is a fair bit of work to do before you achieve a finished result. One of the critical things to consider when planning a border is how much time you are willing to spend on it, depending on your lifestyle. Watering, deadheading and staking floppy plants are all time-consuming activities. 

Are you wondering; “How can I reflect the effort I put in my garden?’’ Follow these 10 simple steps to create and freshen up your edges with less work!

 Preparing a freshly dug flower bed for planting in a garden with fork and wheelbarrow

1. Choose your plot

Consider the placement of your border in terms of shelter and sunlight. Think about how long each spot spends in the shade. Sun-loving plants, like Salvia, Dianthus and sedum, will not thrive if you leave them in the shadows. Knowing the environment will guide you in your choice of plants.

2. Measure the size of your garden

Measuring your garden’s size is essential to allow you to consider both the shape of your border and the size and number of plants you purchase. 

  • Laying out the borders in your garden to follow the fence line accentuates the shape of the yard. Gently curved borders soften the edges and can make space look larger. Prefer simple sweeping curves and not wavy edges that look fussy and are challenging to maintain. If you want a more formal or contemporary effect then choose straight borders, which create strong angles, especially in small gardens
  • If you have a small garden, prefer plants and flowers that won’t smother the place. Ground cover plants can also fill any gaps and give colour to the yard. 

A male hand holding measuring tape, outdoor closeup

3. Make those borders wide enough

It is better to have fewer planting areas but make them bigger. A narrow border along a boundary is useless unless you just want to grow climber plants. Wider edges are easier to maintain because they give your plants the space to grow, and you will not have to keep cutting them back. If you need to find the right size for your borders, without asking a garden designer,  just go out and measure the width of a bush or a bed.

4. Remove grass

If your new bed or border area is covered in grass, then the first job is to level your garden. You can use a spade or turf cutter. Take time to lift off the turf in slices and remove any other debris like rocks, dense roots and weeds. You can stack the cut strips of grass face down in the corner of the garden. After they rot, they will produce some excellent, loamy soil.

Gardening, remove of the old grass sward

5. Get rid of the weeds

If there are any perennial weeds, you must tackle those before you start planting. If your soil is sandy, you may be able to dig them out. In most cases, it will be necessary to use a weed killer or a home remedy to get rid of them. A solution of vinegar, salt and dish soap can be a cheap and useful tool against weeds.

6. Improve the condition of the soil

Depending on the quality of the soil, enrich it by adding some compost. You can use a digging fork or spade and fork the ground over. Next, add plenty of organic matter to improve its texture. Soils rich in organic matter are better at hanging on to water and nutrients; therefore, plants grow more successfully.

man holding a gardening tool full with compost for garden

7. Edge your border

It’s essential to make precise, defined border edges with an edging knife to prevent the lawn from invading your new borders. Dig a trench about 20 cm deep so that you can still mow the lawn without sifting up the soil.

8. Site your plants

If you want to perfect the appearance of the borders, you should place your plants before planting. Choose complementary colours between your flowers and the edges.  Ensure you have evergreen plants, not only late spring ones, so borders have year-round interest.

Gardener Planting Pansy With With Flowerpots And Tools

9. Plant

Depending on the size of your plant, dig your hole to fit the size of the pot. Add in a handful of all-purpose plant food. 

  • Choose low-maintenance plants that require easy-care, such as Pothos, Topiary and Succulents
  • Add colour with herbaceous perennials, alliums, geraniums. Plants with fiery autumn leaves, stunning seed heads, colourful fruits and berries and evergreen leaves prolong seasonal interest and lift the spirits on colourless days.
  • Finally, garden a plant that will offer shade during hot days like hostas and climbing ones like hydrangeas.

10. Spread mulch and water your plants

Keep your border healthy and low-maintenance by adding a layer of mulch. It will keep your soil moist and help keep any weeds at bay. Once your border is planted and mulched, give your plants a good soaking. Installing a water feature in your garden can be handy and upkeep over the years to come.

watering flowers in garden centre

Creating defined borders can be a great way to transform your back or front garden. Give your yard a makeover with these low-maintenance garden ideas, and enjoy a colourful show in your waterwise garden!

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