42 Creative garden edge and border ideas
- By: Ashley Saunders
- October 2019
A simple way to stamp your personality on your garden is to be creative with the borders. Many settle for the basic garden edge ideas of bricks or a trim lawn.
Yet there’s a load of ideas to make your borders enticing and uniquely different. Most of our garden edge ideas require more time than money, with some creativity thrown in for good measure.
Regardless of whether you use wood, stone, brick or some other material, creating a clean, well-defined edge is one of the secrets of getting a professional-looking garden.
What is garden edging?
Effective garden design revolves around creating interest by blending multiple smaller spaces or zones to tell a story. You might have a zone for ball games, another for dining and even one with a vegetable patch.
However, having multiple zones alone can make a garden look busy and disjointed. It’s the primary reason why using clean, crisp borders are so important. They give a rhythm to space and further define each zone while tying them together.
Typically, you might use bricks, stones or logs to create an effective border. Shells, roof tiles and coated wire are some exciting materials that can be used for edging.
With garden edge ideas, there are literally endless possibilities.
How much will it cost?
Depending on the material and whether you plan to DIY, creating new garden edges can be very affordable. For example, creating a border using bricks is likely to require more effort than cost.
If your after a more rustic look and end up using railway sleeper, the basic materials will cost more. You’ll also need the right tools and plenty of time to measure and cut each log to shape.
You could use a ready to use product from a local gardening centre which requires minimal effort to shape and lay.
Of course, if your sole concern is the finish, then getting a professional landscaper will have the best result yet will be the most expensive option.
Which material is best for garden edges?
The ideal edging for you garden will depend on the overall look you’re trying to achieve. It also depends on your budget and how much time you can spend on the project.
As edging creates different zones yet aims to unify them, it’s worth considering your existing design as well as your planting scheme, colour choices and garden furniture.
Lastly, consider how different materials and colours impact the space. For example, in a small garden large chunky logs painted in bold colours will make the space feel smaller.
Whereas using small terracotta roof tiles or sand coloured bricks can subtly outline different zones while adding a splash of colour. Each space will also feel a little bigger.
Knowing what option to pick for your space, budget and scheme can be tricky. That’s why we’ve compiled our top creative garden edge ideas.
#1 Cinder block garden edging
Widely available, cinder blocks are superb for garden edges. The hole in the middle can double as a planter, allowing for a second layer of flowers.
What ideal about cinder blocks is they’re inexpensive and don’t require fixing in place. Simply arrange on the ground, then fill with soil and plants, and you’re done.
#2 Willow Weave
Available in a range of lengths (30 to 100 cm) and heights (10 to 60cm) , these Floranica willow weave edging fences are easy to install, thanks to their beech stakes. You don’t need any DIY skills or tools!
Made from natural materials, they should last up to 10 years and weather nicely over time. The whole range is available from Amazon for an affordable price.
Bring a piece of the coast, home. You’ll want to gather large seashells, like the quahog species or the giant spider conch. With a selection collected, place them around your flowerbeds.
The contrast between ivory-grey shades of the shells and the earthy tones, green of the plants blend to create a subtle boundary.
#4 Stack terracotta pots
Go bold with terracotta pots! Another simple idea that affordable and easy to implement. Plus the firey red tones always look good.
Using a large number of terracotta pots, you can either arrange them vertically with plants in them or horizontally with one on top of another.
#5 Traditional stone edging
While quite boring as far as garden edge ideas go, the traditional look will always be timeless. Like with cinder blocks, you don’t need to fix the stones in place, other than trying to arrange them in an attractive pattern.
You can use either stone or paving bricks as both are cheap and widely available.
#6 Flexible garden edging aka FlexiBorder
Made entirely of recycled rubber, FlexiBorder (available from Amazon) is an eco-friendly and safe way to edge your garden’s lawn, borders, pathway, driveway or garden feature.
Designed to be lawnmower friendly so the wheels travel along the FlexiBorder and cut to the edge of the lawn in complete safety to give a neat finish. FlexiBorder is robust enough to handle strimmers if required.
It’s easy to install. Simply place it around your beds, connect to the next Flexiborder and use the colour coded pins to fix it in place.
#7 How many glass bottles?
If you like a glass of wine but want to be able to reuse the bottle, then consider using them as a garden border. It’s a great idea to mix different hues and sizes for a natural look.
You’ll want to dig a channel, then fill the hole with unturned wine bottles and then cover with soil. It’s easy and free (minus the cost of the wine!).
#8 Don’t bin your old plates!
As garden edge ideas go, using plates to mark boundaries is unique, to say the least!
If you have a stack of broken or mismatched plates, then recycle them into a colourful border. You can easily and cheaply buy more from eBay, a nearby auction and local charity shops.
Whatever you do, don’t bin them! Instead, get creative!
#9 You’ve gotta roll with it!
If you’re looking for a subtle border idea, then consider the Primrose galvanised steel edging roll. Featuring a rigid wavy design, simply unroll and tuck into the ground. No need for nails or pins.
Easily curved, the flexible edging is superb for installing in curved beds or around trees and other garden features. It’s also designed to protect itself from strimmer damage.
The standard 5m roll is 16.5cm high and is available from Amazon for £12. Its sleek design will fit into any modern garden layout and and one of many ideal garden edge ideas.
#10 Reuse pallets
It’s quick and easy to transform pallets into garden edging. They can be used as mini fences or to create a subtle border. They look superb in a range of gardens with their rustic look and will create a fantastic focal point.
#11 Faux river edge
Getting the transition between decking and lawn can be tough. Even if you’re a master with the lawnmower, it can still look sloppy.
Using plastic edging filled with river stones, you can soften the transition and create a modern look. You can also use a variety of white, grey, and black stones to get a contrasting effect for your wooden decking.
Also, you might even be able to incorporate some LED strip lights under the stones to make a unique feature by night.
#12 Classic park borders
Adding the perfect touch to any garden, these classic looking edges from Soldela (buy at Amazon) organise your spaces. Made from polypropylene, each pack contains 8 edges (51 x 30 cm) and easily clip together for an excellent finish.
These garden edges help to define the different areas of your outdoor space and so bring a sense of order and calm.
#13 Angled red brick edge
Bricks are dirt cheap (no pun intended!) and create a unique border when angled. The reds in the bricks help to extenuate the colour in the plants in the surrounding area.
You’ll need to dig a shallow trench and then arrange the bricks at a 45-degree angle. If you have the tools, it’s worth cutting the last brick so that it creates a triangle shape, which all the other bricks can lean onto it.
While you might have a stack of red bricks handy, this garden edging idea works equally as well when using various coloured bricks. When you’ve settled on a pattern, use soil or mulch to fill in the holes and bind the bricks together.
As this design is very popular, B&Q sell their own version as Sawtooth Paving edging, which is useful if DIY isn’t your thing.
#14 Faux stone it, ’til you brick it!
If DIY isn’t your thing or you need to add a border quickly, then fake it! These faux cobblestones (£13 from Amazon) are made from plastic and have spikes, making it very easy to add them to any garden. You don’t even need to cut them to shape!
Simply wet the ground where you want to install, place in the damp soil and connect the next piece. Couldn’t be simpler!
Each pack contains 5-metres of pieces and comes with a 2-year warranty. Plenty to add an attractive edge to your flower bed.
#15 Garden bench edge
Combining seating with order and practicality, this is one of our favourite garden edge ideas. Use weathered wooden planks to create a raised bed. On top extend the planks so that they form a seat.
Not only does this give you a clean, modern-looking garden, but also increase the amount of seating. Just make sure you sand down the wood and treat it to avoid splinters and rot on your edging.
A large garden requires big edges and Gabion or “big cage” is an effective way to create a feature while dividing the space into zones.
These cages are widely available from gardening centres and DIY stores and can be filled with a range of materials. The most popular option is stone. However, cut logs, shells, and terracotta, bring a modern look to this timeless design idea.
#17 Log jam
Cut logs are a simple and environmentally friendly, to add a crisp edge to a garden. Logs can be positioned either horizontally or vertically. While you will need a good rotary saw, you could source logs locally or reuse any existing ones you have.
With a bit of effort and time, you can create an appealingly natural garden edge.
#18 Tier brick edging
This idea is a twist on classic garden edge ideas and is perfect for creating a beautiful border between your garden and your lawn.
The two tiers of brick utilize different coloured bricks and heights to create a beautiful edge. The brick design looks elegant and can add a splash of colour.
#19 Japanese slate edging ideas
Slate edging creates an interesting multitextured effect. While not suitable for pathways, slate is brilliant for breaking up large expanses of lawn.
With an intricate look, this classic pebble border is very easy to create. Such a popular idea, you can even buy premade strips!
The edge is made from two parts. The inner layer contains several small white or light-coloured stones. A layer of bricks creates the outer edge and keep the stones from venturing out into the grass.
#21 Bowling Balls
As one of the most unique garden edge ideas, this is a bold idea! Not everyone will have access to old bowling balls, but the results make it worth trying to source some.
Using a variety of colours and eye-catching spherical design, bowling balls make for surprisingly perfect garden edging materials.
#22 Paving the way
Natural stone paving blends seamlessly with the greens, reds and yellows already present in every garden. They can also provide an interesting contrast with wooden decking or pebbles.
Slim, rectangle paving stones enable you to subtly define spaces yet won’t overwhelm the garden. You can, of course, mix different sizes and shapes to create an individual border.
#23 Woven Garden Hoses Used As Edging
If you have a few old hoses tucked away in your shed, why not turn them into a unique garden edge? This is a unique and beautiful way to create a one-of-a-kind border which costs almost nothing!
#24 Pouring concrete
Concrete has many uses, including several garden edge ideas. Using concrete is a superb way to create subtle edging. As this can be constructed onsite, it’s very DIY friendly and cheap. Also you can even stain or paint the concrete to customise its finish.
#25 Mini Picket Fence Edging
Iconic yet simple, the white picket fence makes us all dream of the countryside! Easily get the look, albeit on a miniature scale with these easy to install edging pieces.
Just picture white picket fences surrounding your flower bed. You can even weave trailing plants through each panel and create an even more beautiful display.
#26 Dry Creek Bed
This idea is a classic American design, hence the name! A creek bed acts as a drainage system and an edging structure at the same time.
A dry creek bed complements the largely green appearance of a garden lawn. Instead of having an unsightly drainage system, simply dig a trench and fill it with a mixture of pebbles and stones.
#27 Walk the line!
The edge doesn’t have to be the only accent in town. In a twist, this edging gets an accent with stones resembling pairs of small feet next to each other walking along the railway sleeper. It shows how to creatively reuse the resources you already have to create something different.
#28 Seamless plastic
If subtly is more of your design style, then consider using Dimex EasyFlex. Made from recycled material, it requires no digging and is easy to cut, so takes seconds to install.
As a flexible and durable product, you can easily shape it into curves and straight sections with ease. It’s ideal for holding in lightweight bedding materials like mulch or pebbles.
#29 Pining for a strong edge!
Timber is excellent for creating a strong and well-defined edge. In particular, we recommend pine that has been treated to fend off insects and rotting.
Burying nearly half of the pine in the ground will improve stability. Use galvanized nails to join the ends together.
#30 Bird ornaments
Bird ornamentss are perfect as garden edge ideas, especially if you have children. They provide a whimsical appearance yet create a superb divide.
Even a few bird ornaments mixed in with pebbles will create an exciting edging. Of course, you can use other animal or gnomes (we’re not mad!) ornaments that would serve as stoic guardians for your garden.
#31 Slab Pathway
A pathway with odd-shaped slabs automatically gives any garden a more countryside feel. Don’t worry about size, shape or colour, instead, lay the slabs out over your garden and keep rearranging until your happy.
It’s worth keeping the depth the same to prevent having uneven sections. You can level the stones in the pathway using long planks and a mallet.
#32 Rattan Baskets
Available in many sizes from a range of shops, rattan baskets are fantastic for garden edge ideas. The neutral, light grey colour compliments any area of your property. Rattan baskets can also be conveniently moved and rearranged.
They also make superb plant containers. Simply place black plastic bags in them, create drainage holes in the bottom and you’re ready to plant.
#33 Edging with Plants
Plants are easily an ideal material for edges. They’re easier to work with than rocks, logs or stone. Plus you can mix different colours with ease.
With a planted border, it’s a good idea to use a few evergreens as a background as they’ll provide the glue. Then you can either plant different flowers for each season or add flowers which will continue to bloom every spring.
Plants do require more care than a plastic border or logs, yet they bring a different feeling each season.
#34 Waterfalls and ways
If you already have a waterfall and want a border that complements it, then consider extending the water flow. Ideally, it’s best to use decorative cladding as it’s waterproof and comes many configurations.
You can even create seating and bridges using concrete slabs.
#35 Railway Sleepers
Quite likely the old edging material in the book. They instantly mark zones thanks to their chunky composition and have an industrial look. While railway sleepers are relatively affordable, you will need a rotary saw to cut them to size and this will take some time.
#36 Palisade edging
With its timber like appearance, the Cellfast Lawn Edging Palisade Brown is easy to install and sturdy. Ideal for separating a lawn from flower beds or vegetable garden.
Made from plastic and available in a range of lengths, it can easily be cut down to size.
#37 Classic boxwood
Known for formality, boxwood is one of many popular and classic garden edge ideas. As a hardy tree, it can withstand being clipped into a variety of shapes.
It’s invaluable as a way to define garden spaces, either as an edging material or a green wall, and adds a touch of formality. It’s also the perfect partner for roses.
#38 Herb garden edge Ideas
Add fragrance and colour to your borders by lining them with herbs. Very easy to grow, herbs look good all year and can be used in everyday cooking.
Consider starting with Thyme, Sage and Rosemary or oregano. You’ll enjoy walking through your garden for the smells alone!
#39 Glow in the dark logs
Replicate woodland mystique in your garden with Noma LED illuminated tree stumps. Not only do these cracked log lamps make incredible path edging, but they also add seating throughout the garden.
#40 Metallic rustic look
By slightly raising the height of a garden bed and installing metal landscape edging, this winding “rusty” steel edging gives a contemporary look.
#41 Trench Edging
The simplest yet one of the most effective garden edge ideas, trench edging is just as it sounds. So all you’ll need is a spade!
When dug correctly and properly maintained, a trench provides an edge just as useful and attractive as more expensive and difficult-to-install edging materials.
A trenched edge prevents weeds and grass from invading the garden area and gives the bed a more finished look.
#42 Rope Lighting Garden Edging Ideas
If you like to use your garden at night or simply admire it from your property, then illuminate borders with LED rope lights. They’ll make your space come alive!
Rope lighting is a cheaper alternative to traditional ground lighting. It’s also easy to install and requires little maintenance.