A beautiful garden, like a fine painting, needs a frame to set it off. Edgings and borders, natural and manmade, provide contrast in your garden, keep wandering blooms in their place and give flower beds that finishing touch. Here’s a look at some of your edging options.
One of the quickest and easiest of borders are the ready-made borders available in wood, plastic, and wire. The wood borders come in picket and lattice styles as well as decorative and even whimsical designs. Pressure-treated cedar edging are durable and decorative and the natural color and preservatives resist moisture and age attractively. One unusual looking wood edging is alternative height log edging which makes an interesting border for beds and walkways. Wire edging is made of steel and coated with polyester to prevent rusting. It comes in various heights, in green or white and can be folded up for easy storage. Plastic edging is available in individual sections or lengths that interconnect to form lines, circles, or curves — conforming to landscaping contours. Most of the wood, metal and plastic edgings are self-staking or can be hammered into the ground for easy installation and removal.
Cement edging can create an interesting contrast to flowering plants and give a crisp and smart finish to flower beds. Local home improvement store, Chase-Pitkin, carries several different styles and colors of individual cement “stone” borders from Pavestone Plus. One example, called Edgestone, is rounded one end and concave at the other so each stone can be “linked” with the next to make rounds, angles or straight lines. This edging can be installed either as a raised edge around flowers or trees or sunk level with the ground to define a flower bed and provide a mowing strip. Another Pavestone style comes in straight or curved scalloped sections which, when used to border a slightly raised bed, retains mulch and plant materials. If you’re concerned about what goes into the cement mixture, Pavestone says the formulation is environmentally sensitive and long-lasting.
Sometimes you can find manmade bricks at old construction sites for edging. Sunk to the level of the flower bed, these brick can give your garden an old world charm. If you’re lucky enough to know someone who has too many stones on their property and wants to get rid of them, you have the makings of a lovely edging for your flower beds.
The Natural Look
If you prefer all natural elements in your garden, you can mark a walkway or define foliage areas with a low border or hedge. Doug Clark, from the garden department at the Chase-Pitkin store in Pittsford, recommends Dwarf Boxwood or Korean Boxwood “Winter Gem”. A natural edging creates a lovely manicured appearance that gives flower beds a formal look associated with the gardens of Europe. A regular trim will keep the hedge neat and compact.