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Creative Landscape Edging Ideas


Use landscape edging to separate the grass from the garden or simply make a creative border

There is nothing nicer than a well-designed landscape with crisp edges and accents. Trees, flowerbeds, driveways, and sidewalks all benefit from the use of landscape edging. The options for design are endless and with minimal tools and a visit to the nursery or home improvement store, you can make improvements over a weekend.

First, you should create a plan for edging placement. You can do a quick sketch on paper before you head outside with string and stakes. Be adventurous, but think simple: curves, straight edges, and random lines all add character to a home's appearance.

Try to avoid sharp angles and, at the very least, keep them to a minimum, especially in grassy areas. You'll find mowing much easier without those corners.

To get a quick and clear idea of curved paths, play around with a garden hose as your border. Then you can use stakes and strings for a more definitive pattern, especially if some of the borders are squared. Once you have staked your lines and you are confident there will be no course changes, purchase lime and put it down along the route of edging. Now you can remove the string and stakes, which will make it easier to dig.

There is no "best" edging product but a few recommendations may help. You can purchase plastic edging at the local home improvement store. The best quality will be clearly packaged as landscape edging and will come in a kit with stakes. Without stakes, the edging will be susceptible to side movement and upheaval in climate changes.

Metal edging is difficult to maneuver, but has been a popular product for decades. It is prone to rust eventually, but over all is a generally durable product. Aluminum edging is newer to the market and easier to handle. It does not rust or wear out.

You have probably seen bricks used for flowerbed edging. They are buried to a depth that leaves about one-half inch of surface showing. Be careful when purchasing bricks; they are made for both interior and exterior use. The interior versions, which are cheaper, cannot hold up to outdoor conditions.

Stones and precast pavers are also popular choices. The precast stones are wonderful for layered terraces. They come in a limited range of colors that will complement just about any house.

Landscape timbers and railroad ties are good old standbys. Pre-treated wood will last for many years, but any wood eventually requires replacement. If you are planning an herb garden, these are ideal. Herbs need plenty of drainage and thrive well in a raised-bed environment. Timbers or ties are economical and can add the needed support around the edges.

Plastic edging that looks like terracotta tile is another alternative for long-lasting support and division between grass and beds. It's very hardy - made of polypropylene - and is guaranteed to not crack or chip.

Rubber edging can be pounded into the ground and is durable and soft enough that lawnmowers can run right over it. It is also flexible and will re-position itself through most ground upheavals.

Tree rings look like flat Christmas tree skirts. They are made of rubber, but are attractive enough to fit into any landscape - formal or informal. These bark-like mats prevent weeds and grass from growing around the tree and can withstand lawnmowing.

Some iron edging styles are merely decorative; they are neither functional nor safe without adequate lighting. However, there is no denying the elegance of finials or the contemporary look of edging rings. They are painted and powder-coated to add a dramatic touch to the landscape.

Some experts say the perfect edging is an invisible one. You can decide which you prefer: decorative, functional, or a blend. If it's within your budget, a professional edging job will last many years to come, or you can do-it-yourself with a visit to the nursery or home improvement store.


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