Can we talk garden edging?

Lilyfinch z7 mid tnJuly 6, 2010

I just expanded the beds on either side of my walkway last week. Im really excited about its potential! I started by putting in white gaura, pink and white coneflowers, some purple penstemon and a few catmint plants. We have always had our front beds edged with scalloped brick edging , but i think were gonna update the look. Its hard to keep perfectly strait and falls over occaisionally. So, i thought about buying a gas or electric edger like landscapers use. Does anyone use one? Or do you reccomend something else? Id love to use stacked stone but we cannot afford that.

What do you use to edge your beds with? Thanks for the help!

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Lilyfinch- I use a very informal edging, so it may not work for your space. The scalloped black plastic pieces that fit together from Lowe's works great in my garden.

I gave up trying to get it perfectly straight, but it works well for the fairy garden and the little bed under the fruit trees, which are slightly curved...and shall we say "whimsical". LOL

Very easy to put in, if the soil is recently dug up, but a little trickier in hard clay :)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 10:25AM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Free stacked concrete is free! Looks amazingly like expensive stacked stone. And it's free!!!
If you used an edger would that mean there is grass around that area, or you'd be whacking back plants. I prefer a much softer look and allow the plants to grow a bit over the edges. Personally, I do not care for a hard line along the walkway unless it is a very formal garden or a more traditional 50's style suburban landscape with a few foundation shrubs and grass.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 10:31AM
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I think the best looking edges are simply the trench method. I use a half moon edger to make my beds. I recently used it to make my cousins front and back beds. Since my cousins like to edge their beds with pebble stones, I layed down strips of weed cloth before I added the pebbles. Makes for a neat looking bed.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 10:51AM
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I'm with Ianna and do exactly the same with the half moon edger and then fill in with mulch. They are surprising easy to do - I can do my whole border around the house in an hour and I'll do that maybe three times a year.

I've tried the trencher things on the weedeater or Mantis tiller and all they do is dig a line - I like to scoop the soil out and back into the garden and leave the trench.

Surprisingly little grows there - the grass may try to get it but it pulls right out of the mulch. And you can just mow right up to and over them and you don't have to trim the grass.

I think it depends on how much you have - any hardscaped edging really takes on a prominent component if you have a lot of it. I had the black paper fabric stuff along the edges when I first put it in but I really hated it and little by little I removed it all.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 11:29AM
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I just handled my edging and did the trenching with a 12" border of river rock (medium size). It's beautiful and I can run the mower right over the rocks and no need to use the electric edger - there at least

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 12:44PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

There was a similar question last year. I took a few pics then of the different edges I use ... trench, bricks, rocks (that's a drainage area), and mondo grass.

Here is a link that might be useful: garden edges

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 12:55PM
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Natal - those all look great! I agree, I like a simple trench, bricks or stone for edging. Sorry to those who like/use it, but I do not care for the black plastic or most other edgings you buy. I guess I like the look of the natural materials. Also love to see old brick, stone, etc. repurposed.

Natal - a question. What kind are the ferns in the pic with the brick edging? Do you have alot of shade in that area? I love ferns but we have very little shade area. Our oaks are so tall that there's actually very little ground shaded.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 2:00PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Tina, I think they're called sword ferns. My patch started from the neighbor's. They grow on runners and popped up from under the fence. Until last winter they filled the bed you see there all the way back up to the front of the house. A number of hard freezes killed them to the ground, but they're coming back. It actually was a good thing, cause it made thinning them out a lot easier. They can become somewhat invasive. Mine grow in a mix of partial and deep shade, but I think they can take a little bit of sun.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 2:24PM
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Due to water runoff from torrential rains, we had to go with a French drain. We put concrete edging on the garden side, then the round rock surface is on the meadow side. This is overdone for most people, but we were solving a problem. We only got 100 feet installed in February and have to finish when the rains return in the winter. My husband, son and I did all the digging and work ourselves.

I don't use edging anywhere else except the outer deer resistant gardens.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 4:07PM
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gail_ish(5a ON)

Hi all,

I use logs that I've dragged out of the woods on my farm - they're free, they make bed starting easy and they match the look of my log house. Plus, when I get up close with the whipper-snipper, they protect the flowers in the bed :)

Here's some pics:


    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 9:09AM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

Wow thanks everyone for the help! I cant quite figure out my new camera yet to get the pics on my computer but i think my walkway is slightly formal because it is a strait up and down bed. Which i agree with GGG is very 50s style, but thats my house! lol After work today ill try harder to get pics going.
I plan on having the plants cascade over the sides to hide the edging . I like the idea of the broken concrete but my dh dosnt get the shabby chic thing and he wasnt as thrilled with the idea. So i think the cheapest route may be this halfmoon edger yall spoke of! I like the idea that i can use it everywhere and its inexpensive.
I hope my walkway can do without mulch as i get it filled in!

Natal, your pictures were just so beautiful! And Gail, your home is just beyond charming!!!

I do have a question to those using riverrock, do you fill the rocks in the bed or over the grass next to the bed? i also like this look too, if i can find some on craigslist for cheap then i might try it.

Thanks everyone, youve all helped me get some good ideas!!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 9:37AM
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