Create Natural Edging for a Garden

Using Stone, Wood or Plants

  1. Choose wood and stone materials that look as natural as possible. It’s possible to get quite creative when using natural materials for creating lawn edging. Stone or wood make good choices. For the most natural effect you don’t want these to be too uniform, so choose rough-looking wood such as reclaimed railway sleepers or uneven shapes of natural stone.
  2. Be aware that stone can be expensive and difficult to install. Stone tends to be an expensive choice of edging material and it is laborious to put in place.
    • It’s also harder to avoid damaging the lawnmower or knocking the stones out of place when mowing. This usually means you’ll get a less neat finish after mowing.
    • A trimmer may help, or consider hand-trimming the edges to tidy them up.
  3. Choose wooden materials that have been treated and preserved. If you are using wood to edge your garden, make sure it’s been pressure treated or that a preservative has been applied to it. This will ensure a longer life.
    • If you are using reclaimed wood such as railway sleepers, check they are plant safe. Some wood can be contaminated with chemicals that will negatively affect plants.
    • If you plan to use the sleepers for sitting on or for eating off, make sure they aren’t sticky with creosote. Creosote will ruin your clothes and emit unpleasant smells.
  4. Choose low-growing, compact plants as edging materials. Plants can also be used to create a natural visual edge to define your borders. You’ll need to select something low-growing and fairly compact. Dwarf Perennial Lavender makes a good choice, as does Thyme, Speedwell or Geranium.
    • It will be necessary to keep these plants well-trimmed or you may not get a uniform look. You will also have the issue of how to mow the lawn right to the edges without damaging the edging plants.
    • You might like to use plant edging in combination with another type of edging such as trench edging. Plant the edging plants so they conceal whatever edging material you are using.

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