How to Choose and Install Border Edging

No Garden Design is Complete Without Border Edging

Designing and maintaining an attractive garden is hard work. There is no doubt about it. Hours of planning, sowing, pruning and mowing (plus a whole host of other activities) are required to keep gardens presentable. Why then, ruin all your hard work by neglecting simple tasks? One such example is garden border edging. Omitting this vital finishing touch is a horticultural crime so heinous it could be compared to pairing a tailored three-piece suit with scuffed, unpolished shoes. Scruffy and unforgiveable. The separation between lawn and flower bed simply must be distinctly marked. 

What type of border edging to use?

Wood is the most common material to use as garden border edging; wood looks natural and blends in superbly with surrounding fence panels, sheds, or other garden structures, whilst clearly separating lawns from flower beds. Several different options exist, from classic border rolls and heavy-duty sleepers through to enchanting picket fences.

Border rolls

Border rolls always look fantastic – an excellent choice for any garden edging project. Use a spirit level for a touch of finesse; after all, ‘if a job’s worth doing it’s worth doing well’.

Forest 6 inch Border Roll - garden edging

Forest 9 Inch Border Roll - garden edging

Forest 12 Inch Border Roll - garden edging

Horizontal logs and sleepers

Horizontal logs and sleepers work just as well as vertical border rolls. Traditional and rustic in design, they look brilliant and easily keep lawn and soil separate. Just be sure to enlist the help of a friend if opting for sleepers; they’re very heavy!

Forest Horizontal Log Edging for Garden Borders

Forest 3 Foot Mini Sleeper - garden edgingForest Half Mini Sleeper - garden edging

Other Designs

Unlike border rolls, logs and sleepers, picket fence edging won’t stop soil from escaping; they do look charming when surrounded by flowers though! Picket fence garden borders create an idyllic, cottage garden feel. Or, to keep that soil tidied away, try dome-topped border edging.

Forest Picket Fence Edging for garden borders

Forest Dome Topped Border Edging

How to Install Garden Border Edging

Luckily, garden edging is straightforward to install.

garden hoseThe first step in implementing a proper garden border is to mark out appropriate boundary lines. Straight lines obviously look neat, and are ideal for us perfectionists. Curved lines add interest, and may be required should you have an old tree or other feature to negotiate; laying a hosepipe down to act as a guide is good practice.

Lawn edgerNext, you’ll need to remove any turf on the wrong side of the border. If you’re lucky enough to own a proper lawn edger, use it; if not, a traditional garden spade will do the job. (Remember to remove any pebbles, weeds or roots too.)

Spear & Jackson Border SpadeThen, dig a small trench in which your chosen border edging will sit. Finally, once installed, fill in any gaps with soil to ensure your chosen border edging remains secure, and able to withstand any onslaught from the weather or the neighbour’s pesky cat.

Hopefully this guide has helped you choose your border edging. Ultimately though, the choice is yours! Every garden is different and every gardener has different tastes. Let us know which border edging you prefer, and why, in the comments section below.