When it comes to the edge of your garden beds, a clean, finished look will really brighten the day. Edging often becomes the most overlooked part of a landscape, though it may be the most important. Edging can be a subtle addition to a landscape, though it is used to define spaces and rooms and give a sense of direction and flow. When choosing edging for a new landscape or redoing an existing landscape, it is important to think about mowing ease, house styles, colors, and landscape style. For example: if you are putting in a cottage garden with lots of diversity of plants, a simple steel edging may not be the best choice.
Lets look at some different edging examples.
Concrete edging has been around for decades, but in recent years designs have matured to include patterns, colors, and textures that can mimic the look of wood, brick, stone, and different house siding. Concrete can be shaped to provide a mowing lip that does not require string trimming, or rounded for a soft look. Concrete does not frost heave, or get sunk in the turf as thatch builds up. One of the few cons of concrete is that it is subject to cracking from heaving/settling or earthquakes. However, it is easy to install and lasts for years. Dollar wise, this may be the best option for overall durability and beauty.
Steel is the most common of metal edgings and has been used for decades. It is most often painted green or red and installed with or without stakes. It forms a clean line along the bed and stands up well to trimming and mowing. Steel edging is common, moderately easy to install, and long lasting. Aluminum is another metal edging that is similar to steel, but is not as durable and is a little harder to install.
Cut stone edging is similar to concrete for its durability and ability to be placed below the mower deck height. However, it can be pricey, depending on type of stone. There are different color combinations that can be used and you can even vary type of stone in the same landscape. Types of stone include limestone, granite, shale, sandstone, and marble.
Plastic edging may have the most variety of styles and colors available and is certainly one of the cheapest of edging choices. It can be cut easily and is not difficult to install. However, durability may be lacking and it is subject to damage from mowers, string trimmers, and animals. It can be difficult to line up correctly if on a slope, too.
Field stone may be the cheapest as it can be found along roadsides in the Midwest and Great Plains. However, it can be heavy, and difficult to place in such a way that looks harmonious in the landscape. It is very durable, depending on type, and can stand up to trimming. However, unless you use flat limestone or shale, you will have to trim after mowing.
Brick is another durable option that is rarely used on anything but brick houses. Usually, it is made from the leftovers of the house construction. It can be laid under the mower height, eliminating trimming, but may need to be sprayed occasionally to keep out incoming grass and weeds.
These are the most options available to homeowners and landscapers throughout our area. If you need help picking an edging choice, call our designers at Grimm’s Gardens for help!