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Garden Border Ideas for The Perfect Planting Scheme

Well-designed garden border ideas guarantee a thriving backyard landscape. It also offers an appealing look that can add curbside appeal to homes.

Moreover, it dresses up the landscape, highlights specific areas and adds texture. Garden borders can ensure your yard is in full bloom all year round!

To help you create the perfect planting scheme, here are some tips and inspirations.

1. Colour blocks

Why not try a garden border that showcases a nifty little design trick like using colour blocks. For this concept, repeat the colour in blocks to draw the eye along the entire border.

You can feature different plants with the same range of colours for each row. Or stick to a simpler design, such as this red Begonia and yellow Coleus garden border.

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2. Brick edging

Bricks are great for creating a landscape edge for many reasons. Assemble them in a shallow trench to form a nice barrier between the garden bed and grass.

Top tip: A neat and clean border or edge provides uniformity to a landscape.

Brick edging
Image Credit: Geograph UK

3. Variety of plants for contrast

Harmony is important, and so is diversity. Opt for plants with distinctive colours and dramatic shapes to create focal points. Spiky Palms and Pencil Junipers are an excellent choice.

4. Steel edging

Thinking of adding rustic charm to your landscape? Installing metal edging can give you that perfect look. Create a zigzag pattern or install corten steel panels in levels.

5. Edible crops

If you have a sunny garden, make the most of it with an edging of fresh and hearty herbs and veggies! Count on edibles like basil and curly leaf kale.

Fill the borders with annuals and perennials to add colour and texture.

Edible crops as garden edges
Image Credit: PlantNet

6. Mixed borders

Mixed borders are best for urban and suburban gardens. Plant trees, shrubs, roses, perennials and bulbs together, for instance, for interest.

Mixed garden borders
Image Credit: Flickr, ukgardenphotos

7. Water feature focal point

Include a focal point, such as a birdbath or small fountain, nestled next to taller planters. If your borders have curves, place a water feature in the part of the curve that juts forwards.

Bird bath focal point among the mixed borders
Image Credit: Public Domain Pictures

8. Focus on shapes

The shape of plants is just as important as their colour. For one, the shape helps to structure the planting. Meanwhile, the colour and texture supply the finishing touches.

Focusing on shapes helps add interest another layer to your garden border.

9. Line path borders with bulbs

Bulbs are perfect as borders as they give structure and seasonal interest to gardens. They can also grow through perennials, giving you more colour bursts.

Lined path borders with bulbs
Image Credit: Flickr, cultivar413

10. Trees for height

Trees in borders, paired with tall and majestic plants, will add lovely tiered height to your garden. This method is perfect if you want your border to look informal.

A pathway with bush edgings and lined trees
Image Credit: Public Domain Pictures

11. Gabion walls

Gabion walls look natural and structured, blending well with the natural environment. They work as a retaining wall holding plants and soil.

This edging is an excellent option if you want a sturdy border that holds up well.

Gabion walls
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

12. Stones on deck

A rock border adds polish to the design; at the same time, it makes a difference for decking. This is a unique way to differentiate your deck from where your garden starts. Check our garden decking ideas for more!

13. Shrubs for volume

Not only do shrubs offer year-round interest to gardens, but they also add volume to borders. Evergreens with good form and shapely leaves are ideal for small spaces.

Note: Consider size at maturity as some shrubs can grow to monstrous proportions.

Shrubs edging
Image Credit: Stock Snap

14. Think vertical

In addition to shrubs and trees, climbers also add height. Hence, take full advantage of walls and fences, too! Mix non-invasive seasonal climbers to prolong the season of interest.

Wooden fence with climbers
Image Credit: Pixnio

15. Fill the border with scented plants

Scented plants enliven any garden in an instant. Scents such as Dutch honeysuckle and white jasmine, perfume the air wonderfully. Imagine walking into your garden to these pleasing aromas!

Lavender as garden borders, lining pathways
Image Credit: Pxhere

16. Scrap-treated wood

The mini boards from scrap wood or pallets of this garden border are enough to define the bed. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, this can be an excellent option for you. Paint them to make them more aesthetically pleasing.

17. Garden hose

Breathe new life into your old garden hoses and take a cue from this one-of-a-kind border/fence. A unique and creative way to add garden edging ideas to your backyard, indeed!

18. Short to tall

Arrange your garden border with shorter plants in front and taller ones at the back. Fill three height slots: short, medium and tall. This applies to annuals, perennials or edible plants.

Mixed border edging
Image Credit: Flickr, Ron Frazier

19. Statues

Other than birdbaths, statues also create a striking focal point. This is especially true when elevated above plantings. Have a look at this dreamy garden border filled with lush tulips and lavender, with a central statue.

20. Plastic cobblestones

Made of plastic material, these faux cobbled stones feature a bridge edge and design face. Make sure to allow extra room to plant flowers and shrubs during installation.

What’s more, the colour doesn’t take away from the beautiful colours of the plants, and it’s easy to install!

21. Glass bottles

Glass bottles catch the eye and make a great landscape border that keeps certain pests at bay. It’s especially fun to craft a bottle border if you have many uneven-sized bottles.

Wine glass bottle edging
Image Credit: Flickr, scrappy annie

22. Terracotta pots

The terracotta pots laid out make for a fascinating, whimsical look. For a nice effect, design it in a tubular shape – just like the one in the photo below. 

This is a great garden border/edging idea if you want something different from others.

23. River rocks

A river rock border brings a naturalistic feel to the garden. There are so many ways to incorporate them, and they can be used in all kinds of spaces. For added interest, show off different sizes and shapes.

Painted river rocks
Image Credit: Flickr, cultivar413

24. Stones and bricks

Brick edging and a pebble path are stylish ideas and a great pair. They give off a touch of well-grooming and make a statement at the same time. Great for outlining patios, walkways, and other landscape elements.

25. Living edges

The simplest and most cost-effective way to edge a garden bed is with actual plants. A fresh idea for contemporary gardens that lets you skip beds and just frame the parts with plants. These can be any types of succulents, cacti, flowers and greenery that you like.

26. Light them up

A great way to light up your walkways and other parts of the garden at night! Outdoor lighting ideas like this give a modern feel to the space and a stylish accent. It also makes a good alternative to lamps and lanterns.

Garden corner with bamboo screening, bush edges, and globe lights for ambience
Image Credit: Flickr, Wonderlane

27. Coastal shells

You wouldn’t want any edging style than this one for your beach garden setting. Opt for huge shells to create a border as they are more visible and add interest to the theme. For smaller shells, you may use them on the borders instead of pebbles.

28. Cinder blocks

The thing we like about cinder blocks is that they can double as both edges and planters. They’re also inexpensive, and you can make them exposed or sunken to match your style. Cinder blocks are also perfect if you wish to create second or more layers of flowers.

29. Large metal pipes

Large metal pipes with succulents are a unique and creative way to border your garden. The rustic vibe they give double when they become rustier over time. Like cinder blocks, they can function like planters – with pebbles or soil in them.

30. Stacked flat stones

This shows a nice way to edge a flower bed or a tree using short, flat, tiled rocks stacked on top of each other. The idea is simple while offering a casual look. Also works well for separating the lawn edge from the mulch and flower bed.

31. To edge a patio deck

This design approach is brilliant if you want to differentiate the deck from the garden. It simply adds a “polish” to the look. Stone rocks, for one, make a great border choice for this.

Decked patio with outdoor hot tub
Image Credit: Flickr, Images by John ‘K’

32. Corrugated steel panels

Corrugated steels offer a neat look for landscape edging. Ideal for a minimalist garden setting, it simply looks clean and simple. The colours are not too busy, and you can use full-sized ones and install them vertically.

33. Crushed rock filling

This lawn edging idea provides a contrast with brick and a crushed rock filling between. The height of the stones offers a clear boundary without intruding on the landscape. Top tip: Pour any excess crushed rock over the existing crushed ones and rake it smooth.

34. Railroad tie

Railroad ties are combined with sand, concrete, or gravel to create modern landscaping designs. They have both a traditional and contemporary feel. The rustic look also adds an aesthetic design feature.

Note: Not recommended in vegetable gardens where contact is inevitable.

35. Laid tree stump

This edging concept has a lot of detail – and you might not notice the bottle walkway at first glance. But the highlight of this landscape is the laid tree stump that acts as the edging. Cut the tree trunks and lay them out to create borders.

36. Braided woven vines

This woven garden edging gives off a rustic feel and a touch of creativity. The braided vine edges will look brilliant if you have a cottage-themed garden! They also make great material for fences and trellises.

37. China plate edging

These dinner plates make a very unusual way to set up a garden border. But the old ones that would otherwise sit in a china cabinet can still have their purpose. Take a cue from this China plate edging that will suit your Chinese garden setting.

38. Repurposed hubcaps

It’s absolutely clever and unique using the hubcaps as garden bed edging. They’re practical, affordable and good-looking additions to the landscape. Perfect for an industrial-styled garden setting.

39. Repeat planting scheme

Repetition in garden borders is the easiest way to merge a planting scheme. This idea also helps mark out a ‘designed’ border. Use the same hedging throughout or repeat evergreen perennials. 

Or put ornamental grasses in drifts at the front of beds and borders.

40. Graduated stone bed

Graduated stone bed edging provides excellent contrast. The small stones create a nice transition border, while the large ones make up the bed. A pleasing way to put in place a natural border.

41. Mini fence

Imitate your garden fence set up around the yard and make a miniature version for the borders. It’s easy to install, and it can transform the edges of your lawn or beds in a matter of minutes.

Opt for a fence which has been treated for year-round use.

42. Pebble moat

There are two approaches to building rock edging for a lawn or decking. One of them is to create a pebble moat.

Take this patio deck, for example. It rises out from the surrounding pebbles, which gives the impression of a pebble moat. The sleek lines also make the overall appearance contemporary and artistic.

43. Sharp edge lawn

The straight edges and angular corners of the lawn give off a simple yet give strong look. Ideal for both modern and minimalist gardens.

The style will also work on artificial turf ideas paired with stone slabs to create this sleek vibe.

44. Contemporary block edging

Large blocks like these can serve dual purposes. They can provide a neat border while enclosing the soil or crushed rocks within to avoid overspill. The clean lines and simple style will also suit a contemporary front or back garden.

45. Landscape with boulders

Creating an edge with boulders is simply a case of sourcing large rocks. Then, pile them on top of each other along the perimeter of your garden. This design idea is especially great if you have boulders on your property.

Boulder edge landscape
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

46. Oriental grasses

Oriental grasses are environmentally friendly, and they don’t need staking, dead-heading or spraying. Fescues, for one, are considered low-growers and are often used as edgings and borders.

Grow them in a mixed border where their foliage and upright habit contrast with bright summer blooms.

Ornamental grasses and boulders edging
Image Credit: Flickr, Allan Hack

47. Tetris-style wall border

Giving off a modern and rustic look, these rough stones are perfect for adding a Tetris style to your lawn edges. Stack the stones however you like to create a unique look. The design will surely make your garden stand out!

48. Grow a series of lavender

Loved for its beautiful blooms and delicate fragrance, lavender edging is worth considering. It can provide the perfect frame for your garden design – just like this one! Add a row of dazzling purple flowers to hide the rough edge of the lawn.

49. Cobblestones

Cobblestones transform simple garden landscaping into something that’s neat and organised. They provide a formal definition of beds, pathways and other garden areas. Great for front garden makeovers or backyard lawn edging.

50. With an in-built bench

The addition of a bench into the mix will serve a double purpose. It allows you to give your garden a rustic edge while also offering more seating space.

Use thick wooden planks or read our garden bench ideas for other design options. Remember, a well-placed bench in the yard can make a huge difference.

Garden Border Ideas: Round-up

Carefully orchestrated planting and edging create a harmonious design in any garden. And garden borders provide endless opportunities for imaginative planting. Plus, it is key to a successful garden design.

Moreover, garden borders are a great way to bring colour and vibrancy into outdoor spaces. But with thousands of varying styles, the process can be exciting yet overwhelming.

Upcycling garden ideas have also become popular in the UK for borders and edging. Overall, we hope these ideas will help you create a winning garden border!

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FAQs

Gabion walls are one of the cheapest options for garden edging or borders. Steel edges, glass bottles and scrap woods also make a fine choice.

Plan it, consider the shape and size of your garden, add edges and nourish the soil. Pick the best plants and flowers that suit your backyard setting. Find the perfect border and edging idea from our list above!

The materials used for edging come in a wide range of choices and combinations. This includes stone, concrete, brick, wood, tiles, metal, plates, glass, gabion, and logs. Basically, any kind of recyclable item.

The no-digging method. All you have to do is pound stakes into the ground. A great example of this is the plastic cobblestones and glass bottle edging.

There are tons of options to consider out there, but the best ones are the following:

 

  • Shasta daisy
  • Lambs' ears
  • Plumbago
  • Stokes' asters
  • Lungworts
  • Astilbes
  • Heucherellas
  • Snowdrop Anemones