The Pros and Cons of Different Landscape Edging
Landscape edging brings a layer of aesthetic level to your lawn. It is also functional as well as attractive, as it is used to separate different areas of your lawn. The most common use is around flowerbeds, shrubs and other plantings. Edging can keep your grass from invading a flowerbed or other area and make the upkeep easier on your entire lawn.
Trenching vs. Barrier Styles
The most basic of edging is to dig a trench around a planting area that is the same depth all around and creating a shape with it. The trench is usually dug by hand or with the use of a trencher and the sod is removed. The drawback to using this as edging details for an area is that the trench has to be kept clean from weeds growing into it and it does have to be dug again when it fills in with your sprinkler system or by heavy rains.
This is the reason why most people choose to use a barrier style for their landscape edging. Read on to learn about the different types.
Natural stone is a popular choice among homeowners. It looks nice and it durable for many years to come. Stone can be a bit on the expensive side, but considering you only buy it once and don’t have to replace it or do any upkeep, it can be a great choice. Stone can be pretty heavy though, so you may want this type of edging to be installed by a professional landscaping company.
Cobblestone pavers are a good choice, as they are easily installed and are uniform in size and shape so that they fit together easily. This allows you to create a border without the need for difficult placement of irregular sized materials.
Wood is an attractive natural material that has a rustic appearance. The down side is that you need treated wood, as untreated wood rots quickly, looks messy and needs replacing often. Landscape timbers are treated with wood preservatives to add many additional years to a wooden edging. Landscape timbers work well around flowerbeds and flower gardens, although you may not want to use them around a vegetable garden due to the preservatives that can leach into the soil and the root system.
The four most common manufactured materials are metal, plastic, concrete and brick.
Metal edging is long lasting and subtle in a lawn. It can bend somewhat so that straight runs and gentle curves are easy to do upon installation. You do need a hacksaw to cut it to the lengths you need. Metal edging is very thin and it corms a clean line between two separate elements, such as a flowerbed and your lawn. Metal landscape edging does not rust or it is made of weather-resistant steel that stands straight up and holds your soil or gravel inside your bedding areas.
Plastic edging is similar to metal edging, but it does not last as long before needing replacement. The strong rays of sunlight will eventually make plastic dry out, crack and break. It is a bit easier to install than metal as it is easier to cut to the lengths you want and it is more flexible than metal, so you can bend it to make intricate designs.
Poured concrete is the ultimate in design as an edging material. A trench is dug around your beds and the concrete is poured into it and allowed to dry. Tinting of many colors can be added to the concrete to match other items in your yard, such as lawn furniture or to echo the color of your blooming plants. You can have a concrete barrier in any shape you can imagine. After the concrete is poured and is still fluid, you can imprint shapes on it using any type of item you wish. Leaves and seashells make a nice touch to concrete. You may also wish to insert colored pebbles, tiles, decorative glass or shells in the top.
Brick edging has a timeless and classic appearance of clean lines. It is easy to install for straight runs and also angles in your landscape design. You can have a brick border with one single row of bricks and it isn’t necessary to use mortar. However, if you stack two layers of bricks, you will need to use mortar between the layers to hold them in place. Brick is versatile, as you can lay them flat, on end or even standing up straight or a mixture of these orientations to create a truly distinct pattern. Brick is also available in several colors and you may use salvaged bricks to give your area a timeworn appearance.
Decorative Landscape Edging Ideas
You can create dramatic effects in your lawn with decorative and non-traditional ideas.
A gabion wall is a dramatic edging. It is formed by placing a wire frame in the outermost section of a trench around your flowerbeds. You then fill in the rest of the trench with assorted and colored rocks or pebbles that are large than the holes in the wire. The wire holds them in place and you can make this type of edging as tall as you want by digging the trench deeper.
One of the least expensive methods of edging is when you cut varying lengths of 2 by 4 boards and stand them upright in a trench. This gives your lawn a casual appearance, but the wood will rot in the ground unless you choose to make the same type of edging with landscape timbers.
Terracotta tiles are available in many different colors. They are easy to lay, similar to bricks and you can make any design you wish. You can choose from solid colors or a variety of colors in a pattern on each tile.
Perhaps the most informal type of edging is made by weaving fallen tree branches in a horizontal line. It gives the impression as a basket weave and the branches can be different sizes. You can use willow twigs and branches to fill in the spaces between the larger branches for an extra touch.
You can use your imagination to create any type of garden edging that you can think of. As long as the materials are long lasting, even if they are in the ground, it will last for quite some time and give your lawn your own personal touch.