Garden edging ideas: Keep your outside spaces neat and tidy

vertical log garden edging
(Image credit: B&Q)

Our garden edging ideas are designed to beautify your outdoor spaces. Spending time relaxing in your garden is one of life's little pleasures — but only if your garden has been given a little TLC in order to keep it looking shipshape. 

Whether you are starting from scratch with your garden design, grappling with an unruly tangle of land that you have inherited with your renovation project or need new landscaping ideas for a space that is just no longer working, we are here to inspire. 

Garden edging is not a step to be skipped — it might only seem like a little detail but with the right treatment, a space that looks unfinished and messy can be transformed into calming and tranquil spot. Garden edging will mean all those plants you took time putting into your flowerbeds stay neat and tidy and that your patio and pathways are clearly defined from your grassy areas. 

Here, we take a look at all kinds garden edging styles, from those designed to nestle into a pretty country gardens, to materials and designs that will do justice to a sleek contemporary landscaping scheme. 

What are garden edging ideas?

Before getting stuck into some great garden landscaping ideas, do you actually know what garden edging is?

In short, garden edging is any method of creating lines and definition between grass and flowerbeds and the other areas of the space — it can be used to separate trees, beds, pathways and patios and can be as obvious or as subtle as you like. 

You can use anything, from plastic strips that stay hidden from view between beds and lawns, to dwarf walls built from bricks.

1. Use stone for a formal feel

stone garden edging around lawn

This Arcadian Lawn Edging from Haddonstone can be used in a range of ways, around borders and pathways.  (Image credit: Haddonstone)

Using solid stone as an edging material to sit between your lawn and flowerbeds is the perfect way to add a smart, polished look to both traditional as well as modern gardens. 

There is a huge range of stone edging products available to use for your lawn edging ideas, so if you are feeling a little overwhelmed by the choices out there, take some time to think about how you can tie your edging in with the rest of your garden design. Picking out a shade in your planting scheme can work well, as can mirroring shapes and forms found elsewhere in the garden — the straight lines of a minimalist pergola perhaps, or the curves of an arch. 

2. Use bricks between a patio and lawn

paved patio

Dark grey bricks, laid on edge horizontally, have been combined here with Bombay Smoke Grey Matt Stone-effect Porcelain Outdoor Floor Tiles from B&Q. (Image credit: B&Q)

Cost-effective, widely available and durable, bricks make great patio edging ideas and can be used to create a number of different effects, depending on the style you choose, the way they are laid and the colour you opt for. 

While they can be positioned in a range of designs and patterns, setting them flush with a patio and the grass it adjoins, as has been done here, will create a neat, modern finish. Using a shade of brick that contrasts with the paving used for the patio adds a nice polished feel that sits in pleasing contrast to the more rustic garden wall and voluminous planting scheme. 

3. Continue the lawn right up to the patio

modern patio

This beautiful landscaping scheme was designed by Matt Nichol Garden Design (Image credit: Matt Nichol Garden Design)

If you are happy to put in a little more in the way of maintenance when it comes to keeping your garden looking neat and tidy then taking your lawn right up to your patio areas can be a fantastic way to get a crisp, well cared for appearance.

You can use an edging tool to keep the lines of your lawn straight and straggle-free — something like the Green Jem Carbon Steel Edging Tool from Amazon would work well. 

The garden here has a smart, contemporary feel thanks to the combination of square patio, lawn area and flowerbeds.  

4. Combine Victorian edging stones with lavender

path edged with lavendar

Smoky grey Victorian edging stone and icy blue lavender really highlight this pathway.  (Image credit: Getty)

Blue clay garden edging was really popular during the Victorian era and can still be found in many reclamation yards today, although replicas are also available.

While the '3-hump' design, shown here, is a classic, there are also many other period styles available, such as rope edging. These stones add a lovely classic feel to both pretty cottage gardens, as well as more formal layouts and are easy to fit for most DIYers too. 

If you are after path edging ideas, combining rows of small lavender plants with blue edging stones will ensure all eyes are on your garden path and will give your garden a soft feel — for a more structured look, neatly trimmed box hedges could be used. 

5. Use timber planks to navigate level changes

timber planks as garden edging

Timber edging boards are easy to install and can be painted in any shade your heart desires.  (Image credit: B&Q)

Smart, painted timber planks make a simple yet effective garden edging material and are also ideal for creating a boundary between different levels, such as between the lawn and a patio or deck.

If you like this idea, be sure to treat the timber with wood preservative before fitting it to ensure it can withstand the damp — otherwise it could quickly become rotten.

This is also a real good budget-friendly edging idea that is simple and quick to fit. This Forest Nova modern edging, from B&Q would be ideal for creating a border for flower beds or for path edging and can be painted to suit your garden style.

5. Set old bricks at an angle

old bricks used as garden edging

Reclaimed bricks, laid diagonally, look fantastic used as garden edging and are surprisingly simple to lay on a DIY basis.  (Image credit: Getty)

Whether you are renovating, extending or self building, the chances are you may well have some old bricks lying around — and if not, they are not usually too hard to come by anyway.

Diagonal brick edging works really well when used in traditional or cottage gardens and is cheap, easy and effective. 

If you fancy trying your hand at laying diagonal brick edging, you will need to first dig a trench, around 8" deep x 6" wide, before filling it with sand. Bricks can then be pressed down into the sand, angled at 45 degrees, and every so slightly towards the flowerbeds, if using them between beds and lawn. You can then fill the gaps around them with more sand and position the subsequent bricks so that they lean on the side of the brick that went before them. 

6. Incorporate easy-to-build raised beds

raised bed

Using timber raised beds is not only a great edging idea but also adds an extra spot for your plants to grow.  (Image credit: Jacksons Fencing)

Using raised beds is a popular method of garden edging that will also add height interest and can help with zoning your outdoor spaces too. 

If you are after small garden design ideas this one really is for you — don't assume that because your space is compact you shouldn't break it up. Creating smaller areas within your scheme can actually give the impression of space that is bigger than it is.

Here, the raised beds have been created using Jakwall® from Jacksons Fencing. It provides a brick-like appearance but is made from wood and timbers can be stacked on top of each other to fully frame an area and create a separation between the two zones in a garden.

7. Take a softer approach with delicate rattan

wicker garden edging

This Garden Decor Edge, in Slate, from Homebase, costs just £5.50 per 60cm length.  (Image credit: Homebase)

Wicker and rattan is a firm favourite for all kinds of garden features, such as furniture, but had you considered it as a garden edging material? It can actually be the ideal choice for those looking for a subtle, natural finish, yet is available in many shades so can also be used to provide a quick pop of colour too.

Low maintenance, rot resistant and easy to install, this is a great, lower-cost option too. 

8. Use bricks and setts for a rustic look

curved patio finished with setts

The combination of stone setts, gravel, bricks and flagstones all work beautifully together to edge this small garden.  (Image credit: Forest Garden)

Stone or brick setts give a lovely natural look to the garden and add a sense of imperfect charm — they also pair brilliantly with a whole host of other materials, such as flagstones, gravel and terracotta bricks and look great with loads of different garden paving ideas too. 

They are also easy to lay, low-maintenance and ideal for holding back gravel from spilling over onto your lawn or pathways. Choose from rustic, reclaimed setts (blue setts can look stunning teamed with rich red bricks) or more formal 'dressed' setts. They come in all kinds of materials too, from sandstone to limestone and in shades to complement any garden planting scheme. 

9. Create curves with half-log edging

log roll garden edging

Log roll edging is a quick and easy way to finish off any garden and comes in a range of designs.  (Image credit: Forest Garden)

Log roll edging is a quick and easy way of tidying up the garden and can be used for paths, lawns and flowerbeds — plus it is perfect for those after budget garden ideas as it is very cost-effective.

Rolls of garden edging come in all kinds of sizes and designs too so whether you are creating a border between a pathway and a grassy spot or a raised planted bed you will easily find something to suit — just be sure to check you are buying one with a good length anti-rot guarantee. 

This 30cm high log roll is from Forest Garden and comes in a pretty 'half log round' design. It is supplied in rolls of 1.8m and costs £26.49.

10. Conjure up classic vibes with rope top edging

roll top terracotta garden edging

Stone Full Rope Top Edging from Homebase costs £415 per pack.  (Image credit: Homebase)

Decorative rope top edging looks beautiful in classic and traditional style gardens. While solid stone and terracotta edging in this style can be pricey, a cheaper alternative it to use concrete edging designed to mimic the appearance of these materials. 

This style of garden edging can be used to define pathways, borders and lawns. 

11. Soften the garden's edges with pretty planting

brick patio with soft planting

The boundaries of this garden, designed by Matt Nichol Garden Design, have been softened with a range of tall, breezy plants.  (Image credit: Matt Nichol Garden Design)

For a more organic, natural-looking garden, use patio planting ideas to soften the boundaries between the various materials and areas around your garden with flowers and foliage that spill over the edging. 

When it comes to the best edging plants to use, this should very much be a choice you make based on the overall style of your garden. Plants that looked controlled and manicured look great with contemporary garden schemes, while billowy and frothy grasses look pretty and informal. 

Fragrant edging plants are great when used around a patio or pathway, sending a trail of perfume out and around the space — herbs such as thyme and rosemary look pretty, smell lovely and can help add another level to your cooking too. 

12. Smarten up borders with bamboo

bamboo garden edging

Bamboo edging from Homebase comes in two sizes and costs £10/m. (Image credit: Homebase)

Bamboo is a fantastic budget-friendly option for those after a smart contemporary garden edging idea. It gives a pleasingly uniform finish yet, being a natural material, lends itself well to being nestled into a number of different planting schemes — it also looks striking when combined with bamboo fencing.

It is usually sold in rolls and is designed to simply be pushed down into the ground. 

13. Define your lawn with garden lights

solar lights in flowerbeds

Little solar lights, simply pushed within the boundaries between lawn and flowerbeds can look really effective when the sun goes down.  (Image credit: Solar Centre)

Using your garden lighting ideas as part of your garden edging design is a brilliant way to define and highlight your spaces and your carefully chosen plants.

Using garden lighting alongside pathways is a pretty yet practical idea that makes your garden more useable as the sun sets. Your edging lights only need to emit a soft glow in order to draw the eye to your borders which is why solar lights are the perfect choice — they won't need wiring in and can be placed wherever needed. 

This set of four Mini London Solar Post Lights from Solar Centre can keep your garden or patio lit up for up to 10 hours.

14. Hold back flowers with mini fences

metal fence garden edging

Powder coated wire fence edging from Homebase makes an attractive edging for flowerbeds.  (Image credit: Homebase)

Using low-level metal fences to contain plants, shrubs and flowers with a tendency to flop over onto lawns is a pretty way to address the issue.

Many of these products come with spiked feet making them easy to simply push into the ground (a mallet will also probably come in handy). You can also forget about the worry of rotting wood. 

15. Instantly tidy up your garden with domed edging

dome topped timber garden edging

Lollipop stick-style edging such as this comes in lengths and can simply be stuck into the ground .  (Image credit: Forest Garden)

Timber edging is perfect for a subtle, natural-looking finish that can blend in well with pretty much any kind of landscaping scheme. While rustic sleepers and old reclaimed planks add lots of character, can they can be expensive and hefty to install. 

If you are on a budget, timber edging that is sold in lengths usually comes with spikes on the bottom and is designed to be easily hammered into the ground.

This Domed Top Border Edging from Forest Garden adds a nice soft finish to borders, is pressure treated and comes with a 15-year anti-rot guarantee — ideal for those after low maintenance garden ideas

16. Make rubber your flexible friend

decorative rubber garden edging

Scalloped rubber border edging from Homebase costs £19 per 120cm. (Image credit: Homebase)

If you hadn't considered rubber as a garden edging material before maybe now is the time. Long-lasting and versatile, rubber garden edging is bendy meaning it can be manipulated to snake around your beds and borders, following the lines of your garden. It is also a great low-maintenance option.

17. Use raised paving to edge your lawn space

contemporary garden path

Raised pathways create instant borders between lawn and paved areas.  (Image credit: B&Q)

You can actually use your patio areas and pathways as a form of garden edging — a well-placed, slightly raised paved area or walkway connecting one area of the garden to another will clearly define spaces. Of course, as with any garden edging, in order to remain looking tidy and smart you will need to keep any grass that is abutting it under control. 

You could use good old-fashioned shears to give the grass around your raised patio a trim, or take the slightly easier route by opting for an electric grass trimmer such as the NETTA 2in1 Grass Shear & Hedge Trimmer from Amazon.

Natasha Brinsmead

Natasha is Homebuilding & Renovating’s Associate Content Editor and has been a member of the team for over two decades. An experienced journalist and renovation expert, she has written for a number of homes titles. Over the years Natasha has renovated and carried out a side extension to a Victorian terrace. She is currently living in the rural Edwardian cottage she renovated and extended on a largely DIY basis, living on site for the duration of the project. She is now looking for her next project — something which is proving far harder than she thought it would be.