Frame Your Garden With Edging

You've planted the flowers, put in the shrubs and even added a bird bath and a few garden decorations, but what's missing? Could it be the edging?

Almost as important as the flowers, the edging is like the frame to your garden. The picture can be interesting and beautiful, but it needs a frame to really enhance its appearance. Just like a picture, your garden needs it's frame to really bring out the beauty of your living "work of art".

There are many different types of edgings and you must plan which one will look best in your garden. One popular type of edging is to use a low brick or rock wall, cemented together with mortar. This will create a beautiful and permanent edge to your garden. Of course, not everyone has the means, money or desire to do this.

Another lovely way of edging is to simply place bricks around the borders of your garden. You can put them in a line, stacked in a double row, set on their edges or tip them diagonally and lean them against each other.

In a similar fashion, you can use large rocks to edge your garden. Use rocks that are big enough to make an impact, but ones that you can easily carry and move yourself. You can gather the rocks from fields, the woods or friends yards for free!

In your garden supply store, you will find many manufactured edgings to suite any style of garden. Miniature fences, fake rocks, plastic, metal ? you name it, they have it. I prefer a more natural type edging, but if you must buy one of these, choose a good quality product and not something that looks cheap and will only last for 1 season.

You can always create a living edging by using a border plant. Some great border plants include alpine phlox which is suitable for most climates and can be divided and planted again and again, gazanias, pansies, petunias and violas.

If you pick perennial plants, like the alpine phlox or gazania, then you can divide them and propagate them throughout the border. This will help reduce costs as you won't have to keep buying new plants, but will take longer to establish a full border.

For large gardens, comfrey can make a good border. It has thick growth and will prevent grasses from encroaching on the garden. Also, you can use the leaves for mulch around y our other plants. When blooming, the tiny flowers will add interest to your border. Keep in mind, however, that comfrey is not suitable for small gardens as it can easily overwhelm the other plants.

One of my favourite ways to edge a garden is to use an herb border. Even strawberries can be used as a border and their bright flowers and lush fruits will add quite a bit of interest to any garden. When preparing meals, simply step out in to the garden and cut some fresh herbs each evening!

Perhaps the simplest form of edging is to take a shovel and bevel and edge all around the garden. The can be a nice subtle way to break up the line between garden and grass. You can rent a gas powered edging tool if shovelling by hand seems like too much work. This type of edging will need to be redone each year.

No matter what option you choose, your gardens will take on another dimension with it's framed edging.

Lee Dobbins writes for Backyard Garden and Patio where you can learn more about gardens and read more articles on gardening.

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