Cheap garden edging ideas: 11 budget-friendly ways to neaten up your plot

These cheap garden edging ideas will help you elevate your paths, flower beds, and patio without splashing the cash

old vinyl used as garden edging
(Image credit: Jean Williamson/Alamy Stock Photo)

With cheap garden edging ideas, you can add the perfect finishing touch to your backyard features without having to splurge all your savings. So, if you're planning a big outdoor makeover or simply want a quick update to get your space summer-ready, they are well worth considering for your landscaping plans.

It's amazing how much of a difference a border can make – whether it's to define a pathway or surround a patio or pond. Of course, they are practical too, keeping materials such as bark chippings and soil neatly in place. And there are plenty of budget-friendly options to choose from, so you can find a look that really suits your scheme.

We've rounded up our favorite looks to get you inspired. When combined with other cheap garden ideas, it's easy to create your dream alfresco space for less.

11 simple and cheap garden edging ideas that will instantly upgrade your backyard

Even though these budget garden edging ideas are low in costs, they're high in style points.

1. Surround a pond with sticks

pond edging

Give your water feature a naturalistic edge

(Image credit: Jacky Hobbs/Future)

This is a lovely, relaxed way to border a pond (and hide an ugly pond liner). 

Simply collect up sticks from around your plot – picking ones of different widths will add an extra sense of rustic charm – then use a small hand saw to carefully cut them to a similar length. 

Push them into the ground around your water feature to create an attractive perimeter. They'll make safe entry and exit points to the water for visiting wildlife, too.

You can find more wildlife pond edging ideas in our dedicated feature.

2. Add a nautical twist for cheap with rope edging

rope as garden edging

A rustic look that's full of charm

(Image credit: Jacky Hobbs/Future)

We love this budget backyard idea – it's so simple yet looks super smart.

All you need is a length of thick rope and some inexpensive U-shaped garden pegs. It's a perfect way to line a path or patio – here, it does a good job at keeping gravel in place, too.

Try it in an oceanside-themed backyard to extend the look, along with nautical-style outdoor lanterns and perhaps a classic blue-and-white color scheme.

3. Line the edges of flower beds with reclaimed materials

vintage clay tiles used as garden edging

Clay tiles add character to this flower bed

(Image credit: Jacky Hobbs/Future)

Reclaimed red clay bricks or tiles can make fabulous accents to a garden, and you can often find them going for cheap on online marketplaces. 

Not only can you use them to create rustic paths, but they also make tip-top edging for flower beds, as demonstrated here. They'll be durable and low-maintenance, too. And their weathered look will only add to the appeal. 

It's a look that works beautifully in laid-back, cottage-style gardens.

4. Recycle old bottles to border pathways

bottles used as garden edging

A cheap and effective edging idea

(Image credit: GKSFlorapics/Alamy Stock Photo)

Put old glass bottles to good use by incorporating them into your landscaping. Using them as edging is a brilliant free garden idea.

Anchored firmly into the ground, they make an eye-catching border for a garden path or flower bed. Pick ones that are the same color of glass for a cohesive look, or mix and match for a more bohemian vibe.

5. Weave your own hazel edge

woven hazel garden edging

Try your hand at this DIY edging

(Image credit: Alec Scaresbrook/Alamy Stock Photo)

Feeling creative? Weaving your own garden edging using twigs and branches, such as hazel, is easier than you might expect and a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. And the results are simply lovely, particularly if you're on the lookout for budget-friendly cottage garden ideas.

If you don't have the time, you can buy pre-woven edging panels that are simply pushed into the ground, although, of course, these will be a little more expensive than the DIY approach.

6. Upgrade wooden edging with a lick of paint

painted wooden edging alongside flower bed

A sleek timber edge smartens up this flower bed

(Image credit: Jacky Hobbs/Future)

Timber is generally cheap to buy, as are reclaimed garden sleepers (although be wary of those coated in Creosote, which is toxic). They make great garden edging, especially for raised flower beds or borders.

Keep them natural for an organic vibe, or update them with a lick of exterior wood paint or stain. This will allow you to customize them to fit your garden scheme perfectly, plus it will make them more weather-proof.

This charcoal tone is ideal for a modern garden – and see how it helps the colorful planting to really pop in contrast.

7. Make a saving with seashells

shells as garden edging

Enhance a seaside theme

(Image credit: Elizabeth Whiting & Associates/Alamy Stock Photo)

Seashells are often available to buy from craft stores at an affordable price. They won't do much in terms of separating your garden materials, such as gravel, from one another. But, if you're looking for an edging that simply adds decorative appeal, they're a pretty choice.

Create a border for a flower bed filled with the best coastal plants for a seaside vibe, or add them along a decked pathway for an eye-catching accent.

8. Add extra personality to your plot with old vinyl records

old vinyls used as garden edging

All sorts of discarded objects can be put to good use in the garden

(Image credit: Jean Williamson/Alamy Stock Photo)

When it comes to cheap garden edging ideas, there really are so many options. It's all about thinking creatively and, sometimes, looking at what you already have tucked away in cupboards or at the back of the garage.

For instance, old vinyl records make a fun statement in this vegetable garden. It's an eclectic look for sure, but a great way to channel a good dose of personality into a plot. 

If you're keen to get upcycling, it's worth perusing our pallet ideas for gardens, too – there are tons of ways to turn them into stunning outdoor features.

9. Keep costs down with a DIY stone wall

drystone wall used as lawn edging

A classic look that suits laid-back schemes

(Image credit: Jacky Hobbs/Future)

Large stones and rubble can often be picked up cheaply. In fact, if your neighbors have recently had any landscaping work done and have some left over, they may well be willing to give it to you for free.

Whether you're working with larger rocks or smaller stones, or a mixture, it's an easy way to define areas of a plot. And if you're looking for a bit more height, it may be worth having a go at building a drystone wall – a traditional technique that's sturdy and stylish.

Such stone wall ideas are perfect for Mediterranean-style gardens. Combine with easy-care rock garden plants nearby, for extra visual appeal.

10. Go rustic with a chain edge

chains used as garden edging

Embrace an industrial style

(Image credit: Jacky Hobbs/Future)

This display was spotted at RHS Chelsea Flower Show and we just love the look. Heavy-duty chains can be bought at some DIY stores, while rusted versions can often be found on online marketplaces.

Layer them up, as seen here, to bring an industrial vibe to your plot. Alongside soft planting, the mix of textures will create an appealing contrast. Here, a second type of metal edging has also been used which offers extra definition and raises the flower bed up slightly.

It's a great approach if you're a fan of rustic garden ideas.

11. Opt for affordable store-bought options

ropetop garden edging from paving direct

The Ropetop garden edging from Paving Direct offers a timeless look

(Image credit: Paving Direct)

If you're short on time and want to create a smart and sleek finish, it's worth perusing store-bought edging options. Nowadays, there are lots that are budget-friendly.

And if finding edging in the same tone as your patio pavers is proving tricky, don't worry.  'Who said that garden borders have to match your paving slabs?' says Cass Heaphy of Paving Direct. If you are looking to save money, you can choose an alternative, cheaper edging material – its contrasting appearance will make a stylish statement.

'There are plenty of different edging materials available such as slate, natural stone, and sandstone to name a few,' he continues. So, plenty of opportunity to get creative with your combos.

Holly Crossley
Acting Deputy Editor

The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion.