Garden edging ideas: 18 stylish ways to border your lawns, flower beds, and paths

Looking to neaten up your plot? Our garden edging ideas will get you inspired – from stone to wooden designs and more

stone edging with ferns
(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny/Lucy Willcox Garden Design/Future)

If your plot needs a pick-me-up, then it's time to try one of our simple garden edging ideas to make any space look more orderly.

There are lots of styles available, so you can find one that fits your theme. In a modern space, you might be looking for clean, paved lines to frame your flower beds. But, if you like a traditional look, then a decorative design might be preferable. You can also opt for garden border ideas that are green and leafy – lavender-lined pathways or topiary balls have a stunning effect.

As well as elevating the look of a garden, edging is practical, too. It defines different zones in your plot while keeping soil, gravel, bark chippings, and grass all in their proper place. Although it's often a smaller detail for a backyard, it goes without saying that edging has an important role to play in landscaping ideas.

We've rounded up some of our favorite designs to help you introduce some gorgeous garden edging ideas into your plot.

18 garden edging ideas to recreate in your outdoor space

Whether you're looking to update your backyard or front yard landscaping, these looks will get you inspired.

1. Keep it contemporary with Corten steel edging

path with paving and gravel and metal edging

(Image credit: Holly Crossley/Future)

Corten steel is totally in vogue right now – in fact, it has been for a while – and for good reason. It brings an industrial aesthetic to a space and its warm-toned patina injects an eye-catching boost of color that offsets greenery beautifully.

Here, it's used to divide a pathway from a border that's brimming with textural foliage and flowers. Alongside the mix of gravel and irregular-shaped paving, the result feels contemporary and fresh.

This metal garden edging idea is also super durable – the rusted coating that develops is corrosion-resistant, protecting the material beneath.

2. Choose edging plants that pop against the surroundings

orange wall, edging plants and steps at the new blue peter garden at chelsea flower show 2022

Blue and orange make a striking mix

(Image credit: Holly Crossley/Future)

The best edging plants make a wonderful alternative to using harder materials for your borders. As demonstrated here, they can bring a shot of vibrancy to your scheme – we're loving these bright purple flowers against the bold orange backdrop.

The grasses beneath add additional texture and visual interest as they spill out onto the steps, softening the look pleasingly.

3. Go for gently curved edges

paving with curved edging and flower bed

Use your edging to create curved lines

(Image credit: Holly Crossley/Future)

Using plenty of curved lines in your patio edging and other landscaping features can create a unique and naturalistic aesthetic.

With this approach, the shapes created are the focus, rather than the edging itself. So, you just need something simple that defines the lines clearly while being flexible enough to be bent easily into the forms you want.

Combined with this modern flooring and tapestry of lush green foliage, the resulting scene feels soothing and chic.

4. Keep the look traditional

gravel path alongside topiary hedges and roses

A timeless look that works well alongside rose borders

(Image credit: Holly Crossley/Future)

You can create a timeless and traditional look easily when landscaping with roses – they are a classic planting choice after all. Enhance the aesthetic with a formal style for your edging – this design with its ornate top sits perfectly alongside the neatly-clipped hedge.

Its dark tone also works well against the pale gravel, providing an eye-catching contrast. It's the perfect way to bring definition and style to your plot.

5. Border a cold frame with herbs and timber edging

cold frame with surrounding herbs

Sometimes simple edging can be just as chic

(Image credit: Beth Murton/Future)

This setup demonstrates how landscaping with timbers can be simple yet super stylish.

Firstly, we love how the cold frame has been surrounded by fragrant herbs which soften the structure. But it's the black-stained stretch of timber that provides the perfect finishing touch, neatly separating the grow-your-own space from the lawn.

Using dark shades instantly brings a modern vibe to a plot. But if a look like this doesn't fit your theme, embrace the wood's natural hue instead, by giving it a coat of a transparent yet weather-protective stain. Or, paint it a bright white or even a bold color for a different aesthetic.

6. Use logs for edging in a wildlife garden

logs bordering path

Opt for an organic vibe

(Image credit: Jason Smalley Photography/Alamy Stock Photo)

Give your plot a natural feel by edging your flower beds, patio, or pathways with logs. It's a lovely look for a laid-back scheme or a wildlife garden, and couldn't be simpler to create.

Add your pick of the best woodland plants to complete the theme – there's something for all seasons, whether that's springtime primroses or winter hellebores.

7. Add a curb to your driveway

pathway with stone border

(Image credit: Bradstone)

Give your driveway ideas a boost by adding a curb. Not only will it look stylish, but it will also protect your treasured flower beds from being accidentally driven over.

Of course, this approach is not only reserved for driveways. You could use curb stones to define your garden paths, too. Opt for a dark charcoal shade for a modern, fuss-free look. It works well with many types of paving, but we love how it offsets this red brick design. 

8. Embrace a naturalistic look

wooden edging in front of border

Add a rustic touch to your plot

(Image credit: Polly Eltes/Future)

If you love natural-looking garden edging ideas, then a wooden style is a fabulous choice. These sturdy posts showcase the beauty of the material, each offering a unique grain and pattern. With a weathered finish, they blend well into a plot and are a great choice if you're looking to border your beds with style.

Pair with colorful acers, as seen here, for a show-stopping look. And why not experiment with a variety of heights, too? The different levels will draw the eye around the plot and add a sense of drama.

9. Border a narrow plot with raised edging

raised white beds

Brighten a narrow plot with sleek white garden edging

(Image credit: Lizzie Orme/Future)

Are you on the lookout for narrow garden ideas? Then you'll be amazed at what raised edging can do. These sleek white walls give a distinct edge to the borders on either side of the space, and create a contemporary contrast against the black paving. What's more, their bright hue helps to bounce light around the area.

There's still plenty of space to fit an outdoor dining table, too. It's a perfect setup for long summer evenings with friends.

10. Go for sleek stone

stone edging in front of ferns

Add a paved mowing strip for a chic look, like in this garden designed by Lucy Willcox Garden Design

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny/Lucy Willcox Garden Design/Future)

Sometimes, simple is all you need when it comes to garden edging ideas. And this style, although pared-back, still takes these leafy borders up a notch.

Creating a clean line to define the lawn from the foliage, a paved, gray edge helps to accentuate the tones of green. And, if you go for flat styles rather than raised, it can also act as a mowing strip, making maintenance easier.

It's a great choice for a contemporary plot, and if you love the look, you might want to check out our modern edging ideas, too.

11. Add character with rope-detailed edging

bradstone rope effect edging

(Image credit: Bradstone)

For garden edging ideas that have a traditional charm, opt for more intricate styles. The rope design of this variety adds a gorgeous feature to any flower bed, while the light hue complements the surrounding greenery.

A dimpled texture adds an extra layer of visual interest and works well alongside gravel and paving alike. Keep a lookout for designs that have matching corners – that way, you can easily create neat angles around your flower beds or pathways.

12. Add definition to your front garden's landscaping

front garden lawns

Define your front yard's features

(Image credit: Polly Eltes/Future)

Don't forget about edging when it comes to your front garden ideas. After all, first impressions are ever so important. And, edging is a surefire way to get everything looking shipshape and in its proper place.

If you look closely, you can spot the bands of gray stone that elegantly define the curved lawn from the gravel and paved pathway. We're also loving the sense of symmetry with this orderly design – always a pleasing look for a plot.

13. Line the edge of a lawn with topiary

row of small topiary balls along edge of lawn

Add bold shapes with box balls

(Image credit: James Merrell/Future)

Lawn edging is a reliable way to give your stretch of green a sharp new look. But you don't have to stick to hard landscaping options. As an alternative, you can define your patch of grass from a path or patio with a row of neatly clipped evergreens, such as box.

Go for classic rectangles for a formal look. Or, to add a playful element, put your topiary skills to the test by shaping a line of small balls, as seen here. The bold shapes add a fun yet totally on-trend look to a space.

14. Keep it simple for a modern look

stone edging from Bradstone

Round top edging from Bradstone complements this color scheme

(Image credit: Bradstone)

These days, edging doesn't have to cost the earth – there are lots of cheap garden edging options available that still look fantastic. 

Take this example for instance. With a pleasingly rounded top and subtle texture, it offers tons of style without breaking the bank. It creates a reliable divide between the gravel and border, stopping one from merging into the other. And, the soothing tone looks lovely against the pinky hues of heathers and hydrangeas.

15. Soften hard edges with foliage

modern garden with grey stone wall

A border of greenery provides a splash of color

(Image credit: Polly Eltes/Future)

Have you checked out our tips on how to make a garden feel modern? If you love the contemporary look, then you may have opted for lots of sleek lines and pared-back colors for your plot. But, to soften the style for a sense of balance, it's a good idea to introduce greener garden edging ideas.

Lines of short evergreen shrubs border this gray paved space adding a welcome pop of color to the monochromatic palette. Their leafy texture also looks fantastic against the hard edges and minimal design. 

For extra style points, nestle a small tree or two amongst your edging plants – cornus with its brightly-colored bark will always turn heads.

16. Go for a contrasting hue

bradstone paving

(Image credit: Bradstone)

If you love our modern paving ideas, then this idea might be the one for you. To create the look, simply choose a contrasting shade to edge your patio. As seen here, silver and dark gray make a striking duo.

Sure, it's a straightforward technique, but it certainly packs a punch and will give any space a chic and sophisticated feel. It's a perfect pick if you're after more contemporary garden edging ideas for your plot.

17. Use clipped hedges to define flower beds

clipped hedges around borders

Go for a timeless look and use neatly clipped hedges for your garden borders

(Image credit: Polly Eltes/Future)

Landscaping with evergreens offers a timeless look. Topiary hedges such as these complement modern and traditional gardens alike, depending on how you style them. This example leans towards the latter, and we adore it.

The evergreen shrubs (try Japanese holly or box) are clipped back to create a dense, rectangular border around flower beds, while central small trees in each draw the eye. You could also fill them with sweetly-scented roses or try swathes of cosmos for an enchanting summer view. Create a repeated pattern across a lawn, or use them on either side of a path or to soften paving.

18. Line pathways with lavender

lavender along steps

Plant a row of lavender plants for your garden edging and enjoy the soothing scent every time you walk by

(Image credit: Paul Raeside/Future)

Garden edging can do so much more than simply defining zones in your plot. If you choose to line your pathways or lawns with scented shrubs, then it'll offer a sensory experience as well as a stylish look.

Landscaping with lavender is always a lovely approach, and these small shrubs will come to life with purple blooms and an intoxicating scent as the season warms, offering a relaxing ambiance to the air. They work beautifully nestled alongside a rustic stone wall.

Is garden edging necessary?

Garden edging isn't strictly necessary, but it offers tons of style and practical benefits to a plot that are well worth considering.

As Lee Dunderdale, Product Manager at Bradstone says, 'Quite often we see people who may have perfected their patio or showcased their green fingers with a stunning herbaceous bed, but require that final finishing touch to really draw attention to their hard work.' 

Edging offers a simple but effective design statement, adding a sense of shape and style to your garden and keeping everything neat and tidy, Lee adds.

If you choose to go without, dig a narrow trench around flower beds alongside lawns to help keep on top of grass creeping over the boundaries. But, unless a wilder look is your goal, you'll need to do a lot more maintenance to keep lines looking crisp.

lawn with border

If you're after garden edging ideas for cottage style plots, a flat, red brick mowing strip works wonders

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny/Future)

What is the best type of garden edging?

The best type of garden edging varies from plot to plot. 'As it comes in many different color and style options, you can choose the edging that best suits your garden design,' says Lee Dunderdale.

For edging patios or lawns, opt for flat styles which are the same level, suggests Lee. 'This is ideal for edging off such areas as it will not get in the way, nor cut off these spaces from the rest of the garden,' he says. It's a subtle but still effective way to differentiate each aspect of your plot. If you're edging alongside a lawn, this can make mowing easier, too.

'For edging around the periphery of your outdoor space – such as around planting beds or running alongside a wall or fence – you can use raised edging, which comes in a variety of modern and traditional styles, including a weathered stone look or a clean, sharp, and defined design,' Lee continues.

Think about the overall look of your plot and pick materials that will complement your garden wall or paving. This will help to accentuate your theme and build a cohesive style.

modern edging around lawn

A combination of raised and flat edging adds a polished feel to this plot and will make maintenance straightforward

(Image credit: Dave Burton/Future)

How do you install garden edging around a tree?

Want to install edging as part of your landscaping around trees? First, plan what shape you want to create around the tree and use stakes or string to visualize it. You can then follow your lines using an edging tool or spade, before carefully digging to remove any turf, stones, and weeds, avoiding the tree's roots, to create a trench wide enough for your edging.

If you want to put any extra plants beneath the tree, you can add these in too at this point, again avoiding any roots. Then, cover the area with compost, and then top with mulch – bark chippings, for example. And, that's it! It makes a lovely update to a garden.

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.