Have you considered patio edging ideas for your space? Whether you're putting down a brand new paved area or want to give an existing one an update, a smart border is a must to elevate and define the zone.
As Cass Heaphy of Paving Direct says, borders are crucial features that establish the aesthetic of your garden, but there is a lot to consider when deploying them: 'things like how they will define the space and bring shape, which materials to use, and how long the installation period will be and cost.'
So, to help you get started, we've brought some of our favorite looks for giving your patio ideas a boost.
10 patio edging ideas to define your outdoor living zone
There are all kinds of garden edging ideas, so it's easy to find a look that will suit your plot perfectly.
1. Border your patio with plenty of plants
Want to add more flowers and foliage to the view as you relax outdoors? Try bordering your paved space with your pick of the best edging plants.
Lavender is a lovely choice, not only for attracting pollinators but also for its soothing scent. Nepeta, also a pretty purple flower, is also perfect for a relaxed, country-cottage style. Opt for 'Walker's Low' which will creep over patio edges and soften harsh lines.
This setup also features a smart, red-brick raised bed to the left, filled with an impressive yet romantic display of ornamental grasses and other tall plants. This helps to define the space, separating it from the lawn, while adding an extra dose of shelter and privacy, too.
2. Surround your seating space with pebbles
Define the edges of a patio with a pebbled border. It's a look that works for all kinds of themes, from Zen gardens to nautical. Use a mix of different sizes to set a naturalistic tone.
A thin perimeter of gray setts adds to the aesthetic appeal here, making the edge even more distinguished as it contrasts with the large, warm-toned patio paving slabs.
We like the addition of the simple rope fence, too, which subtly enhances a coastal vibe while zoning the space.
3. Add a curved edge with matching materials
When it comes to patio landscaping ideas, edging can play an important role. Here, it defines the paved space from pretty planting while doubling up as a seat.
The gentle curves add a soothing feel, and the sleek, pale finish used throughout the scheme creates a sense of cohesive harmony. A thin border of gravel subtly breaks up the design with texture and warmth, and is practical, too, as it will help with rainwater drainage.
4. Divide your patio from the lawn with metal edging
For a modern look, metal garden edging is well worth considering. Plus, it's durable, too.
The scalloped design of this style brings a playful tone to the scene, separating the paved patio from a lush lawn for a clean finish.
Corten steel is also a favorite for patio edging with its longevity and copper-colored patina.
5. Double up bordering raised beds as chic slate-topped seating
Here's another setup where the edging doubles up as seating while bordering raised beds. But the charcoal-gray materials used set a moodier tone that we simply adore.
The textural cladding contrasts pleasingly against the sleek slate tops, which could always be softened with a few cushions if being used as a bench.
For a small patio, this approach is fantastic: there's no need to make space for additional furniture (although a small central fire pit wouldn't go amiss).
6. Go for a rustic look by lining your patio with boulders
Landscaping with boulders is an on-trend garden design technique that will give any plot a more organic and natural look. They are a fabulous feature for bordering a patio, bringing structure and form while recreating a sense of the great outdoors.
Surround with smaller stones and architectural foliage – think ferns, grasses, or large-leaved, evergreen shrubs such as Fatsia japonica – for a jungle-like theme.
7. Choose a contrasting color for your patio edging
While matching your materials results in a sense of understated elegance, if you want to make more of a statement with your patio flooring ideas, choose edging in a contrasting color. Lee Dunderdale of Bradstone (opens in new tab) also suggests this approach, explaining how it brings distinction and definition to the area.
This could be with smaller cobbles, pavers, or setts. 'Setts are an ideal way to give your garden a unique look,' says Lee. 'You can use them to create a decorative centerpiece or as edging to separate different paved areas with a sophisticated and styled finish.'
Here, a smart border of red tiles draws the eye while separating gravel from sleek pavers.
8. Edge a raised patio with garden sleepers
If your patio is raised, how about this garden sleeper idea for a stylish border? They can be picked up at a low price, particularly if you use reclaimed ones (just check they're not coated in toxic Creosote first).
They create an on-trend and rustic look wherever they're used in a garden, including when used to edge a sleek paved space. You could also customize them with a lick of exterior paint should you wish.
9. Or, use timber to define bordering flower beds
Another way to use timber in your patio edging plans is to separate paving from surrounding plants.
Take this setup, for instance. We love how the warm tones of the wood complement the stone slabs. Plus, it wouldn't be too tricky to install yourself, so it's perfect if you're on the lookout for DIY patio ideas.
10. Add a textural touch to your patio's edging with logs
Slices of logs arranged together make for a wonderful feature, whether that's for a pathway or to clad a garden wall or patio edge, as seen here.
It's a show-stopping addition to this space, made even better by the nearby water feature and textural planting around the borders. That corten steel fire pit has caught our attention too – the perfect centerpiece for alfresco get-togethers.
What is the best type of patio edging?
The best patio edging ideas depend on a few factors, including your budget and the size and style of your space.
'There are practical considerations to garden borders and edging installation such as how you will bed, fix, and point the elements,' says Cass of Paving Direct (opens in new tab).
'You should also consider the time and labor involved,' he adds. For instance, laying setts or cobbles or installing a built-in half wall that doubles up as a bench could be more expensive and time-consuming than simply surrounding your paving with a border of gravel or plants.
If you're looking to make a saving, there are plenty of cheap garden edging ideas to try. Choosing a design you can DIY is generally more affordable than hiring a pro.
In terms of style, think carefully about how your choice of edging will enhance your existing theme. Do you want a contrast in colors or textures, or to create a seamless look? Perhaps you want to match your edging to elements on the exterior of your home, or maybe you want to pick a look that brings an extra dose of character to the space, such as statement boulders or neatly-clipped low hedging. With a little creativity, the possibilities are endless.
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.