Garden ideas for borders – for a neat, tidy and decorative look

Garden borders look decorative, clearly define spaces and help to prevent a lawn invading adjacent planted borders.

Looking for garden ideas for borders? When it comes to keeping our gardens neat and tidy, getting your garden borders right is key.

WHAT ARE GARDEN BORDERS?

A garden border is often used to define space, so as long as it separates two distinct areas, it can just about be anything you like. Popular choices include stone, brick and concrete, while more creative options range from logs and shells to recycled roof tiles and coated-wire.

Not only do they add charm and character to your garden landscaping, they’re extremely practical too, separating weeds from flower beds and mulch from lawns. As well as providing a clean line for extra-efficient mowing and trimming.

Garden ideas for borders

Image credit: Mark Bolton

See our Small garden ideas – maximise a compact gardening space

WHICH MATERIALS WORK BEST FOR GARDEN BORDERS?

Before deciding what material and style of garden border to go for, think about the overall outdoor look you wish to achieve. It needs to reflect the existing style, so consider what would work with your planting themes, colour choices, garden furniture and general ambience.

For example, off-cut logs and rustic willow are nice options for traditional country gardens – and work particularly well as lawn edging and path edging. Alternatively, try combining concrete slabs and railway sleepers for a cool, industrial feel.

Check out some of our favourite garden ideas for borders to inspire your next gardening project.

1. LINE A PATHWAY

Provides structure throughout the year and prevents soil from seeping out onto the walkway. Keep edging neatly clipped to ensure the lines stay sharp.

Garden ideas for borders

Image credit: Helen Cathcart

2. DEFINE BEDS AND BORDERS

Razor-sharp low edging looks especially good when teamed with unrestrained cottage garden perennials and colourful summer bedding.

Garden border ideas

Image credit: Allan Pollok-Morris

3. EDGE THE VEGETABLE PLOT

Make your vegetable garden look less allotment and more French potager. Add a box ball to the corners for even more structure. Monitor edging closely for deep-rooted perennial weeds.

Garden borders

Image credit: Annaick Guitteny

See our Garden landscaping ideas – add structure and character to your outside space

4. DESIGNER CURVES

Garden borders don’t have to stick to the straight and narrow: add a designer touch by creating eye-catching curves. Mark out the line of the hedge before planting and clip carefully for the desired look.

Garden edging

Image credit: Allan Pollok-Morris

5. IMAGINATIVE EDGING

The border acts as a frame to any material and is essential where gravel meets a lawn. Linear paths benefit from the definition of a hard edging in engineering or stock bricks, wattle fencing, tiles, pavers or granite setts. Informal, winding gravel or bark paths can be left to naturally merge into planting or edged with birch poles or other branches laid either side.

Garden border ideas

Image credit: Mel Yates

6. MAKE A STATEMENT

Large stones or rocks strategically placed offer the same effect but, do not place near grass as cutting would be tricky. If edging with timber, treat with a plant safe preservative and fix with wooden pegs inserted every 1.2m (4ft).

Garden ideas edge

Image credit: Annaick Guitteny

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