Building a flower bed border

Creating a flowerbed border can be as simple and enjoyable as planting your garden. A well planned and executed border highlights your flowers and adds to the beauty and presentation of your entire yard. Edging can be made from a variety of materials, including brick, stone, rocks, crushed rock, river rock, woods, crushed glass or sea glass, seashells, or even glass globes. Anything that looks classy and fits your budget can be a potential frontier.

Tip: Keep your costs low by using recycled border materials, like old wine bottles.

The edges of flower beds are more than just a pretty way to separate flowers from the lawn as well. We can also help prevent weeds or lawns from invading your flowers and protect flowers from lawnmowers, weed eaters, and other garden maintenance implements. Borders also protect your flowerbed from foot traffic by visually distancing the garden from the rest of the lawn.


Step 1 – Plan

Wrap a string or twine around your flower bed in the shape of the border you want. Adjusting the shape is as simple as moving the string in the curve or line you want.

Step 2 – Install the divider

Spray a line of paint on the ground, following the shape of the rope. Next, take the string and install the plastic garden divider along the spray mark. This will help prevent smaller border materials, such as gravel, pebbles, and seashells, from migrating onto your lawn. If you want the border material not to move in your flowerbed too, you can also install another plastic divider at a suitable distance inside the first one.

Step 3: dig a trench

Use a shovel or hand shovel to dig a trench along the painted line. The width and depth of the trench should be wide enough to accommodate the size of any edging material you plan to use. We may need to cut roots to clear the trench if your bed is near bushes or trees. Remove rocks and other debris so the trench is as level and wide as possible.

Step 4 – Level

Add sand or crushed rock to the bottom of the trench, as this helps level the soil underneath. If you are using hardwood lumber, crushed rock can also help with drainage and prevent rot.

Step 5 – Add border

If you are not sure how you want the pieces of your material to be oriented, feel free to place a mockup in the yard in front of the trenches. This way you can move your pieces around to achieve the correct look without disturbing the sand or gravel in the trench.

Once you know how you want your edge to sit, start placing the material in its final place. You may want to add more sand, crushed rock, pebbles, or other material around it as you position it to ask for it to move as little as possible.

Tip: Keep the edge smooth to make mowing and mowing easier.

Step 6 – For a retaining wall

If you plan to make a small stone retaining wall, make sure your trench is level. If you have gravel placed at this point, you will want to put a layer of sand on top, as this is an easier surface to even out.

Begin your wall by placing a single row of stones on the leveled sand. Take your time and gather the stones. Your second layer of stones should be slightly staggered. This will help hold the retaining wall together. Necessarily, two rows of stones are necessary to create a small but effective structure.

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