Edging makes your landscape look complete and it also serves an important practical purpose. It keeps individual elements from intruding on each other's space. The key is not to overdo it – too much edging can interrupt the flow of your garden. In addition, edging is prone to damage if it's used in a frequently mowed part of your yard.
Determine Where Edging Is Needed
Edging is essential to separate two types of groundcover, such as pebbles and mulch. It also works well between different kinds of sod or ornamental grasses, to keep one variety from overtaking the other. Any areas with loose rocks, such as sculpture gardens, rock gardens or pathways, also benefit from edging.
Choose Edging Type: Solid
There are many varieties of edging, but most fall into two categories. The first is a solid length of edging that comes in a roll. It could be made of metal, rubber or plastic and is usually black or brown. However, landscape architect Maureen Smith says, "Metal or rubber edging is more likely to crack or chip, particularly when it takes abuse from lawn equipment."
Choose Edging Type: Individual Stones
The second type consists of individual pavers, which may be brick-shaped, scalloped or designed to look like natural stones. Landscape architect Maureen Smith recommends the second type. "It's more durable and has a nice look," she says.
Dig a Trench
Digging a trench of the right depth is the trickiest part of installing edging. Use a section of your edging as a guide. You want the top to be higher than your lawn, rocks or other groundcover, but not so high that it calls undue attention to itself. It's also important to place the edging deep enough to avoid creating a tripping hazard.
Install the Edging
If you are using pavers, place each one so that it is level with the one before it. Try to keep the gaps between the pavers as small as possible. For an even tighter fit, consider using interlocking pavers. If you are using roll-type edging, use a level as you unroll the material to avoid any unwanted slope.
Secure the Edging (If Necessary)
Rubber and metal edging material generally needs to be secured with stakes. This step is not necessary for paver edging. Once the material is secure, add rocks or other groundcover, making sure the top of the edging remains at a higher level.