Decorative Borders

By Maggie Reed

February 15, 2008 5 min read


Many ways for gardeners to get the edge they need

By Maggie Reed

Copley News Service

Take a walk or a drive around your neighborhood and you will find almost as many different ways to edge a garden or walkway as there are neighbors.

Everyone has definite preferences - metal, wood, lighted, stone, plastic - you name it, it's out there. One should strike your fancy.

According to Paul James of HGTV's "Gardening by the Yard" the best way to choose a look is to get out and see what appeals to you. What you end up with will depend on the look you're trying to achieve and the amount of time and money you're willing to spend on installation and choices.


Plastic edging is reasonably priced, can last for decades and is fairly simple to install.

Want to add some shine to that? Check out Let's Edge It from Argee. Hedge, edge and light - all without tools or electricity.

Sounds like a homeowner's dream come true.

Let's Edge It is a simple product that provides edging and lighting, or not, in one. And it requires no tools. The kit is a set of plastic bricks that just snap together. Solar lights are built right into the bricks so you can forget about confusing electrical wiring. Swivel action connectors allow straight or curved designs so you can line a walk or encircle a flower bed, tree or curved walkway.

The system has built-in spikes on the bottom of the bricks that allow them to be placed, and held, with no digging, mortar or heavy lifting.

"This is the one and only product that lights and edges a yard in one product," said Argee president and inventor Robert Goldman. "It combines beauty and simplicity to give your yard a uniquely professional new look. All you do is snap it together and press into place."

Let's Edge It sells for $40 for a 25-foot section on unlighted brick edging; $62 for a 20-foot kit of edging bricks and four solar lights; and $90 for a 40-foot kit with six solar lights. For more information, call (800) 449-3030 or visit


There are numerous types of wood edging available at home and garden stores, James notes.

Some of the more popular are landscape timbers and railroad ties, which are durable and relatively inexpensive. These woods can be used individually to outline straight beds or be stacked on top of each other and secured with long nails. The major problem, however, is they don't take to curves.

Railroad ties placed at different levels and stacked work wonderfully when creating a terraced garden. Just remember, they are heavy - so invite some friends to help carrying and placing them. Also, use old ties as they are not only cheaper, the creosote used to preserve them is less likely to leach into the soil.

Woods are also available in rounds (they look like short pieces of firewood standing up) that are cut to varying heights and wired together in 4-foot lengths, making for easy installation.


Metal is the choice of most professionals, James says. And even though a bit expensive, it lasts and is easy to work with. Metal sections are usually available in 8- and 16-foot lengths, which can be joined together with special clips. They come plain and painted and if you have a choice, go painted as this will help reduce future rusting.


Not only are these materials going to last a long time, they will make a lasting impression. Try putting fieldstone into the ground on its edge for a different look. If grass is nearby, make sure to mortar the stones together to prevent those green blades from creeping through the cracks and into your garden.

If grass is not a worry, James says, try ready-made cement borders that are available in a number of different styles, shapes and colors.

There are also interlocking pavers on the market that require no mortar while providing a tight fit. These too are available in a number of colors and can be used for a simple border or raised beds and even garden walls.

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