Unique Garden Borders and Edging Ideas

In order to create the garden or backyard of your dreams, you’re going to need more than just a few leafy plants and a solid deck. Making a welcoming space with singular features requires serious attention to the all-important details. These include raised garden beds, pathways, edging and borders.

Fortunately, there is an endless selection of attractive and easy to incorporate garden ideas to construct visual appeal in an outdoor space.

The edging of your planting beds is a great place to add some personal style. These small details are what take an outdoor space from good to great!

Here are a few unique ideas that can make your backyard both impressive and enjoyable, without breaking the bank.

Small Stones and Aggregates

Photo from flufflefritz.com

This is a popular way to create a natural looking border that is still very eye-catching. Small rocks, pebbles and aggregates fill a clearly defined area around the garden to establish a kind of frame around the space.

This works well for other features too, not just gardens, like water features, the patio or a grassy area.

There are two excellent ways to do this: You can build the aggregate edging in an organic fashion, following the natural border around the garden. Or, one side can naturally outline the path, while the other side has sharply linear lines and corners.

Here is a beautiful use of river rocks as a sidewalk edging (that would translate perfectly to a garden edging).

Bricks and Shaped Stones


Pebbles, gravel and aggregates fill an area in a loose, but orderly manner. The next step up in this category is to use bricks and shaped stones. You can create some beautiful patterns with these resources (and they’ll be less likely to migrate).

 Some people prefer to overlap stones, create chevron patterns or keep it simple, but use different colored bricks. Of course, the most basic option is laying stones in an orderly and symmetrical way. But, unless the garden is unusually busy, bright or otherwise showy, it’s best to indulge in some creativity when placing the materials. 

Unconventional Borders

Though classic brick patterns and aggregate edging is beautiful for many gardens, some homeowners prefer a look with a bit more pop and individuality. For them, a retaining wall using wood posts, chicken or other wire and gravel, rocks or similar materials is a stunning and inventive way to draw the eye to a unique feature of the backyard.

These walls can be built low or high, and they work best for raised garden beds, obviously. This border requires considerably more materials, so it can get expensive. Look for salvaged materials to cut costs and protect the earth.

Another option that requires fewer resources is a vertical border. Using organically shaped stones, rough pieces of wood or similarly odd-shaped materials, build the edging so it rises up out of the earth, without actually stacking anything.

Some enterprising individuals may choose to use wine bottles, like this person did at the Green Garden Blog.

Railway Ties and Cedar Rails

Stone and brick are the most popular materials for garden edging, but for bigger spaces, there’s no reason not to use large logs of timber. Railway ties are a great option for this type of raised garden bed. They are salvaged from old rail yards, have a textured and rustic look and are available in large quantities at Van Beek’s.

Here’s a classic example of simple wood edging from Piedmont Palladian.

Don’t Overlook the Details

Adding edging or borders to your garden is an essential part of separating different areas of the yard for a more attractive space. Highlighting the special features of the backyard makes it more visually appealing and fun to show off. It’s easy to create fun and lovely borders with just a few materials, and it gives it a designer look. Peruse the myriad ideas for borders and decide which style best suits your home before getting started. 

Want more suggestions for what would look great around your garden? Visit one of our locations today.