Its all about the edges

Gardens are defined by the edges.

In so many gardens the absence of defined edges and the lack of definition in the shapes of the spaces can lead to a disappointing finish. .

  • A lawn which finishes blending into gravel with no defined curb lends a sort of scruffy look to the garden.
  • A garden path with gravel spreading out into the grass gives us poorly kempt first impression.
  • Grassed areas with no definition before the start of the shrub bed lead to confusion for the person who wants to mow.

In other cases poor design leads to edges that are left unkempt because the lawnmower cannot access.

In all of these cases better design of the edges would lead to an altogether higher quality finish in the garden.  These edges don’t have to be sophisticated or expensive or technical. Sometimes a simple band of gravel at the foot of a facade is enough to create a nice clean edge with mower access to enable easy maintenance and a nice neat finish.

Today there are plenty of products including flexible and non-flexible finishes for creating edges in a large palette of materials woods, plastics,  metals and mineral materials. Each material has advantages and disadvantages, mineral materials like pavers and bricks tend to be more expensive and more complex to lay. Wood and timber can be flexible or not depending on the situation and are relatively hard wearing, easy to fix and also easy to replace if you want to change your garden.  New materials such as recycled plastics can be useful in certain contexts they are hard wearing easy to lay relatively cheap and also reversible (you could always recycle them again if you changed your mind). Metal edging strips give a clean durable finish, flexible if curves are required but rigid if you want to create a straight line. Metal tends to be more expensive but is surely more durable.

The question of edges is not only the material that is used but also the machinery you’re choosing to do the maintenance operations. Lawnmowers do not always mow the entire surface that they pass over. In a large areas obviously each stripe can overlap the previous one but when you reach the edges if the last 10 cm are not mowed they will gradually evolve to a “hairy patch of weeds and overgrown grasses”

Doubling up your maintenance operations by me needing to mow and then to continue by using a second tool to trim the edges, means extra effort every single time you mow.

It really is worth an effort in the design process to select the right edge profiles between different surfaces in your garden, between gravel and grass, between grass and shrub beds, between grass and facades, and indeed separating two mineral materials in order to optimise maintenance for the long term care of your garden.


If you need a hand with any of these issues in your garden just give me a ring. I’m here to help

Pen xx signature


planting bed with path edging