Use interesting items from around the yard and house to create unique garden edgings and borders that will enhance your garden and make for a good conversation piece.
Garden edgings and borders keep weeds and grass out of the garden bed. Most people use metal edging from the garden center store or they might dig a trench at the garden edge. Others may plant dense, short-growing plants to make a separation between gardens or between the lawn and a garden bed. That is fine, but there are so many other ways to make create unique garden edgings and borders from sticks, stones, and other recycled items.
During the Renaissance times, gardeners used limbs and sticks to make what is called a wattle edging around gardens. It is still simple to make a wattle. You drive stakes in around the garden at easy-to-manage intervals and weave pliable, thin limbs around them. Start with one young limb in front of the steak and it goes behind the next, in front of the next and so on. It helps to soak these limbs in water to make them a little more bendable. When you are done it looks like a woven mat of limbs keeping weeds out.
Cut bamboo sticks at even lengths and bury them at the edge of the garden standing upright and close together. This takes a lot of bamboo, but the effect is very Zen.
Logs make another interesting edging for a garden. Either cut them in manageable lengths and lay them down on their side all around the garden, or sink at least three-fourths of the bottom in the soil so they are standing up. Eventually the logs will break down, but they will also enrich the soil.
Stones make unique garden borders in many different ways. Dig a large pie-shaped wedge at the edge of the garden and fill that wedge with small river stones, lucky stones or any other small stone. Use stones about the size of a baseball and smaller than a basketball all around the garden. Dig a small trench around the garden first, place the stones close to each other and back fill with some of the soil that was dug from the trench. If you can get flat stones, you can sink the first layer in the soil and build an edging up by stacking the stones. Use some mortar to glue them together.
Those that live near the ocean and can collect lots of small shells can make that pie shaped wedge edging and fill it with shells. They can also get large clam shells and place them all around the garden like stones. Make sure they touch each other and if you have to use a little mortar to glue them together, you can make an edging that will be very durable.
MISCELLANEOUS UN-NATURAL ITEMS
Wine bottles make a beautiful border for the garden. Collect all colors or just one color of wine bottle. Insert the bottle in the soil around the edge of the garden opening side down. You may have to dig up the soil and aerate it so that it is soft enough not to break the bottle as you are pushing it in. You can also dig a trench deep enough for the bottles to be under ground with only about one fourth of the bottle above the ground. Back fill to keep the bottles standing up, upside-down by themselves.
Take 3-inch terra cotta pots that are all the same size and dig a shallow trench around the garden. Place the pots in on their side uniformly and close together and fill so that only half of the pot is above ground.
Dig a trench and insert old plates standing on their edge so they are covered half way to three-fourths of the way with soil. This will help them stay upright and make for an interesting border.
Take pieces of scrap wood and cut them a uniform length. Sink most of the board in the soil around the edge of the garden so they are standing up right. A cottage garden would look very nice with different colored boards. Make sure to avoid treated wood of any kind.
Sink steel pipes that are about 3 or more inches in diameter into the ground on end around the garden. Fill the middle with soil and grow plants with shallow roots inside the pipe. Hens and chicks are a good plant to put in the pipe.
Bricks and concrete block are always good for borders and edgings, but can cost more money. Bricks can be dug into the ground flat, standing upright, or put at an angle to create an edging. Put cinder blocks around the garden with the holes in the up and down position. Fill the holes with soil and grow other plants in them.
Unique garden edgings and borders can be made from anything you have a large quantity of. If you live near a forest, opt for any of the stick and log edgings. Those that live near the sea can opt for shells while those situated near a quarry will find stones plentiful. Suppose you just disassembled the brick patio for a wooden one and you have a multitude of bricks available. Use those to edge the garden. Use the imagination to make for a lovely edging that will fit in with the type of garden you are growing.
See how to use other recycled household items to enhance the garden.