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Landscape Edging for Plant Beds in NC

17 May

There is an art to installing landscape edging for your plant beds. This type of skill and the beauty edging provides could be in the eye of the beholder.

There are a couple issues with the edging below. First, never have 2 different hardscape (concrete curb and edging material) come together without there being a plant in between to ease the transition. Secondly, the edging should not protrude into the road. There are more negatives to point out, but I will stick to edging issues today.

In the photo below the edge is crisp and looks absolutely beautiful. This landscape edge is approximately 3 inches deep on a slight angle. Notice that the plant bed is elevated a few inches higher than the top of the grass, which makes a big difference.

Below is another crisp edge with pine needles mulch folded into the plant beds. 

There is no need for landscape edging if beds are prepared correctly. Keep your plant beds at a slightly higher height than your grassy areas, use your weed trimmer on an angle to keep the edge crisp on a monthly basis, and create an edge at least 3 inches deep for a dramatic effect.

Edges on plant beds are one easy way to create affordable curb appeal on a budget. An edge is more manicured and will look like your property has been maintained by a professional landscape company even if it wasn’t.

I have a very difficult time digesting cheap edging material that adds nothing to the value of your home or its curb appeal. Below is an example of what not to do. Flimsy plastic, pretend brick edging is used at a home valued at 300,000 dollars.

Another mistake is featured in the photograph below. Don’t even get me started. What were they thinking?

Here is a concrete edge looking quite industrial. Maybe we are supposed to park up there.

I asked my father, who is guilty of using black plastic edging in his plant beds, “Dad, why do you use black plastic edging?” He honestly told me it is used to keep the mulch inside the plant beds, keep the grass from creeping in and to create a line between the grassy and plant bed area. I then asked him if he thought the plastic edging added value to the home. He said no and it would be removed before the home went up for sale.

Keep in mind:

  • Your plant beds should be at a higher elevation than your grass areas
  • Your plant bed edge should be at least 3 inches deep on a slight angle
  • If mulch or soil falls into grass areas try planting a low edging plant like creeping phlox, creeping sedum, dianthus, thyme or candytuft to function as an edge.
  • Use your weed trimmer to keep the edge crisp
  • Edge your plant beds in the front landscape if you are selling your home

Please do not line plant beds with rocks. Not only does this look unnatural it will be a burden to mow around. Also, grass and weeds will be more likely to sneak into the plant beds through its crevices.

Keep your plant beds looking crisp without the use of edging, it will look fabulous!!

Happy Planting!   www.dianadigsdirt.com

Diana Gardner-Williams

Landscape Design and Installation

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5 responses to “Landscape Edging for Plant Beds in NC

  1. J. Gardner

    May 28, 2008 at 2:02 am

    Hi…………… I use the black plastic edging around some of my beds. I had used pine bark nuggets within the flower beds but when the birds were looking for insects, they would flip the nuggets out on the grass. I then switched to cedar mulch and now have the birds doing the same ( but with smaller pieces ) and the squirrels digging in the beds to plant seeds and/or nuts. The black plastic edging does help to contain the cedar mulch. Any ideas on how to prevent the animals from making a mess with the mulch?

     
  2. bagley

    May 15, 2010 at 3:21 am

    I like your ideas. I am working on creating beds in the front yard. I agree that I like natural edging, so I will use your rule regarding the edge being 3 inches deep and at a slant.

     
  3. COURTNEY

    November 13, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    I AM BEGINNING A LANDSCAPE PROJECT IN EARLY SPRING OF 2011. WE LIVE IN FL. OUR POOL DECK IS NOT VERY LARGE IN SOME AREAS SO I AM DOING A ROCK BED AROUND THE POOL. OUR FENCE IS LINED WITH QUEEN PALMS AND MORE PLANTS WILL BE ADDED. BUT MY QUESTIONS IS DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR A TRANSITION BETWEEN THE ROCK AND MULCH BEDS?

     
    • Diana Gardner-Williams

      November 14, 2010 at 11:49 am

      Hi Courtney,

      I am so glad you asked about transition plants. These types of plants, utilized in this way will soften the transition, marrying the 2 non-plant materials. You are in a different zone than us Courtney. Maybe ask the local nursery for suggestions. Good luck with the project.

       
  4. Dmitry

    December 14, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    yes, it is real art!!!

     

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