Perennials forum: What are your choices for edgings?

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Feb 5, 2016 7:22 PM CST
Almost all of my beds are adjacent to lawn. I started with raised beds, edged with free sawmill ends (curved with bark still on). This was a rustic look which worked well for many years. They eventually rotted or fell apart to the point it just became a big mess. I've also tried a couple types of plastic edging - the small pieces that link together pounded into the ground, and the rolled edge that is buried. I didn't care for the look of either of those. River rocks or used bricks have been employed, which is a nice look, but difficult to keep neat and tidy, the weeds insisted on sprouting in all the cracks. What I have settled into is just a simple cut-in edge, using a square spade, cutting straight down about 6" and then mounding the soil back into the bed to keep the grass roots somewhat challenged to colonize my flower beds. I cut the edge during spring cleanup, and often again in the fall. During growing season, I will often hand-cut the grass edge while weeding, although my husband also will use the weedwacker to neaten up the edge (not my favorite look, it ends up being a bit haphazard). I also try to be sure each bed is easy to maneuver around with our riding mower, so the edges get at least a cursory weekly trim during mowing season. What methods have you found that work well (or not)?
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Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Feb 5, 2016 7:34 PM CST
I have two sections of garden with a hand cut edge. I love the look. But it is high maintenance!

When I moved to this house there was mostly dark brown aluminum edging. It works pretty good. As an added bonus there were several sections left in the shed. I quickly put them to use.

When I made my new bed this year I decided to purchase more aluminum edging. Wow! Expensive. But the design was improved. The sections slid together tightly via a tiny almost hidden channel. The stakes also now had a bend at the top which made them easy to drive in and best of all no more screws were needed to secure them to the edging.
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Name: Rose
Oquawka, IL (Zone 5a)
Garden Photography Echinacea Dahlias Clematis Region: Illinois Hibiscus
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Rose1656
Feb 7, 2016 1:47 PM CST
I use river rocks but I have to dig them out of the sand every so often since they tend to sink. I like the look of your edging Jennifer. Where did you find it?
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Feb 7, 2016 2:02 PM CST
OK, my ulterior motive was to hope folks would post photos of their gardens. Rose? I'd love to see how you use river rock. I use them around my blueberries and like the look but it surely is high maintenance. The second photo is grouted together, less maintenance.

High hopes...
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The reality...
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One that has been grouted together (works much better)
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I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
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Shadegardener
Feb 7, 2016 2:47 PM CST
Most of my beds have a cut-in edge which works will with all of the curves. One "public" bed has those interlocking pavers normally used for retaining walls and it works well as it transitions into one raised area and one retaining wall.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Feb 7, 2016 3:10 PM CST
Rose, a few of my local nurseries carry the aluminum edging. I got mine at Rocks'n' Roots in Washington MI. I don't know the actual brand. But you could call them to find out.

http://rocksnroots.com/
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Feb 7, 2016 3:21 PM CST
I like Jennifer's edging as well,

One garden has some river rocks as a path/dividing line to keep lilies separated from other plants because I don't like looking at their bare stems for months. They need lifting every few years because they sink, like Rose said.

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We had the black edging with the rolled top (a haven for slugs) for many years and I had more of it ripped out in January. I may replace it with bricks, set dogtooth style, or may just let it be since it's out of my view. The one garden where I did use the bricks is doing well.

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We bought an entire pallette of stones in 2012 and I used them to edge many gardens. So far, so good. I used the cobrahead weeder and that was a huge help in keeping things neat.

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Deb - for the area you showed in the above photos you could use some Envirotiles (sold at Home Depot) after you've weeded it, then pile on some nice neat mulch of your choice so they won't be on view but will keep it weed free. They can be cut (I've never had to try it) to fit.

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Our next door neighbor doesn't weed, he weed whacks and all the weed seeds land on our side. This was the only solution I found that worked for me.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Feb 7, 2016 3:40 PM CST
Thanks Jennifer for the aluminum edging tip! Getting out my measuring tape tomorrow and will be ordering!
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

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Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Feb 7, 2016 3:47 PM CST
I think the brand is Permaloc
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Feb 7, 2016 3:50 PM CST
This must be what I got last summer

http://www.permaloc.com/products/cleanlinexl.html
Name: Rose
Oquawka, IL (Zone 5a)
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Rose1656
Feb 7, 2016 4:48 PM CST
Thank you Jennifer. I'm going to check the local nurseries around here.
Name: Jolana
Mountain City, Tx (Zone 8b)
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froggardener
Feb 8, 2016 10:01 PM CST
What nice pix and info
The favorite edging I ever had was soda and beer bottles, it looked so old timey and I remember my GF had a couple of beds surrounded by them. When I remembered his beds, I put out the word to my neighbors I wanted bottles, I had them in short order. One neighbor that I had known for years but never knew how much he drank till he started bringing me beer bottles, Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Blinking
They were buried halfway, upside down and a few right side up and the wind made those hum and whistle sometimes
I had to remove them after having them for years when my DH weed eated around them once and broke several and then I worried about future grand kids after that
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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Feb 15, 2016 10:28 AM CST
Having taken out the lawn----I want plants to be the edging---but may use some plastic edging, and then try to grow the plants so they hide it. Some places need a short wire fence because I don't have all of the pathways done. Bark mulch is so far the new pathway, and also the bed is mulch too, so definitely need the fencing.
Eventually I will get stepping stones for pathways and then sow low growers along them. For-get-me-Nots in shade area paths. Dwarf sun plants along other paths.
Name: Rose
Oquawka, IL (Zone 5a)
Garden Photography Echinacea Dahlias Clematis Region: Illinois Hibiscus
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Rose1656
Feb 15, 2016 10:54 AM CST
Pirl,

Have you tried laying you rocks on top of the tiles? I wonder if that would keep them from sinking and keep the weeds down around the rocks? I might give that a try this spring...
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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pirl
Feb 15, 2016 11:02 AM CST
Rose - I haven't tried it. Actually, I find cleaning that area to be relaxing as opposed to other jobs that are not! It's moss, ground cover sedums, ajuga, that all want the cool damp soil around the stones, so I lift and replace when it bothers me.
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Name: Rose
Oquawka, IL (Zone 5a)
Garden Photography Echinacea Dahlias Clematis Region: Illinois Hibiscus
Heucheras Charter ATP Member Birds Hummingbirder Hostas Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Rose1656
Feb 15, 2016 11:45 AM CST
That is very pretty! I can see why you wouldn't want to mess with a good thing!
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Feb 15, 2016 11:56 AM CST
Thanks. It works for me. All we can ever hope for is a solution that works for each of us. It isn't a large area so it's nice to keep it neat.
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Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
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Pistil
Feb 17, 2016 8:24 PM CST
I have the same issues with edges. I have been thinking hard about how to make my yard relatively easy care so if I need help with yardwork that unskilled people can help me, and it would be quick and straightforward. I have spent too much of my precious gardening time weeding out the stuff that encroaches from the lawn, and using a weedeater on the edge.. So this last year I coughed up some money, and had my little area of lawn enclosed by a concrete edge. I hired a guy who has a local business doing only this, I found him at the Everett Home and Garden Show. He has a machine that puts concrete in place as curbs, just pick your shape. I picked a "mowing strip" so the garden side is higher to hold in mulch, and the side on the lawn is low so the lawnmower wheel can be on it. Then once or twice a year I can run an edger along it. He put a bit of coloring agent in the mix, but said I might want it darker, which I do. He said to go to a concrete supply place and get some iron concrete stain which I plan to do this spring (btw Bonehead this is the guy who is doing the edging at the new private Botanical Garden near you).
Just yesterday, I was as the home of a young couple I know. They both work, and had hired a friend to put in the edging seen in the last picture, I like the color, and the brick-like embossing is nice too. This fellow has a little side business putting these in. Interesting that young working people have come to the same solution as me.
The third photo also shows the old edging in place at my house, probably installed almost 30 years ago when the house was built, sections of scalloped concrete. You can see how it leans over time and eventually falls over-not a good look.


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Name: Rose
Oquawka, IL (Zone 5a)
Garden Photography Echinacea Dahlias Clematis Region: Illinois Hibiscus
Heucheras Charter ATP Member Birds Hummingbirder Hostas Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Rose1656
Feb 18, 2016 12:24 PM CST
That really looks nice and should last forever!

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