How to Create Your Own Landscape Border


A border serves several purposes in the landscape. The border prevents grass from spreading into the planting bed; keeps plant, mulch or stone in the bed and provides an aesthetic boundary between beds and lawn areas. An edge also gives the lawn and landscape a finished, manicured appearance. Installing a landscape border requires some planning, work and expense. When done properly, however, the border saves you working to keep the landscape and lawn attractive.

Installing a landscape border creates a clean line between the lawn and planting bed.
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Things You'll Need

  • Hose
  • Tape measure
  • Edging material
  • Spade
  • Mallet
Step 1

Select a border material. Small boulders and cut pieces of wood work well in a natural design. Bricks, formed concrete, metal and plastic edging function as borders in formal designs. Match the material to your home and landscape.

Small boulders make a good, natural border.
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Step 2

Mark the boundary line. Use a hose, string or spray paint where you want the border. Make the edge curved for a natural bed or straight in a formal landscape.

A curved border is more natural.
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Step 3

Measure the length of the edge. Figure how much edging material you will need based on the length. For example, a 12-foot border would require about 36 small, approximately 4-inch wide stones.

Step 4

Cut an edge around the bed with a spade. Remove soil, grass and weeds. Make the edge approximately 2 inches deep. It should resemble a small trench.

Dig a small trench around the edge.
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Step 5

Install the border material. For staked borders or metal, pound the border into the ground with a mallet. Arrange rocks, concrete and bricks to fit together. Place them one at a time and tap down with a mallet.

A finished garden border.
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Tips & Warnings

  • Be creative with border material. Edge the bed with small plates, cut pieces of wood from tree
  • branches, tiles, old wooden fencing or glass bottles and jars.
  • Use plants for bed edging. Small, flowering perennials make colorful, living landscape borders.
  • Spread mulch or stone inside the border for a finished look. Mulching also prevents weeds and conserves moisture in the soil.
  • Plastic edging is susceptible to breaks and damage.
  • Use care if you have existing tree or plant roots where you want the border. You can cut some surface roots, but cutting too many can cause damage.


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