flower beds as edging
Photo: Tom McWilliam
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2. Sharpen Your Edges

Well-defined edging not only delineates flower beds and garden borders but also lends a well-cared-for look to any landscape. Here, clean-cut concrete pavers establish a formal border for a grid of four square beds filled with a mix of herbs, vegetables, and flowers. Straight edges like these are especially good for defining and organizing small spaces. Sunk at grade level—and laid on a base of gravel and a setting bed of sand mixed with cement to prevent them from being dislodged by frost heaves—they also allow for easy maintenance, since the lawn mower can roll right over them.

On the outer perimeter, curved lines undulate along the borders, encouraging the eye to pause at each colorful clump of plants that spills out onto the grass. For curved, earthen edges—which have a natural look well suited to large landscaped areas—digging down 5 inches or so with a half-moon edging tool creates crisp lines. Regular upkeep using a string trimmer with its head turned perpendicular to the ground will help keep them that way.
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