Edging IDEAS for Landscaping
Flexible plastic edging is a snap to install.
Gravel sidewalks offer more color and texture than pavement, but the loose stones can be a problem if they spill over into your lawn or driveway. Installing landscape edging that is a minimum of 3 inches above the ground keeps the stones in place so you don’t have to top up the gravel as frequently. Edging also gives your sidewalk a clean, finished look, and there are several ways to make it part of your landscape design.
Metal and plastic strip edging offer a range of colors, and they’re the most affordable way to edge a gravel sidewalk. Plastic edging is the least expensive strip edging option. Heavy-duty plastic strips withstand bumps from lawn equipment and are less likely to bend or crack than strips of standard thickness. While it isn’t the most natural-looking landscape material, plastic and metal edging are barely visible, so they work well when you want your sidewalk edge to be unobtrusive. In sunny areas, the plastic can become brittle as UV rays cause it to break down. Metal edging is available in steel or aluminum and is a durable material, but excessive moisture or salt spray can cause the strips to corrode and rust. Unlike plastic edging, metal edging can be painted with rust-inhibiting paint to give it an instant update.
Natural stone’s array of colors, textures and shapes make it versatile, and a stacked stone border adds depth and texture to your landscape while preventing pieces of gravel from entering your or garden. Although installation means digging a trench and making sure the first course is level, it doesn’t take any special tools. You can use larger stones along the bottom for improved stability and vary the sizes and colors for visual interest in the upper layers.
Although a poured concrete strip is typically used as a lawn edging, it can also work as sidewalk edging. Poured concrete edges are typically formed and poured in place by professionals. While this can be expensive, a poured concrete edge gives you many design options. For example, the concrete can be tinted to match your home’s exterior or another landscape feature, or you can stamp a texture into the concrete to mimic natural stone. Ceramic, brick or stone tile veneers can also be added to the top of the strip and the edge can be curved so it matches the natural flow of the landscape.
Edge your gravel sidewalk with living color and texture using raised planters made of wood or stone filled with a low-maintenance mixture of plants. For example, mix colorful perennials such as black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida), which grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9, or Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia), which grows in USDA zones 5 through 9, with the rich texture of ornamental grasses. Japanese forestgrass (Hakonechloa macra) is grows in USDA zones 5 through 9 and makes an interesting accent to mixed borders with its compact mounds of arching foliage. Zebra grass (Miscanthus sinensis “Zebrinus”) grows in USDA zones 5 through 9 and features horizontally banded foliage and showy pink flowers that turn to silvery-white plumes in fall.