What are the Different Types of Edging Blocks?

O. Parker

Edging blocks create a dividing line between the lawn areas, vegetable and flower gardens, shrub beds, and driveways. The dividing line creates a visual transition between two areas, but it is more than just aesthetic. The edging block border creates a barrier that helps keeps gravel in the driveway, mulch in the shrub beds and gardens, and prevents lawn mowers from straying from the lawn and mowing down the garden. Common edging block materials include natural stone, precast stone, and bricks.

Edging can cut down on weeding and maintenance.
Edging can cut down on weeding and maintenance.

With all types of materials, when installing edging blocks, a trench is dug. The trench should be as wide as the edging blocks and the same depth or slightly shallower than the height of the edging blocks. A shallow trench will make the edging blocks taller than the surrounding landscape, a feature that can help keep gravel and mulch in place but that can make mowing more difficult.

Precast stone, perhaps more familiarly known as concrete, often are used as edging blocks. Precast stone edging blocks can be created in virtually any size and shape, and they are durable and often less expensive than some natural stone pavers. Precast stone can also be custom ordered to create unique shapes or for difficult landscape areas. During the casting process, the cement can be mixed with pigments for a variety of color choices. In addition, the molds can be created with patterns or designs that will be transferred to the concrete blocks to add visual variety to the border area.

Natural stone edging blocks are versatile and they come tones, shapes and textures to suit almost any garden area. Sandstone, bluestone, limestone, granite and Belgian blocks are just a few of the stones used to make edging blocks. Formal and informal looks can be created with natural stone edging materials, depending on the cut, finish, and type and color of stone. A rough cut stone, Belgian blocks, or a series of similar shaped river rocks will create a more natural, rambling look while cleanly cut granite or bluestone can be used for a ridged formal look.

Brick is a common material used for edging blocks in the landscape as well. Bricks lack the variety of stone or the ability to create custom shapes, as with precast stone, but for a traditional look, bricks are ideal. Used bricks are less expensive than new bricks but are also usually not as uniform. In the garden slightly irregular bricks should not be a problem, but if a formal, tight line is desired, new bricks are easier to work with. Bricks can be laid on their sides, flat, or up on end to create different visual effects and patterns.

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