What is Edging?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2019
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Edging is a barrier which creates a transition between different areas of the garden, such as a lawn and a flowerbed or a lawn and a walk way. There are a number of different options available at garden supply stores and nurseries, and gardeners can also create their own, using a variety of supplies to get the desired look. The term “edging” is also used to refer to using a tool known as an edger to create a crisp, clean look along the edge of a lawn.

Gardeners use edging to delineate transitions in the garden, to control water usage, to keep animals out of flowerbeds, and as an ornamental feature. The simplest version is simply a small trench between the two areas of the garden, which may be filled with gravel, wood chips, or other materials to create a visible boundary. Edging can also consist of a small physical boundary such as a low fence, a stone wall, wooden blocks, or even a plant which is kept trimmed to create a low hedge which acts as a boundary.


The choice of garden edging used typically depends on the aesthetics of the garden. For example, in an English-style garden, low stone walls or piles of stones laid out along borders might be very attractive, while a casual seaside garden might use round pieces of wood which are reminiscent of piers as edging to echo the visual themes in the area. Filled trenches can also be made highly visually interesting with fill like colored gravel or sea glass.

One advantage to using edging is that it can be used to conceal irrigation tubing while protecting the tubing from damage. It can also house electrical wiring for garden and pathway lights, which may be desirable aesthetically and from a safety perspective. Landscaping edging can be utilized aesthetically to pull landscaping themes together, and to emphasize forms and shapes in the garden.

In the sense of using an edger, edging is performed along the boundaries of the lawn to make the edge of the lawn crisp. When people mow, grass usually grows out sideways from the side of the lawn, becoming untidy and unpleasant to look at. An edger cuts through this overgrowth, creating a sharp edge which crisply delineates lawn from pathway or flower bed. Lawn edging makes a garden look more orderly, and it prevents buildups of material along garden paths.


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