Edging in a flowerbed serves several purposes. It can accent the area, making it more appealing to the eye, and it can keep out unwanted grass and weed growth. Gardeners have many options when it comes to edging for their flowerbeds, including using ornamental grasses as well as natural and manmade materials. Some edging products are costlier than others, and some give a more natural look to the garden.
Dwarf Mondo Grass
Dwarf mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonica 'Nana') is a Japanese native ornamental grass that is well-suited for use along the edge of a flowerbed. It is a perennial evergreen, growing well throughout USDA planting zones 6 through 10. The finely textured grass, grown primarily for its dark green foliage, has flowers that are small and insignificant. Mondo grass is suitable for use as an edging plant or groundcover, as it spreads relatively quickly.
This hardy grass prefers growing in full shade to partial shade conditions. Once established, mondo grass is relatively drought-tolerant. It will perform best when given regular applications of water, though. Its low-growing nature of reaching approximately 3 to 4 inches in height gives a natural feeling to the garden, and it will not overpower plants growing behind it.
Rocks & Stones
Rock edging consists of cut, flat stones, fieldstones and boulders. Most gardening or home improvement stores carry various types of rock edging materials, or gardeners can gather it from outdoor sources. Rock and stone edging is long-lasting as well as attractive. It also gives a natural-looking flow to the flowerbed. Depending on what material is used, it can be expensive. The edging is easy to maintain and durable, as lawn equipment cannot injure it.
Installing the rock edging is relatively basic. Dig a trench approximately 4 inches deep for the bottom portion of the stone. Set the stone into the trench, and pack the dirt firmly around it to hold it in place, with each stone installed close to the next one. The edging works well in natural, tropical or native gardens, as well as rock gardens, where groundcovers can creep upon it.
Plastic Garden Edging
Plastic gardening edging is lightweight as well as economical, and it is relatively easy to install into the flowerbed. It comes in a variety of styles, including grooved sections that fit together and long strips that require cutting to size. It easily conforms to curves and bends in the flowerbed. Plastic edging is also durable as well as long-lasting, and lawn equipment will not damage it. Gardeners have various colors from which to choose, including black, green and white.
To install plastic edging, tamp the grooved edging pieces into the ground in their appropriate place with a rubber mallet, connecting the next piece to the other. When working with a long strip of plastic edging, place the edging into a trench 3 to 4 inches deep, and cut it to the appropriate size of the flowerbed. Then pack the dirt around the edging to keep it in place.