Having an edge in maintaining your garden can be seen in several ways, but let's talk about edging to keep unwanted grass out of your flower or mulched area.
Basically, edging is using some form of structure to keep a particular area free of grass or even keep mulch in place, not to mention giving your landscape a defined look. Edging material can be as sophisticated as patio blocks or as simple as wooden boards. The primary function of all landscape edging is to form a clean, neat line between two areas that differ in design, ground treatment or plant content.
Edging can also help contain mulches such as bark chips, and keep them from migrating into lawns or paved areas. Edging can be quite useful in reducing labor involved in maintaining beds.
All edging should met certain criteria:
- It should be readily available in whatever quantities are needed and at a relatively low cost.
- It should be easy to install.
- The edging itself should be durable, the materials shouldn't crack, rot, or heave out oft he ground. Unfortunately, heaving is fairly common.
- An edging should be high enough to contain a mulch layer, and still allow the wheels of power equipment to ride over it. Keep in mind that too-high edging are likely to cause pedestrians to trip and fall and also require the additional step of hand trimming in landscape maintenance--something you are trying to avoid.
Edging should unify a landscape, but not pull it apart or be distracting. Therefore, it is best to use a minimum of different edging material, at least in a single landscape having parts that are viewed together.
Edging can be a finishing touch to a well designed and maintained landscape, but it will not correct a poor design--just as the best dessert cannot excuse a poorly prepared dinner.