Garden Path Edging – Edgings can he used to dress up a plain path, provide crisp lines between paving and landscaping materials, or hold paving slabs or bricks in place. In most cases, all you need to do is decide on the material you’d like to use, excavate shallow trenches on each side of the path, and stake or set the edging in place. However, integral concrete edging needs to be made at the same time as the path.
Edging materials can vary just as much as the paving they border. Choose from concrete, brick, stone, tile or timber.
Edging styles, however, fall into just two broad categories: a mowing strip that is laid flush with the path so that you can run one wheel of a lawnmower along it, or a raised edging that puts a lip at each side of a path.
Mowing strips should be 150-300 mm wide. Concrete, brick, tile and other smooth-surface masonry materials are best for mowing strips. You can use lengths of timber, but be warned that they are easily nicked by the mower blade and will rot away in time.
A raised edging keeps aggressive groundcover plants from growing over a path, channels water run-off and makes a clean break between different surfaces. If you are planning a path of gravel, or similar loose material, a raised edging is the only way to go. Keep a raised edging low, say 10 mm or so above the surface, or make it at least 75 mm high – anything in between can easily be tripped over. Below and opposite we give instructions for installing several types of raised edging.
Bricks are probably the most popular path edging, whether set on edge, on end or at an angle for a sawtooth effect. They make excellent borders for concrete, loose materials and, of course, brick paving. Use engineering bricks to withstand the damp. Brick edging should be set in sand or mortared to a concrete base. Make sure the edging is firmly set in place, otherwise the bricks will soon work themselves loose.
In Victorian times, paths were commonly edged with terracotta edging tiles. These were produced in a variety of patterns, one of the most common being ‘rope’ edging, the top edge of which was shaped in a spiral like a length of rope. Today, it is possible to buy reproduction Victorian edging tiles, but you can often find the real thing at architectural salvage yards. These edging tiles have a shaped lower portion, allowing them to be easily set in the ground.