Garden borders eliminate the need for difficult edge trimming and make a clear separation between your garden and your lawn. Before installing them, however, you must consider which materials to use and how to use them. These materials should be attractive, functional and durable. They can be visible and mostly for decoration, or invisible.
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Choose treated or untreated wood for your garden border if you want an earthy look to your garden. Untreated wood is completely natural but will rot with time. Treated wood protects the wood from rotting agents such as fungi but contains chromated copper arsenate. Small amounts of these chemicals can leak into the soil, affecting any crop production you may have.
Metal strip borders are almost invisible. To install them, bury the steel or aluminium border sheets about 4 inches into the soil with the top 1/2 inch sticking out of the soil. These are the simplest borders to install as the thin sheets bend easily around corners. Metal borders provide subtlety and are effective in separating garden from other landscape elements.
Use pavers when you have flowers or other plants that will spill over the border. Pavers come in a variety of colours and materials including brick and concrete. They also come in a variety of shapes. This material will not bend around corners as easily as metal and must make subtle changes instead of sharp turns.
Stone offers texture and an old-fashioned air as a border to your garden. Stones come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but you must be able to stack them for the border to work. You may also use the stones as a retaining wall, forming a raised bed behind the wall. This is a useful option for people who have poor quality soil.
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