Stone edging keeps your garden looking well-tended by distinguishing between flowering plant areas and pathways or lawn. The look you choose will depend on whether the areas you are edging are raised or on ground level, as well as your home and garden style. Choose a stone colour that works well with your plants, such as red stones for succulents and dark granite for silvery-green foliage.
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A low-cost, sometimes even free, edging option is broken rock-filled concrete. Many types of industrial concrete, such as that used on sidewalks, contain smooth river rock stones inside the concrete for bulk and strength. While the top surface of the concrete looks smooth, the inside is a honeycomb of river rock set in mortar. If a local contractor is breaking down this style of concrete, he will often give the broken chunks away to anyone who can haul them. For raised gardens, placing these broken chunks with the rocky edges outward makes a great retaining wall. Just sink one layer of stones partially within the dirt for stability, and then add another layer on top, staggering the breaks between chunks like a brick wall. Add as many layers as necessary for your garden's height. For ground-level gardens, sink the concrete fully in the dirt with the rocky edges facing upward so only the mortared stones show.
Slate slabs make a fencelike garden edging that looks modern and timeless. Choose thick slate pieces for stability, and then sink them into the dirt on edge so they ring your garden area like a low fence. Some landscape rock retailers offer a variety of slate shapes, so you can choose from large or small slabs and rounded or squared edges. Enhance your slate garden edging by using slate for pathways as well. Slate-topped patio furniture is also widely available to give your outdoor living area a unified look. Lay slate walkway tiles around your garden as a flat, broad edging instead of fencing the area with upright slabs. For walkway tiles, line the area with sand before laying the tiles so you can achieve a level area that conforms to the irregular shape of the slate.
Lay a ground covering of white marble chips along the edge. Clear a strip all the way around your garden that is about 1- foot wide and 2-inches deep. Line the area with a groundcover cloth or other material to keep weeds down, and then fill the area with marble chips. The stones sparkle in the sun. For maintenance, regularly check for any weeds pushing through the stones and toss back any stones that stray into your garden or lawn. Marble chips are long lasting and coordinate with many garden styles.
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