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On the Edge

This article was first published on 31 Jan 2013.

On the Edge

On the Edge

Is your garden fraying at the edges? Any time of the year is a good time to attend to the presentation of your borders. Even if not completely weed free, a neat and tidy edge will certainly boost the overall appearance of your garden.

Edging materials come in great variety and can be used to complement your garden style. Hard paving will suit a formal layout while a material such as recycled tyres can be used effectively in informal gardens.

The simplest edge is lawn.  However, there needs to be definition between where grass stops and garden starts. Take the time to flick soil and mulch up and away from the edge to retain definition. Trim grass edges regularly - not only will they look great but weeds won’t easily creep into the garden from the turf.

Stronger or more durable edges, needed especially on raised beds, can be made from materials such as brick, wood or rocks. Installed well, they will last for years.

Recently we have renovated the rock edge of the Asteraceae border in the native collection of Dunedin Botanic Garden. This task needs attending to every 10-15 years. After lifting the rocks up from where they had settled, and in some cases disappeared, we used fine gravel to pack underneath the rocks to reset them. This raised rock edge will give great definition between garden and path for years to come.

Shirley Stuart is curator of the Native Plant Collection at Dunedin Botanic Garden.