One of the most overlooked elements of garden design for the average DIY gardener is garden edging. It can be laborious to install, expensive, and lets face it…just plain boring. Landscape edging can create a solid hard-scaping base for your garden design to improve curb appeal, and add structure to your garden and yard during the winter months. Here are 5 great ways to make your garden edging more exciting, unique, creative and low budget.


Pallets are a great DIY building material, and with good reason. It’s a renewable resource, that is usually free! Check Craigslist or ask local businesses for their leftover wood pallets. Use the lumber to cut sections of wood, paint some of them randomly and sloppily with leftover house paint and leave some unfinished, then dig into a trench along your garden edge. Any other scrap wood can be used as well. Check out ‘Farmhouse 38’ and their great scrap wood edging project!

garden edging from recycled scrap wood




Yes, we have all seen stone and rock as a casual garden or landscape edging. And it works, but it can look old fashioned. Instead of just lining up country stones, update the look by digging a trench edging your garden or lawn, then fill the trench with smaller rocks and stones. It gives you a good mowing strip, a barrier for weeds and grass, and it looks more modern. You can either purchase decorative rock, or if your budget is tight, collect smaller rocks from your own yard and re-use as edging. Photo source below: Kate from ‘FluffleFritz‘.

garden edging with stones


Recycled Dishes and Pots

Here is a great way to recycle broken or old dishes, saucers, or even old ceramic pots and planters. You can grow quite a collection from yard sales, thrift stores, or by posting a want ad on Freecycle or a community bulletin board. Use the dishes whole, and dig into the ground as a border. Or break the dishes and use in a trench much the same as you would small decorative stone. Place a few dishes at a time into an old pillowcase to protect you from flying glass, wear safety glasses, and take your hammer to it! How small of pieces you want is totally up to you. Keep the size in scale with the size of the trench and garden area. Also remember, larger pieces will give you more texture and color. Photo source: Reclamation Administration

garden edging broken plates


Industrial Materials

One of TGG’s fav recyclables is industrial materials. They blend well into the natural state of the garden, and have a more modern look. Check out your local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, or yard sales and salvage stores for great ideas. Remember, you can use things that can be partially buried in the ground, like steel pipe sections, or perhaps steel utility boxes or slices of PVC pipe that can be laid into trenches, then back filled with gravel. Photo source: Floradora Gardens

garden edging industrial pipe



If you haven’t already seen the recycled bottle garden edging, time to take a look. This idea is best in areas where there is little traffic from machinery such as mowers. You can bury the bottles neck down so that the bottoms of the bottles provide the edging. You can vary the heights of each bottle, or keep it all uniform. Choose to use bottles of all one color, or mix it up. Photo source: Gregg and Ellis Landscape Design in Portland, Oregon.

garden edging from recycled bottles


Five great ways to have creative DIY garden edging for your landscaping, while recycling and saving cash!


Garden Edging: 5 Ways to Edge Your Landscape with Recycled Materials

Garden Edging: 5 Ways to Edge Your Landscape with Recycled Materials

Image Credits: Farmhouse 38, Reclamation Administration, Floradora Gardens, Oregon Live



  1. Judy Gibbs June 28, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    I have just finished my first pebble mosaic. I cannot find the “flats or skippers” pebbles anywhere. Do you have a source?

    Thank you!

    1. Kathy Woodard July 7, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      I haven’t worked with them, but you could try Pebble Tile Mosaics…

      Anyone else have a source?

  2. Amy Campion December 9, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    What do you use to keep the grass from growing into the stones as in the first photo? The landscape edging at the box stores looks so cheesy. What can you use for a metal edging?

    1. Kathy Woodard December 30, 2014 at 9:46 am

      I also don’t love the cheesy edging you can find in stores…I like the idea of unusual edging like the stones, and the metal pipes inserted into the ground.Imagination is the limit! Sometimes we just wander the home improvement store looking for things that can be used in unusual ways… You can control weeds either with a landscaping cloth underneath, or a traditional or organic weed spray, depending on the material you use and how it’s applied…

  3. Fifi's nan April 2, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Thankyou so much for all the wonderful inspiration !
    Perth, Australia

    1. Kathy Woodard November 10, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      Cool photo Kate! San Jose, California? I was born and raised there! May we give you a link credit to the photo? Would you want it to link to the one you pointed to?

  4. Christine Ellis December 20, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    The blue bottles edging is from my backyard in Portland, Oregon. It was part of an Oregonian article on edging materials in about 2002. It still looks good today. The bottles need to be straightened in the spring, but that’s it.
    Christine Ellis, Gregg and Ellis Landscape Designs
    since 1995

    1. Kathy Woodard December 29, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      Hi Christine! Thanks for letting us know! We will be adding that info into the body of the post… what a great idea!

  5. Sandra Young March 5, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    I’m a veterinarian, and I just want to remind people that we see many injuries, especially paw injuries, caused by unsafe edging materials used in garden borders. Many commercially sold borders are the worst offenders, having a sharp plastic top edge. A running, playing dog won’t even feel a sliced paw until it’s too late to stop. Check for sharp protruding edges or any edge you believe could cut or cause other damage to your pets.

    1. Michele S. March 18, 2017 at 8:24 am

      I totally agree with you Dr. Sandra Young….although some of these suggestions are beautiful they are not pet-friendly so be wary of what you put down in your yard as it’s not only going to be a visit to the vet it’s going to cause your furry friends pain and problems as well .


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