Decorate your garden with eye-catching flowerbed borders: check out these wonderful examples for inspiration

by Mark Bennett

May 22, 2024

DIY garden borders

Anyone lucky enough to have a garden knows that nature is a truly uncontainable force: for example, plants must be continuously monitored and cared for to keep them healthy, neat and orderly. To help better manage a garden, using borders around flowerbeds, or boundary lines to separate the lawn from paved areas, is a very good idea. And these "finishing touches" can immediately make a garden look more beautiful. Check out some great garden-borders ideas below:

1. Bricks

Bricks placed vertically in a herringbone pattern to border a flowerbed

Bricks can be used in many ways to set up garden borders: they can be placed in a herringbone pattern (as shown here); alternatively, they can simply be laid down level with the ground. Obviously the type of brick (like breeze blocks, for example), will also influence the overall look.


2. Wood

Karine Broussin/Pinterest

With wood, your range of choices for border types is huge. For example, you can create fences with wooden boards, planks, pieces of pallets, logs and even branches. Even wooden blocks cut cat varying heights can create a lively, attractive border.

3. Plant borders

ground cover plants used as flowerbed borders

If the border simply needs to delimit a flowerbed in the middle of the lawn, then you can consider using a plant suitable for this role. Consider the local climatic conditions, the type of soil and sunlight exposure to help you chose the right plant for this purpose.

You can create low borders with ground cover plants; medium-height borders can be created with compact bushes that grow to a maximum of 30-40 cm in height. And obviously, you can also consider creating taller borders with plants, bushes and scrubs that grow even higher than this - it all depends on your needs.

4. Metal sheets

Flowerbed border made from a Corten steel sheet

A modern and elegant border choice which is very popular for "dry"/xeriscaped gardens is to use metal sheets. In particular, sheets made from Corten steel are the most popular (Corten steel is a highly resistant material which is also called "living metal").

During the oxidation process, the metal will produce patinas which are rich in copper, chromium and phosphorus, making the steel waterproof. Over time, the steel will change color from an orange tone to a dark, beautiful brown-red hue. And, even if scratched, these colorful patinas will be regenerated quickly. A truly an eternal, elegant choice!

5. Cement

Concrete slabs placed between a flowerbed and the lawn

Economical and super-versatile: borders of any type can be constructed with cement. The simplest way to go about this is to buy pre-formed cement slabs or bricks and lay them down/partially bury them (as shown here) to demarcate a particular area.


6. Plastic

Black plastic border laid down between a flowerbed and the lawn

You can also buy pre-formed, plastic borders by the meter and/or pre-cut segments. These border typically have dark, rounded edges that sit almost completely flush to the ground. These borders are not very noticeable, but they will help to contain the spreading of your plants by blocking the growth of their roots (if they are not too deep).

7. Gabions

wire mesh gabions filled with rocks and used as borders in a garden

Gabions (from the Italin word for "cage"), are large, metal mesh containers/cages filled with rocks of various types, and are perfect for containing and bordering flowerbeds. They are especially useful as borders for raised flowerbeds or positioned the edge of slopes. Mini versions (ie. smaller cages filled with pebbles), are ideal for edging/bordering ground-level flowerbeds (just like the bricks, described above).


8. Glass bottles

glass bottles, stuck upside down into the ground, serving as a border

Amongst the various creative recycling ideas you can try out for creating garden borders, a simple and effective one is to use empty glass bottles. These can be inserted into the ground upside down, burying them at varying depths (and/or using different shaped bottles) to provide variety and an even more "captivating" look.

Of course, you can insert the bottles the right way up into the ground - but you'll need to seal of the openings in the necks to prevent water from getting into them and stagnating.

9. Bamboo

a small flowerbed fence made from bamboo

How about making a small fence using bamboo? Depending on the diameter of the canes, or the height at which you cut them, you can some very attractive bamboo fence borders!


10. Gravel

Garden border with layer of gravel

Daz, MDesign garden/Pinterest

A popular, modern garden design is to create a border using gravel, small rocks or river pebbles... Typically, these borders are laid out in strips alongside a flowerbed/lawn and are often flanked by more "discreet" borders (such as ones made from flat bricks, metal sheets or pre-formed plastic borders).

11. Natural rocks

Garden path bordered by rows of natural rocks

In any garden center, you can purchase natural rocks of various sizes, colors and shapes. These can then be placed in rows around flowerbeds or flanking garden paths - and which will blend into the natural landscape perfectly too. 


12. Lights

Tubular light fitting bordering a flowerbed and a driveway

To ensure your borders are visible at night, and/or highlight a special flowerbed (or some other focal point), you can't go wrong using lights! Specifically, you can buy tubular light fittings for outdoor use at most garden centers (like those shown in the photo here).

Which of these ideas would look best in your garden?