Just as you wouldn’t hang a prized painting or photograph without a frame, the landscaper and homeowner of taste certainly wouldn’t lay a path or garden bed without a proper border.
Adding edging to your landscaping will take your home’s curb appeal from “that’s nice” to “wow!’. Using stone as your edging material will elevate the look of your home and increase its perceived value.
But you can’t just throw any rocks in your yard and call it a day. The stone you choose needs to enhance your landscaping while also serving a purpose. Try these seven stone edging ideas around your landscaping and improve the first impression your home makes.
1. Stone Lawn Edging Ideas
When taking care of a lawn, you quickly realize that grass is a nightmare to contain. Underneath that lush green carpet is a network of fibrous and threadlike roots that branch out in all directions. This leads to the roots invading anything and everything around it. It’s a constant battle to contain your lawn to the areas where you want it to grow.
A stone barrier around the edge of your lawn not only looks beautiful but can help you contain the grass. This solid barrier can help you create a clearly defined shape to the edge of your lawn while also making it easier to mow. That line of rocks gives you space to step while you navigate the lawnmower.
There are two conventional approaches to building rock edging for a lawn. The first option is to create a “rock moat” barrier that’s about a foot wide. Then fill your moat with small pebbles or river rocks. The second option is to place or stack larger stones or boulders.
Before you place any edging stone, you’ll want to dig down below the grass-root level. Then level out the ground where you plan to lay your stones. This will create a flat area to place your rocks while also creating a substantial barrier for the roots.
It can also help to place a line of flexible plastic edging into the ground on the lawn side. This helps to create a smooth line along the lawn edge.
2. Stone Flower Bed Edging Ideas
For most of us, our flower beds are next to our lawn. So when you consider stone edging ideas, you also need to think about your flower garden edge. Using stones around your gardens will help to highlight the most beautiful areas of your landscaping.
The river rock moat will create a wide border while also creating a barrier between your plants and the rest of your yard. Large natural stone edging will contain your mulch better than using metal edging material.
Another idea is to use the stone look to create a raised garden bed. This is a smart garden edging idea if you want to create a vegetable garden bed or a bud planting bed. Start by choosing your edging material. Paving stone, brick, or a flat rock are all-natural looking and stackable. You’ll sink the first row into the packed earth to create a stable base. Then stack layers on top until you get to your desired height.
No matter what style of garden border you choose, it needs to be higher than the garden. This is the only way it will effectively contain your mulch and planting material.
3. Stone Edging for Walkways
A stone border can help define the walkway and keep it looking neat if you have a gravel path that stretches across your property. Lining your gravel path with larger stones, pavers, or brick edging will also keep your gravel contained. This will reduce your required labor to maintain the gravel path and extend its life.
You can also use stones to create the actual garden path. Large stepping stones can create a stable surface to walk on. Or you could stack flat rocks on either side of a grassy area. This creates a low “rock wall” on either side of the space to create a natural walkway that blends into the landscaping.
For a more rustic look, you can simply stack the stones to create your edging. If you want a more refined or upscale look, consider using mortar between the stones. This elevates the look of your landscaping, and it will create a more secure and stable edging.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match your stones when building your walkway. You could lay large flat stones, then surround them with gravel. Then line this path with more brick-like stones. You will not only create a well-defined and stable walkway, but it will also be visually stunning with the different sized and colored stones.
4. Stone Edging Ideas for Driveways
Say goodbye to a dull, plain old driveway. Breathe life into yours by lining the edges of your driveway with a subtle stone edge. This creates a visual frame around your driveway, and it’s useful in aiding with adequate drainage of water.
Take a look at the sides of your driveway after heavy rain. Do you see puddles or pooling along the edge? Creating a stone edge along your driveway can help. Try digging out a shallow trench that is about a foot wide. Then fill it with river rocks. You could just throw them in, or you could artfully arrange them. The next time it rains, the water will flow off of your driveway and through the rocks to disperse better.
Another option is to use rocks to create a driveway edging that mimics a curb. You can use bricks or pavers to create a defined edge to your driveway. This will support your cement or asphalt driveway and protect the edge from stress or breaking apart.
5. Natural Stone Edging
If you love the look of nature, then consider using natural stones for your edging. These are rocks that are irregular in shape, color, and size. This will give your landscaping a more natural and rustic look. Natural rocks will help you define your landscaping without it looking too manicured.
Try mixing different sizes of natural stone to create a dimensional and textured look. You could use small natural stones to create a walkway or a border along your cement sidewalk or driveway. Then use larger natural stones stacked behind the smaller ones to define the boundaries around your flower beds. The larger stones create a blended transition, while also being large enough to contain the soil and mulch in your beds.
If you need to build a wall for a raised bed, don’t be afraid to use stones of varying sizes. You can create a one of a kind wall as you mix and match the stones as you stack them. Embrace that they won’t fit perfectly together, so you’ll have some gaps.
Placing natural stones is not easy. This is a deceptively challenging task and will be time-consuming as you repeatedly try different stones to build a cohesive border. It takes a lot of effort to make natural stonework look effortless.
6. Brick and Block Edging Ideas
If you’re looking for something a little more defined, then consider using bricks or blocks. They have a similar aesthetic and coloring to stones but look more uniform. This makes it easier to stack and place them. It also gives your home a more refined and upscale look.
You could use bricks or block stone to create an edge around your patio, garden, or walkway. Pick a brick style and color that will blend well with the rest of your landscaping. This could mean that anything from rich red or brown to bright white may work for you.
Scale the size of your bricks to the size of the project and your landscape. You don’t want to use blocks that are so large that they’ll overpower what they’re supposed to be bordering. At the same time, you don’t want them to be too small, and your border gets lost in the landscaping.
7. Stone Retaining Walls
Retaining walls are a perfect way of creating dimensions and height on your property. For some, a retention wall is necessary to ensure the earth around your home stays where you need it to. For others, retaining walls can create multiple levels of raised plant beds for you to create beautiful landscaping displays.
Common materials used to create functional retaining walls include cinderblock and metal reinforcement. But steel edging and cement aren’t the most beautiful things to look at. So why not mask the functional reinforcements with decorative stonework.
The best stone for creating small or large retaining walls are flat-sided square or rectangular shaped stones. They’ll stack tightly and neatly to give the entire wall strength and stability. If you’re building a short wall, you won’t even need the heavy-duty reinforcements.
Size is an important consideration when building your retaining wall. Smaller walls that don’t need to support a lot of weight can use smaller stones. If you plan to build a larger retaining wall that will hold some serious weight, you need larger stones. In fact, boulders will be a smart choice.
Stone Edging FAQs
What type of stones should I use for my landscape border?
Technically, you can use any type of stone that you want. You could even dig stones up out of your own backyard. But professional landscapers recommend that you use rocks or stones that are naturally found in your region. This will ensure your landscaping makes sense for your area. It will also be easier to source rock material. When picking the stone for your project, consider the size, shape, color, and uniformity.
Are these stone edging ideas DIY?
Yes! You can create your own stone path or edge. Just keep in mind that rocks are heavy, and you may need help moving them. It will also take longer than you might think to prepare the land and then place the rocks. Some of these ideas may require you to place several rocks to determine the best fit and look.
How do I care for my new rock landscape edging?
You don’t need to do a whole lot. If you have larger rocks for your edging or walking path, you could clean them once a year. Start by sweeping or brushing your stones off with a stiff bristle brush to remove loose dirt or dried on mud. Then rinse your stones to clean off anything left and get them wet. Use vinegar to kill any mold or mildew growing. Then if your stones are really dirty, you can use a very mild bleach or mild soap mixture to scrub your stones with. Be mindful that whatever cleaner you use needs to be plant-safe.
How long will my stone edge last?
If you use local stones, install the edging correctly, and give it regular maintenance, then your stone edge could last forever. There are stone walls still standing today that were built by ancient civilizations. Because stones are a natural material, they can withstand the natural elements better than man-made materials. This includes plastic lawn edging, cobblestone edging, or concrete edging.