What can I reuse or recycle to make attractive garden edging?

Carmen from South Africa has sent an email asking:

What can I reuse/recycle to make attractive garden edging?

I’ve always been quite taken with the idea of wine bottles for garden edging (and an item on my long, long to-do list is to try making a raised bed on the same principle).

For a more rustic look, you should mimic the commercial bamboo edging using offcuts from local trees – sticks and branches about 2-5cm (1-2inches) in diameter that are too small to bother burning but too big for composting. If you want them all to stay in a neat line, you could nail them to a thin batten; else, just let the soil hold them in place.

I’ve seen some edging made from old ceramic tiles too but I’m not sure how they were supported – any ideas?

Any other suggestions?

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7 Responses to “What can I reuse or recycle to make attractive garden edging?”

  1. anna says:

    Bricks work beautifully. Dig them (all or partially) on the ground. It’ll leave a nice, clean edge.
    I’ve always loved the look of the old logs between railroad rails. Depending on how easy those are to come by, they may be an option. But as they are usually heavily treated, I wouldn’t use that to make the edges for the vegetable or herb garden.
    Wood would work too. Cut wood, about the diameter of a wine bottle, to a size that would work instead of the wine bottles and use similarly. No treatment needed, depending on the type of wood it should still stay pretty and usable for at least a few years.

  2. Janet says:

    My husband goes to local businesses who are chucking out old wooden pallets & other wood which he gets for free.Recently he made a fantastic garden border by sawing off the corners to make a pointed tops,each strip of wood was 7 inches long,he attached a batten (which was found dumped) to the back of the wood strips.After that he used green creosote to preserve it,then to get it in the earth,using the same batten.he placed it at intervals,then just banged it into the earth with the aid of a spirit level.The border looks natural.Just waiting for him to make another one for our front garden

  3. Janet says:

    I don’t know how to post a link to a pic.I am not that brilliant when it comes down to computers & technology.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for posting the original question. I’m interested to hear more suggestions too, and like the wine bottle idea. Are you familiar with the diy project for a path where you fill colored glass bottles with sand, re-cap, and then insert (in gravel) flush to the ground upside down? This makes a nice 3 or 4 inch line of colored glass circles that can be enlarged to a path. But no reason why you couldn’t just make the line. The lawnmower tire could run right along it. Yes?

  5. Art Lisowswky says:

    You can go to your local fence company and look through their dumpster or ask to look at their scrap . . . they normally throw it away to a local recycle company. You can get all sorts of scrap material for cutting down to make an edging along your garden or sidewalk. You can also use it to make a low rise fence. I am taking the larger solid 2X6 panels to make an air barrier to prevent exhaust fumes from my electric emergency generator outside of our house from entering our basement area.

  6. Claudia says:

    How about old china dinner plates? Find them at your local thrift stores, coordinate colors, then bury them half-way into the ground for a colorful addition to the garden!

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