Guest Author - Charity Armstrong
A great way to add a finishing touch to your rose beds is by adding decorative edging. Flower bed edging is available in a variety of prices and materials. The occasional warm winter day is the perfect time to install new edging and dress up your rose beds.
If you're simply looking for a dividing line between your rose beds and the lawn you can simply use a spade or shovel to dig a trench three to six inches deep around your beds. You will have to maintain this separation regularly with a string trimmer or your grass will eventually grow into the trench and then into your rose beds. Of all the edging options this is the least expensive, it's free, but it requires the most upkeep and maintenance.
If you want an actual edging around your rose beds but have a very limited budget you should look into rolls of black plastic edging. You can purchase large rolls in quantities of 100 feet or more. This product is easy to locate in the garden section of any home improvement store. While it does look like black plastic edging, and can be annoying to install, you can't beat the cost per foot. Another option along this line would be green fiberglass rolls of edging or rolls of actual metal. These provide a different look, but will have a higher cost per foot than the black plastic.
Landscaping timbers, railroad ties, 4x4s or 6x6s make great edging that looks higher end and more natural than the black plastic edging while still being reasonably priced. This product can also be found at any home improvement store and some salvage yards. You will need to have tools to cut the edging so you can fit ends and corners. If you have a miter saw or table saw it will definitely come in handy for neat and easy cutting.
Stone and brick are great flower bed edging options. Both materials have a high end look but can be expensive. However, they last forever and can be easily rearranged if you decide to change your garden bed's shape. Your geographic location will dictate your prices for brick and stone. Depending on your location one will usually be cheaper than the other. For example, I live in a coastal climate in the middle of a city. The stone available to me has to be shipped in, but there is a brick supplier right up the road. I can edge my rose beds in brick for $1.60 a foot compared to $4 for stone. If you live in an area with plentiful stone available, such as the Northeastern United States, these prices could be the opposite for you. Call your local stone and brick yards to see which material has the best price.
If you choose brick edging the options for laying out your bricks are endless. I would recommend flipping through gardening books and looking on-line to see actual photos of designs that appeal to you. Both stone and brick can be laid out in a simple dirt trench or you can dig a trench and then place the stone or brick on a bed of sand or cement.
Nothing you put up as a barrier is going to keep the grass out of your rose beds forever. Even the best and most carefully installed edging is going to require upkeep with a string trimmer and the occasional hand weeding or application of Round Up to keep things in order. Edging around your rose beds will deter the advancement of grass for less maintenance overall while giving your beds a neater look.
No matter what edging option you go with, take the time to plan out your beds and then measure carefully before heading to the store. Nothing is more annoying than starting your project only to be short on materials. If you select brick edging keep in mind the number of bricks per foot you'll need will change drastically depending on if you do one row or two and whether you lay the bricks on their side or stand them on end.
Flower bed edging can be constructed out of most any material. Check out your neighbor's garden beds, look at some photos and then decide your favorite option based on cost and aesthetics. No matter what rose bed edging you choose your garden beds will be looking great come spring.
If you're looking for the black plastic edging I mentioned above you can purchase it from Amazon by clicking here Amazon's Master Gardener Black Landscape Edging