Gardening Etc Newsletter
The Home Of Outdoor Living
Thank you for signing up to . You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
There are many ways to line garden features, but metal garden edging ideas have to be some of the most stylish. As with all varieties of edging, they instantly smarten up a space and help to keep things in their proper place – but they also offer an essence of industrial chic that is bang on-trend.
Corten steel, in particular, is having a real moment right now when it comes to landscaping ideas. And, we expect this to stick around for a good while. But there are other options when it comes to this robust material, including shiny copper and powder-coated looks.
And despite what you might think, you don't have to have a super-contemporary space to make this design work. As you'll soon see, metal garden edging ideas are surprisingly versatile, complementing all manner of garden themes.
We've gathered together some of our top metal garden edging ideas to demonstrate how much they can offer to a space. From flowerbed borders to chic lawn surroundings and more – you'll be sure to find something to inspire you for your own plot.
1. Line statement borders with Corten steel
When you look at a set-up like this, it's easy to see why Corten steel has taken garden design by storm. It's a great choice for garden edging ideas due to its resilient nature and warm tones.
If you're wondering what exactly it is (and are feeling dubious about its rusted appearance), then let us explain. Basically, Corten steel's surface doesn't corrode in the atmosphere – instead it oxidizes to form a beneficially protective layer rather than a damaging layer of rust. This means that it can hold up against the elements for many years and is fantastically low-maintenance.
We love how it's been used to define sweeping garden path ideas against billowing borders in this scene. And, the contrast in colors only adds to the appeal.
2. Toughen up wild planting
If you want to give your flowerbed ideas a bit more 'edge' (both literally and figuratively) then metal is a good solution.
A sturdy style to border raised beds, as seen here, offers all the industrial vibes whilst bringing the scene up closer to eye level. And, it works well when juxtaposed against wilder planting, offering a stark contrast that feels fuss-free and contemporary.
Pair with galvanized planters for a sense of cohesion – you can find some lovely styles in our garden planter ideas feature.
3. Opt for powder-coated steel for a polished look
Metal edging isn't just for bordering beds, it can be a great accompaniment to patio ideas too. This plot by Your Garden Design (opens in new tab) uses powder-coated steel in a cool grey, which ties together beautifully with the paving, planters, pergola and luxe furniture.
Although subtle, it neatly defines the sunken seating space and nearby flowerbed from the rest of the plot, helping to create a clean and streamlined appearance. We also love how the accents of timber on the pergola roof and table add a touch of warmth to the scene, balancing out all the chic monochrome tones.
4. Contrast Corten against pale paving
A small stream of water is a lovely approach to garden divider ideas, or simply as a soothing point of interest. And, when lined with small stones and pretty planting, it can blend into a plot in a very organic way. Dense borders full of textural foliage around the perimeter of a garden can add to the natural, almost jungle-like vibe.
However, if you bring sleek paving and metal garden edging ideas into the mix, then a sense of balance is brought to the scene. The result? A look that feels up-to-date yet still evokes the essence of a natural landscape.
5. Make steps more interesting
If you're looking for new garden steps ideas, then how about something like this as a solution? It's certainly not your usual run-of-the-mill set of stairs, demonstrating how steps can be stylish as well as practical.
We like how they slightly offset one another in a pleasingly irregular and architectural layout. The gravel provides a sturdy base underfoot, whilst Corten edging offers a striking contrast – its patina setting an old-world vibe.
Want to recreate the look? Take a cue from the planting arrangments, too. Small ferns and tufts of ornamental grasses look fantastic dotted around the scene, softening the overall style.
6. Try an aluminium and composite combo
Metal can be used for lawn edging ideas, too – as shown in this scene. The ornate design adds a ton of personality to the space, giving the border a modern look which works well alongside the minimal planting design behind.
Although it may look it, this design isn't 100% metal. The panels themselves are in fact made from a composite, eco-friendly material, which is an easy choice for a low-maintenance and durable approach. The posts, however, are made from high-grade aluminium which is powder-coated, to ensure it won't corrode in even the worst weather conditions.
As Dayna Taylor of Charles & Ivy (opens in new tab) comments, 'Fence screens are a great option for garden edging as you can choose a design to complement your space, whilst also retaining a chic and tasteful look. We'd recommend a 30cm [12in] height to make enough of a partition whilst also remaining elegant and subtle.'
7. Add definition with copper
Without the metal edging, this levelled garden would lean very much on the rustic side of design. However, the sweeps of shining copper offer modern definition, whilst lining a cool perimeter of water.
It's a simple way to make an impact, especially when paired with furnishings in a matching material. If you don't fancy metal stools, think about light fixings or even copper-colored planters.
And, although this style is matched with rocky textures, we think it would look just as striking against sleek porcelain pavers in a pale hue. Our patio paving ideas feature has more stunning designs.
8. Line a pond
Corten steel can also be used to edge garden pond ideas, as shown in this look. The shallow, circular pool makes a striking feature surrounded by small brick pavers. And, we love how the pebbles used to line the bottom complement the warm-toned metal.
However, don't be tempted to add fish to your relaxing pool if you take the Corten steel approach – the surface layer can turn the water acidic over time which unfortunately can be harmful to them.
9. Try something ornate
If you prefer a more classic look, then a traditional ironwork design may be the way forward. This design is timeless and a lovely way to frame flowerbeds.
Pair with the best cottage garden plants for a romantic finish, or if you're looking for something a little more formal, then use to complement topiary or ornamental grasses. You could also use a look like this to line pathways for an elevated result.
Raised garden bed ideas can be given a whole new sense of style when designed with metal edges. Here, the steel boxes are made from strurdy 1/4in thick Corten weathering steel that was fabricated off-site, as explains Joseph Huettl of Huettl Landscape Architecture (opens in new tab). We love the structured look.
This scene also demonstrates how metal garden edging ideas can be used to define levels. The bocce court edge uses 3/16in mild steel screwed to steel concrete stakes, Joseph adds.
What are the pros and cons of metal garden edging?
Although there are plenty of pros when it comes to metal garden edging ideas, there are a few cons to consider, too. Samantha Jones from MyJobQuote (opens in new tab) explains.
'Metal garden edging boasts extensive durability,' she says. 'Therefore it will last a significant amount of time. You also do not have to worry about metal edging cracking, chipping or rotting, and it is also highly weather resistant.
'Another advantage of metal edging is that it is basically maintenance-free,' Samantha continues. 'So, it does not need to be looked after at any point, as long as you choose treated steel for your edging.'
On the flip side, 'If you opt for untreated steel, your metal edging may rust, especially if it comes into contact with regular rainfall,' she says. Unfortunately, even powder-coated edging can be prone to flaking and then rusting over time. However, with some designs, such as Corten steel, you won't need to worry about this.
What's more, some designs, especially the more practical, basic styles, may not be the most decorative option for your plot. However, as you have now seen from the images above, there are plenty of stylish looks available. Alternatively, our modern edging ideas have other designs that may get you inspired.
Paul McFadyen, Managing Director at metals4U (opens in new tab) provides insight on the different materials you can use for metal edging and which could be suitable for your garden needs.
'It's important to understand what type of metals are best suited for metal edging and your styling preferences,' he says.
'Steel is one of the strongest choices, as it holds shape over a long period of time and has slow corrosion rates, so it can withstand strong weather conditions. It also is heavier and thicker so it provides a sturdy separator to different areas of the garden.
'The only thing to note with steel is that if left untreated for long periods of time then the edging can begin to rust, so it's important to treat it with the right protective metal sprays which are for outdoor use.'
Paul continues: 'However, Corten steel changes color naturally due to atmospheric conditions and needs no further protective treatments; this grade of steel is also often referred to as "weathering steel". The rich orange and brown patina of weathering steel makes it a popular choice for outdoor applications.'
Another suitable material is heavy gauge aluminium, Paul says. The reason this metal is useful in the garden is that it doesn't rust, and also looks very sleek, which maintains a pleasing aesthetic. 'It is not quite a strong as steel so it does depend on what your preference is for the usage or appearance.'
In terms of copper edging in your garden design ideas, Paul explains how it's a strong heat conductor, so can become hot in the sun and become a hazard when touched. 'However, copper is used by many keen gardeners as a weapon in the arsenal against slug and snail infestation,' he adds. 'The copper ions interact with the proteins, glycoproteins and metal ions present in slug and snail slime – as the unwelcome pests come into contact with copper it sends an electro-neural stimulus that feels like a small electric shock. Copper does not harm them but repels them as they avoid crossing the copper boundaries.' We've got more pest control tips in our guides on how to get rid of aphids and how to get rid of carpenter bees.
'Another pleasing effect of copper is that it oxidizes much quicker than other metals and can turn interesting shades of blue and green patina when left outdoors untreated. If you do not want external copper to oxidize, it can be easily lacquered to preserve the original color.
'Lastly, it's important to note that metals won't have a negative impact on the soil, so your plants won't be affected by the elements within metals,' Paul adds. 'But, do keep in mind that with anything outdoors, it can corrode over time and must be kept neat so that rust flakes don't fall into the plants.'
What metal is used for garden edging? ›
What metal is best for landscape edging? For metal edging, the choice typically is between steel and aluminum. Steel is the stronger of the two.How do you cut metal for steel edging? ›
When cutting the edging make sure you have on safety glasses and gloves along with a saw with a goodWhat material is best for edging? ›
Aluminum or steel edging is great for straight-line areas; it won't rust, rot or become brittle.How do you set metal edging? ›
If you've trenched your shape beforehand. Place a piece of edging into the trench on one end withHow do you make steel garden edging? ›
DIY Hammer-In Steel Garden Edging | Long-Lasting Weathering SteelWill steel edging rust? ›
While these are certainly advantages, steel edging has one main drawback- rust. Steel edging is powdercoated and usually comes in black, green, or brown colors. Once it has been shipped, handled and buried on the project, the powdercoat is usually flaking off. This results in unattractive rusting edge or profile.How do you bend aluminum edging? ›
Permaloc Aluminum Landscape Edging Installation Instructions - HDHow do you cut aluminum without power tools? ›
- Using a Hacksaw. ...
- Using a Utility Knife. ...
- Using a Bench Shear. ...
- Using an Angle Grinder. ...
- Using a Circular Saw. ...
- Using a Miter Saw. ...
- Using an Oscillating Saw. ...
- Using a Reciprocating Saw.
Best way to Cut SCHLUTER Edge Profiles!!!- TileCoach Episode 30How long does metal edging last? ›
How long does the steel edging last? There are factors which vary the lifespan of steel edging but as a guide our 6mm edge will last in excess of 25 years and 3mm in excess of 20 years.
What is the easiest edging to install? ›
No-dig edging is the easiest to install, since all you typically have to do is pound stakes into the ground. On the other end of the spectrum, stone or brick edging will require using mud mortar and sometimes even cutting the stone with an angle grinder to make the joints fit together.What can I use to cut metal edging? ›
Some people say with an angle grinder. But a Sawzall also would appear to do the job well.How deep do you install metal edging? ›
Most metal edging is going to be deep enough to be installed 4-6 inches into the ground and still have a few inches above ground (with the exception of our Edge Right metal landscape edging that is 8 inches in depth—double that of most common metal edging).How do you bend Col met metal edging? ›
Using long-handled pliers, a crescent wrench or channel lock pliers, grip the middle of the top stake. Next, use small motions to bend the stake up and down until the small tabs break and release the stake. Continue until all stakes are removed. Remember to use gloves and eye protection when working with tools.How do you use a half moon edger? ›
Lawn Care & Landscaping : How to Use a Manual Lawn Edger - YouTubeIs steel landscape edging good? ›
Metal landscape edging is the preferred choice of edging material by many professional landscapers. Likely, this is because metal in general, is sturdy, elegant, and timeless. Metal edging also offers a very clean-cut and practical resolution to keep plants and materials in place, while keeping grass and weeds out.What gauge is metal edging? ›
Gauge sizes for edging vary depending on the manufacturer, but generally, you will find metal edging offered in 11-gauge up to 18-gauge metal. Our two sizes for metal landscape edging are 11-gauge and 14-gauge. When it comes to gauge, as the number gets higher, the product gets thinner.How do you use garden edging? ›
How to install EverEdge lawn & landscape edging - YouTubeHow do you curve metal landscape edging? ›
How to bend thick EverEdge Steel lawn & landscape edging - YouTubeDoes galvanized steel edging rust? ›
Does galvanised steel rust? Galvanised steel is fully rust and corrosion resistant due to the zinc coating applied to its surface. Eventually, this coating will wear down, leaving the steel open to rust, However, this can take decades.
How do you keep Corten steel from rusting? ›
On most metals, two coats of Everbrite™ Clear Protective Coating are recommended. On raw steel or rusted metal, 3 to 4 coats are recommended because the metal is very porous. Everbrite™ will seal the metal and will look great for years and can be maintained indefinitely.Is aluminum edging good? ›
As for aluminum landscape edging:
Aluminum is flexible and resilient, allowing for smoother curves as well as straight lines. Aluminum is strong, withstanding years of maintenance. It has excellent resistance to corrosion. It will never crack, rust or become brittle.
With the easy connection system, simply slide the ends of the edging lengths together with an approximate 4 in. overlap. Insert the edging into a trench along the edge of your landscape bed and drive the spikes (included) through the pre-drilled holes at a 45° angle.How do you install dimex aluminum edging? ›
Easily install EasyFlex® 2-in-1 Landscape Edging in three simple steps: 1) Score the ground along your garden or flower bed. 2) Insert the edging into the scored section and hammer anchoring stakes (included) into the ground every 4 feet. 3) Backfill the edging with your desired ground cover.How do you cut steel without sparks? ›
How to Cut Metal with No Sparks and Little Vibration - YouTubeWhat can cut a screw? ›
Bolt cutters are designed to cut through screws, bolts, and other metal fasteners. These fixings can often be substantial in diameter, so bolt cutters come in a variety of sizes with long handles and lever mechanisms.How do you cut metal without a saw? ›
Shears, also known as tin snips - I choose to use them whenever possible. As long as what I want to cut isn't too thick, the act of shearing will always be faster than cutting with a saw blade. They make quick work of angled tubing, especially steel drywall studs and aluminum angles.What is best way to cut aluminum? ›
- Metal Shears. Metal shears (or tin snips, as some of us called them growing up) are probably the most common tool for cutting aluminum. ...
- Circular Saw. ...
- Jigsaw. ...
- Metal Brake. ...
- Hacksaw. ...
- CNC Machine. ...
- Woodworking tools will work. ...
- Use lubricant.
An angle grinder fitted with an abrasive metal-cutting disc works well to cut all kinds of metal, including bolts, angle iron, rebar and even sheet metal. But the discs wear down quickly, cut slowly and shrink in diameter as you use them. Instead, we recommend using a diamond blade that's rated to cut ferrous metal.How do you cut aluminum transition strips? ›
- Set the transition strip on a flat surface and press a hack saw against the mark. ...
- Move the hack saw back and forth over the transition strip until it is cut in two pieces.
Can you paint steel edging? ›
You can use your steel landscape edging as-is or you can paint it to add a splash of color to your garden. While some homeowners choose to go with a more neutral finish for their landscaping design in Southeastern Massachusetts, some do decide to go with a painted look.How deep does edging need to be? ›
Dig the trench to a uniform depth of three to four inches—deep enough to let the edging stand about one-half inch above ground level. Dig straight down to create a vertical "wall" that will support the edging.How long will Corten steel last? ›
Corten Steel thicknesses of modest specification [2.0mm or 3.0mm] are perfectly fit-for-purpose for + 25 years longevity, in most environments / applications. For + 40 years longevity, an additional 1.0mm thickness should be added, to mitigate the forecast material loss.What is a good border for a garden? ›
Hosta plants are a classic for edging a garden border, for good reason. They are low-growing but cover a good amount of ground. They look good all season long and these days, they come in a wide assortment of yellow, blue, and variegated leaves.How do you make a sleeper border? ›
How to Create Garden Borders | Mitre 10 Easy As DIY - YouTubeHow do I make curved garden borders? ›
For straight edges, try using a piece of twine stretched taut and held in place with canes. For curving edges, use a length of hose laid in the desired shape, then start cutting along it with a spade. More garden border design content: Best plants for a shady border.How do you cut aluminum sheet metal? ›
How to Cut Aluminum the Easy Way - Kevin Caron - YouTubeHow do you cut aluminum angles? ›
Metal Magic: Cutting and Shaping Angle Aluminum - YouTubeHow do you cut aluminum pipe? ›
How to safely cut Aluminium tubing for aluminium fruit & vegetable cagesWhich is better steel or aluminum edging? ›
Steel is definitely stronger. It's thin but holds its shape. It won't bend if someone, say, accidentally runs over it with their car. It's the ideal edging for commercial projects such as office parks, parking lots and playgrounds or anywhere where a heavy-duty, functional edging is necessary.
Can you use mild steel for garden edging? ›
That's why when flat bar mild steel is used as a garden edge it needs to be quite thick (>4mm typically) to be sure that it lasts.Is steel landscape edging good? ›
Metal landscape edging is the preferred choice of edging material by many professional landscapers. Likely, this is because metal in general, is sturdy, elegant, and timeless. Metal edging also offers a very clean-cut and practical resolution to keep plants and materials in place, while keeping grass and weeds out.How long does Corten steel edging last? ›
Most weathering steel types need cycles of wet/dry weather to develop and oxidize. With the protective rust that provides corrosion resistance, Corten steel can last upwards of a few decades to over 100 years.How long does metal edging last? ›
How long does the steel edging last? There are factors which vary the lifespan of steel edging but as a guide our 6mm edge will last in excess of 25 years and 3mm in excess of 20 years.How do you curve metal landscape edging? ›
How to bend thick EverEdge Steel lawn & landscape edging - YouTubeHow deep does edging need to be? ›
Dig the trench to a uniform depth of three to four inches—deep enough to let the edging stand about one-half inch above ground level. Dig straight down to create a vertical "wall" that will support the edging.How long does steel last outside? ›
Under ideal circumstances the weathering steel used in garden edging will last for many decades (maybe even 100yrs!) and in bad conditions expect at least 10 years.What's the difference between Corten steel and stainless steel? ›
Due to these added elements, the surface of the steel oxidises when in contact with moisture, very similar to standard steel, but the difference with Corten is that it 'self-seals' once the initial oxidation has taken place. Standard steel will continue to oxidise until the steel has disappeared.What type of steel is Corten steel? ›
Corten steel (often referred to as Cor–Ten) is a weather resistant steel which could more accurately be termed as an "Atmospheric Corrosion Resistant Steel". It is a copper chromium alloy steel – this alloy displays a greater level of resistance to atmospheric weathering when compared to other unalloyed steels.How do you bend Col met metal edging? ›
Using long-handled pliers, a crescent wrench or channel lock pliers, grip the middle of the top stake. Next, use small motions to bend the stake up and down until the small tabs break and release the stake. Continue until all stakes are removed. Remember to use gloves and eye protection when working with tools.
What gauge is metal edging? ›
Gauge sizes for edging vary depending on the manufacturer, but generally, you will find metal edging offered in 11-gauge up to 18-gauge metal. Our two sizes for metal landscape edging are 11-gauge and 14-gauge. When it comes to gauge, as the number gets higher, the product gets thinner.Can you paint steel edging? ›
You can use your steel landscape edging as-is or you can paint it to add a splash of color to your garden. While some homeowners choose to go with a more neutral finish for their landscaping design in Southeastern Massachusetts, some do decide to go with a painted look.How do you keep corten steel from rusting? ›
On most metals, two coats of Everbrite™ Clear Protective Coating are recommended. On raw steel or rusted metal, 3 to 4 coats are recommended because the metal is very porous. Everbrite™ will seal the metal and will look great for years and can be maintained indefinitely.How long does it take for steel to rust through? ›
Steel is a metal that holds a lot of iron, and let's say, for instance, that steel is constantly surrounded by environmental factors like water and oxygen, the steel may start to see signs of rust in as little as 4-5 days. At the same time, there are different types of steel that can rust slower or faster than others.How do you activate corten steel? ›
You can let the steel weather naturally, or speed it along with a simple solution of vinegar, salt, and hydrogen peroxide — ingredients you most likely already have at home.