The secret to clean lines

An often-repeated commentary we all hear about the modern lifestyle is that most of us are leading busy lives. With a long list of priorities centring around family and work, we often leave little time for other things, like keeping the garden looking its best. This is reflected in my landscape design practice, where the vast majority of clients request a low-maintenance garden. Most people, understandably, want their garden and landscape areas to look as good as possible with the minimum amount of maintenance – especially in winter.

Sometimes, small changes in the set-up and layout of your spaces can make a big difference to the amount of upkeep required. Begin by having a look at your outdoor space to see how your garden and lawn edges are formed. In many instances, you will find a spade-formed angled edge, which over time has lost clean definition and has allowed grass, weeds and border plants encroach past their rightful place – giving an untidy look that’s difficult to work with. A well-defined boundary between these two will create an easily maintained edge that looks crisp with minimal effort.

There are a number of great options available to design and implement an edged border that will complement both your overall look and your budget.

The most cost-effective and commonly seen form of edging is a timber batten. This low-cost solution would be installed to sit ‘flush’ with your lawn to enable ease of mowing. A typical timber profile would be a ground-treated 75x25mm or 75x55mm batten.

A step up in quality and cost is an aluminium edging product. These are becoming increasingly popular and have the benefits of a long lifespan while being easily bent and shaped into lovely curves, which may be difficult to achieve with a timber batten. The installed profile is a very thin, crisp line, which can be well-suited to a contemporary garden space.

Pavers can be used to create a border that becomes a feature of its own, often utilised to highlight a perfectly manicured lawn. The options range from segmental pre-cast concrete cobbles to costly quarried natural stone. To ensure the longevity of a newly paved edge, the pavers will need to be well-installed by an experienced landscape contractor on a well-prepared base.

The key to an easily maintained edge is ensuring your lawn is level with the top of your edging product, meaning you can easily run your mower around the edge to get things back in order. Don’t fall into the trap of installing your edging higher than your lawn – even if your neighbour has…