Whether inside or out, well-defined lines are a staple of design. Inside the house or in your landscaping, a clean, smooth line provides a finished look and a sense of clarity to an area. In the garden, clean and clear edges serve as a beautiful stage for your bedding areas.

Create an Edge:

The first step to creating beautiful borders is to cut a clean edge. If you are creating a new bed, you’ll need to use a rope or garden hose to mark the desired lines. If you are freshening up an existing bed, you can jump right in. It’s a good idea to sharpen the edges of existing beds at least once a year.

The traditional way to do this is to use either a spade or a half-moon edger to move along the line you’ve set out and cut away the grass to create a clean line. You can also use a power edger machine that easily cuts clean lines within minutes.

Next, mulch the bed with at least 2-3 inches of fresh mulch. Once your bedding area is prepared, you can choose the best plants to create a beautiful border.  

Choose your Plants

Choosing border plants should be done so carefully. You want a plant that will both serve a functional purpose and look beautiful doing it.

For garden beds, the edging plant should fit the size of the bed and stay low to the ground without taking over completely. For edging near the home, the plant should create clean lines and be easy to maintain. Bordering plants for the property line should be tall and thick.

Here are the 17 of the best bordering plants for every border in your landscape.

Hydrangeas are a beautiful bordering plant. It has large leaves that look great on their own, but when the white flowers come into bloom it creates a stunning edge. These plants continue to bloom through the fall and the plant itself survives winters very well.

bordering plants

“Autumn Joy” is just one variety of Autumn Stonecrop (Sedum telephium). You can find beautiful varieties with gorgeous leaves and blooming flowers from late summer to mid-fall. It grows only up to 20 inches and works well in zones 3 to 9.

Boxwood plants are excellent choices for hedges near the home or along a walking path. They can be sculpted into nearly any shape, and provide dense, green foliage. They can be used for a natural boundary fence, but only grow to a medium height.

Spireasare a good bordering plant for smaller areas. They can look formal if you keep them trimmed, or can be more casual and wild if left alone. Some varieties can grow quite tall while others will stay short and stout. Small white flowers come first, followed by narrow, green leaves that become vibrant yellow-green for a bright summer border.

bordering plants

Adding ornamental grasses can be a good border option if you’re not concerned with keeping a super trim border. Grasses bring texture, motion, light, and even sound to the garden. Grasses are also a way to bring other plants in the garden together and provide cohesion.

grass for hedge

Lilacs are a popular bordering plant choice because of their sweet smell and beautiful colors. They grow tall fairly quickly and are winter-hardy making them a good choice for natural property borders.

Willow trees are another fast-growing option for a property border. Although not typically a shrub, they can be crafted into beautiful natural fences. Because they are typically large, the dwarf varieties are best and when grown together they work as a beautiful natural fence.

plants for hedge

Glossy Abelia can be used as a beautiful short or tall border. Left to grow on it’s own, it can reach up to 4-6 feet wall, but it can be sheared to a beautiful lower hedge. Butterflies love this plant for its trumpet-shape flowers that dangle from glossy branches all summer long.

shrubs for hedge

Spotted laurel plants are a popular option for natural fencing and borders. They are a good choice for difficult garden environments. They grow in areas in pollution or sea salt winds where other plants may not survive. The colors provide beautiful variety and versatility to any space.

Privetis one of the most universal bordering plants. Privets encompass a group of about 50 species of shrubs and small trees. They are typically semi-evergreen and tolerant in a variety of climates and zones. They have dense foliage and flexible twigs, which allow the plants to be trimmed and shaped into attractive displays.

green fence

Arborvitae is on almost every list of most popular hedges. It is an upright evergreen that can be used against the house or along your property line. With time, arborvitae can grow 10-15 feet tall, creating a dense and beautiful fence line.

hedge plants

Purple Smoke  bushes look beautiful as a home border because of their stark coloring. They grow straight up, which makes them a great plant to put against the home or around a property line. They can grow up to 15 feet tall but can be tamed by cutting them back hard each spring.

plants for border

Roses are often avoided because they can be finicky to grow, but shrub roses can be one of the easiest roses on the market. These tough roses have been bred to have the best attributes of all classes. You can prune them to the height you need and still enjoy blooms every season.

hedge plants

Emerald Gaiety is a great border option for big or small areas. It can grow up to 3-feet tall, but is easily contained for small bedding areas as well. The green and white colored leaves last through winter and looks beautiful with any style of garden.

soft hedge plants

Herbs make great borders. They tend to stay fairly small, smell great, and grow well with other plants. Not to mention they provide a delicious harvest all summer long.

pathway plants

Japanese Euonymus is a fast-growing hedge perfect for new landscapes. It can grow quite tall, but is happiest when it’s cut back to create a lower hedge. There are varieties of euonymus in green, gold, and cream which can create a stunning border for your property.

best hedge plants

Holly Dwarf Youpon is a a great plant for zones 7-11. Their round dense bodies are easy to form and are ideal for a low profile hedge. This hedge is drought tolerant, can withstand salt spray and rarely needs trimming. Plant this in full sun or partial shade.

Bordering plants ideas for your yard!  Upgrade your home and yard!
Bordering plants ideas for your yard! Upgrade your home and yard!
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