Low-Maintenance Garden Border Ideas

Tulip garden border

You love gardening but don’t love spending hours on your knees, pulling weeds, and watering plants.

You want a beautiful border that enhances your garden but doesn’t require too much work.

Is that possible? Yes, it is.

In this article, you’ll discover four low-maintenance garden border ideas that save you time, money, and effort. Read on to find out more.

Idea #1: Use Drought-Tolerant Plants

Ornamental grass border

One of the easiest ways to create a low-maintenance border is to use plants that thrive with little water and attention.

These plants are called drought-tolerant or xeriscape plants and come in various shapes, sizes, and colors.

Some examples are lavender, sage, succulents, ornamental grasses, and yarrow.

How To Choose the Right Plants?

Consider these aspects:

  • Height and spread: Choose plants that fit your space and don’t need frequent trimming or staking.
  • Color and texture: Your selected plants must complement each other and create contrast and harmony.
  • Bloom time: Select plants that have different flowering seasons or that bloom all year round.

How To Arrange the Plants?

Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Plant them in groups of odd numbers, such as three, five, or seven, for a natural and balanced look.
  • Plant them in drifts or curves rather than straight lines for a more dynamic and flowing look.
  • Plant them with space between them to allow air circulation and growth.
Make Your Border More Bee-Friendly

If you want to attract more bees and other pollinators to your garden, choose some plants with nectar-rich flowers that bloom for a long time. Some examples of bee-friendly plants are lavender, sage, echinacea, yarrow, and ornamental grasses.

Idea #2: Use Stones or Pebbles

Pebble garden border

Another option for a low-maintenance border is to use stones or pebbles, which can create a natural and attractive look that requires no watering, pruning, or weeding.

Depending on your preference and budget, you can choose from different types and sizes of stones or pebbles, such as river rocks, gravel, slate, or marble chips.

How To Prepare the Area?

Follow these guidelines:

  1. Remove any existing plants or weeds from the area where you want to lay the stones or pebbles and dispose of them properly.
  2. Level the ground with a rake or a shovel, and make sure there are no bumps or holes that could cause unevenness or drainage problems.
  3. Lay a weed barrier fabric over the area, and cut it to fit the shape and size of your border. This will prevent any weeds from growing through the stones or pebbles.

To enhance the look of the border, you can mix different colors or shapes of stones or pebbles and add some accents or ornaments, such as solar lights, statues, bird baths, or planters.

Idea #3: Use Mulch

Spring flower in mulch

Mulch is another material that can help you create a low-maintenance border, as it can retain soil moisture, suppress weeds, prevent erosion, and enrich the soil.

Mulch is any organic or inorganic material that covers the soil surface and can come in various forms, colors, and textures.

How To Apply the Mulch?

Follow these guidelines for applying mulch:

  1. Ensure the soil is moist and weed-free before applying the mulch.
  2. Spread the mulch evenly over the soil surface at a depth of 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) using a rake or a shovel.
  3. Leave some space around the base of the plants to avoid suffocating or rotting them.

Replenish the mulch every year or two, as it may decompose or wash away over time.

How To Choose the Best Mulch?

Here are some aspects to consider:

  • Appearance: Choose a mulch that matches or contrasts with your plants, stones, or pebbles.
  • Durability: Choose a mulch that lasts longer and doesn’t blow away easily.
  • Cost and availability: You should choose a mulch type that fits your budget and is easy to find in your area.

Finally, consider the impact of the mulch on the soil and plants, and choose one that doesn’t affect the pH, nutrient, or moisture levels negatively.

For example, avoid using cocoa shells if you have pets, as they may be toxic to them.

Idea #4: Use Edging

Lattice garden edging
Source: PublicDomainPictures

Edging is another way to create a low-maintenance border, as it can define and separate your border from the lawn or other areas of your garden and prevent grass or weeds from encroaching on your border.

Edging is any material that forms a barrier or a border along the edge of your garden, and it can be made of metal, plastic, wood, brick, stone, or concrete.

How To Install the Edging?

Follow these steps:

  1. Mark the shape and size of your border with a string, a hose, or a spray paint.
  2. Dig a trench along the edge of your border, about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) deep and wide, using a spade or an edger.
  3. Place the edging material in the trench, ensuring it is level and aligned with the border.
  4. Secure the edging material with stakes or pins, if needed, and fill the gaps with soil or sand.

How To Select the Most Suitable Edging?

Consider these factors when selecting the most suitable edging:

  • Style: The edging should match or complement your garden theme and design, whether formal, casual, rustic, or modern. For example, you can use metal strips for a sleek and contemporary look or brick pavers for a classic and cozy look.
  • Function: The edging should be strong enough to withstand weather, traffic, and mowing and prevent grass or weeds from invading your border. For example, you can use plastic or wood for flexible and lightweight edging or stone or concrete for sturdy and solid edging.
  • Durability: The edging should last long and not rust, rot, crack, or fade over time. For example, you can use metal or plastic for rust-proof and fade-resistant edging or wood or stone for natural and weathered edging.
  • Ease of installation: The edging should not require too much digging, cutting, or joining and be easy to install and remove. For example, you can use metal strips or plastic pavers for a simple and quick edging or brick or stone for a more complex and permanent edging.


You have seen four ways to create a border that is easy to care for and beautiful to behold.

A border that speaks of your love for gardening without demanding too much of your time or energy.

A border that invites you to enjoy the fruits of your labor and the gifts of nature.

Try some of these ideas, and let us know how they work for you.

Thank you for reading, and happy gardening.

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