Laying a new patio or updating an existing one? It’s a good time to think about patio edging ideas.
Whether you like a linear landscaped look or a wilder more rustic feel, there are a multitude of materials and styles to choose from to elevate your patio ideas.
From slick paving setts and symmetrical planting to reclaimed brick, wild flowers and living walls, there’s patio edging to suit your outdoor style.
Patio edging ideas
‘The edging you opt for can dramatically change the style of your garden; from sleek contemporary finishes to charming rustic options,’ says Johanna Elvidge, head of design, Marshalls (opens in new tab).
‘Patio edging will help keep your garden looking better for longer as it provides a border between paved and planted areas. A blocked edge around a lawn is also a great option, it smartens up your lawn and acts as a mowing edge when you’re cutting the grass.’
Take inspiration from the various ways you can do it.
1. Pick square-style profiled edging
One of the simplest patio edging ideas is to choose a profiled paving sett or edge when you have your patio laid. Most outdoor flooring brands such as Bradstone or Marshalls, offer edging to complement paving or porcelain tiling, which will give a smart seamless look.
This square-style is recommended if you like a slick landscaped look and have flower beds. As it will keep the soil where you want it, rather than spilling onto the patio area and making it grubby.
‘For a modern look and to match a new porcelain patio, with its clean lines and smooth finish, a square-style grey edging block is ideal as it offers that similar contemporary feel,’ says Lee Dunderdale, Product Manager at Bradstone (opens in new tab).
‘Being raised edging, it’s an ideal way to separate patio or lawn from surrounding herbaceous beds and offers a stunning finishing touch to your garden.’
2. Plant ornamental grasses
Ornamental grasses bring texture, height and motion to your garden, so are great to plant around the edges of your patio. Most are easy to care for too, so provide an easy garden idea that offers maximum interest with minimal maintenance.
Make sure you know how high your ornamental grass can grow before planting, if you want a low border. Otherwise, this is an elegant year-round addition to the edges of a paved area.
3. Build raised beds with walling
If ground level flower beds aren’t practical, raised beds can be a fabulous alternative. Tucked behind a low wall, they can be easier to maintain, while adding an abundance of flowers and foliage around your patio.
Reclaimed bricks will give your raised beds a relaxed ‘lived in’ look, however, choose a tone that is similar to the bricks your house is built with, so it blends easily. Alternatively, opting for concrete will give a modern stream-lined appearance.
‘Using garden walling to create raised beds is a great way to edge your patio and bring biodiversity to your space,’ says Johanna Elvidge at Marshalls. ‘Look for different walling options to suit your space or, for a DIY approach, consider veneer walling which is easily attached to older, less attractive walls.’
4. Create contrast with a flat edging tile
Patio edging doesn’t have to be raised, or even installed for practical reasons. It can be used decoratively to create a smart contrast on the edges of patio paving.
‘If you want to use edging between a patio and lawn, without causing a trip hazard or cutting off the spaces completely, a flat edging tile offers just that,’ says Lee at Bradstone.
‘I would always recommend opting for the colour which contrasts most with your paving colour to create distinction and definition in the area you are edging.’
5. Opt for large scale planters
Huge planters standing majestically at each end of the patio are a stylish way to separate the paved dining zone from your lawn ideas.
Repeating colours or tones from your home’s exterior on the planters will ensure they suit the outdoor space, while the flowers or herbs you choose will bring much needed greenery to a paved area.
6. Surround your patio with wild flowers
Instead of neat borders with symmetrical planting or more concrete or tiles, surround your patio with a wild flower patch. Not only will this attract butterflies and other pollinators, it will bring a relaxed rustic feel to your outdoor area.
Choose native species, such as cornflower, chamomile and lavender for a fabulous fragrant display that will instil a calm mood, attract wildlife and soften the hard surfaces.
7. Grow a living wall
Creating an outdoor patio area for dining or lounging is great. However, too much paving can feel a little soulless, due to the loss of greenery and nature. If you’re short on space and you’ve sacrificed some lawn or flower beds, complement your concrete patio ideas by planting upwards with a living wall in a shallow trough.
As well as looking lovely and providing a host of benefits for our health, plants absorb and deflect noise. According to living wall specialists ANS Global a vertical garden can reduce sound levels by up to 10 decibels and improve air quality by processing pollutants from traffic. Ideal for creating a calmer space to sit and relax in if you live in a town or city.
8. Define your beds with bricks
A single row of cemented brick around your patio edge is enough to keep soil or bark from plant beds in place.
This style of patio edging neatly defines the different areas and is good budget garden idea. With the right tools, it’s a job that could be done yourself in a weekend.
‘Edging can be installed by a very keen DIYer with the correct tools – cement, a mallet or lump hammer and an appropriate cutting tool or angle grinder,’ says Lee at Bradstone.
‘However, we would always recommend this is done by a professional installer to ensure the edging blocks are cemented in correctly and will not move or come out as the garden is used or plants around it grow. If you’re having a new patio laid by a landscaper, they will be able to do a great job of the edging at the same time.’
9. Surround your patio area with shingle
Surrounding your patio with a layer of shingle or pebbles not only looks lovely, it allows for drainage into the soil beneath too. Providing it’s been laid properly, this will prevent puddles or pools of water forming on your lovely patio paving ideas.
It’s tempting to think this style is for coastal properties but it suits town and country homes too. Buy a mix of different sized shingle or pebbles for a natural non-uniform appearance.
10. Go for a box hedge border
A box hedge border is a more traditional style of patio or garden edging. Most box hedges are slow growing species and can tolerate heat and drought, so are relatively low maintenance.
Although, you will need to prune them once or twice a year if you want to keep them looking tidy. And they will need a little water during a dry spell.
What do you put around the edges of a patio?
There are numerous options depending on the look you want and your budget. Some people like the concrete, brick or stone edging you can buy with your paving or tiles, which offers a smart definition. However, these will need to be installed professionally and set with cement.
Others prefer timber or metal edging to separate the planted areas from the paved ones. These have a less formal style and can be fitted by a competent DIYer.
Alternatively, plant pots, ornamental grasses and raised flower beds can define the patio and garden zones in a more relaxed way.