Whether it’s alongside a path or a bed of flowers and shrubs, edging plants give your garden a more finished look. They soften the hard boundaries of walks and pavement, define garden beds, and add another layer of beauty and color to your yard. The best edging plants are compact and low-growing because they’re used at the front of borders, but any plant can be used for this purpose if it’s repeated and planted in masses along the edges of a space.
When shopping, choose plants that are appropriate for the conditions. For example, does the area receive full sun, which is considered 6 or more hours of direct sunlight per day? Part sun, which is about half that? Or is it mostly shade? If planting perennials, make sure they’re suited to your USDA Hardiness zone (find yours here) so they’ll survive winter and come back next year. Adding a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch of any kind, such as shredded hardwood, bark chips or pine straw (or whatever is commonly available in your region), also helps conserve moisture and keep down weeds, so you can spend more time enjoying your garden and less time on chores.