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Past Articles Library | Landscape Design: Unique Garden Borders

A border is an important element of any landscape design.  It creates a line where the bed ends and the lawn or sidewalk begins.  It also is a barrier for weeds.  But while it has an important function, it does not have to be dull and can go beyond rubber edging or landscaping pavers.  Keep in mind that the border should never compete with the vegetation but instead should compliment the whole design.

The ideas below are just a few creative suggestions that any gardener can use.  Some are purely decorative while others can serve two or more purposes.

Household Items

Many household items that are normally discarded can be given a new life in the landscape.  This includes canning jars, vintage plates, and wine bottles.

Canning Jar Design

Canning jars can be used with the opening facing upwards or downwards in the landscape.  If you want to fill them or create lighting along the border, you will need to get the opening facing up.  There are many things that the jars can be filled with and this includes shells, buttons, marbles, and colored sand.  When using this approach, make sure to screw the lid on the top of the cars.  This will prevent moisture from accumulating inside the jar.

If you want to use the light option, simply place some water inside each jar and then place a tea light inside.  The water will make removing the wax easier.  When finished, place the lid on top.

If you do not want to fill the jars or cap them off, then just place the opening on the ground.

Using canning jars as a border does not require any digging but to safely secure them in the area, it is suggested to place some soil around them.

Vintage Plates

Every one has those plates lying around that have broken edges, cracks or even ones that have broken.  A good use for these plates exists and that use is as a border.

To create this border, dig a trench along the garden bed.  The next step in this process is to prepare the plates for the border.  This is done by breaking them in half but keep in mind that this is not an exact science.  Once this is done, the straight edge along the break will be the part that is place in the trench as the border.  The curved part of the plate is what creates the border design.

Wine Bottles

Colorful wine bottles make a unique border.  This border can be designed with one color of wine bottle or an assortment.  But keep in mind that the wine bottle color needs to be a consideration and needs to go with the flower and/or vegetation choice.

To utilize this technique, first requires the gardener to dig a deep trench along the garden design.  The trench needs to be deep enough to hold the neck of the bottle.  Once that is done, place your bottle’s neck down along the trench and backfill.  Repeat for each bottle.  Adjust as needed to keep the border level.

Natural Items

There are several different items that can be found in nature that can be used as a border.  This includes rocks, stumps, and branches. 


Rocks can either be stacked or placed in a trench to create a border.  Just make sure when using this type of border that the rocks are secure.


Stumps of different sizes and wood types make excellent borders.  They can simply sit on top of the ground or can be secured by digging a shallow trench and placing them inside.  If a more formal design is desired, keep all the stumps the same size and height.  If a more informal design is desired, allows the stumps to be lined up in different heights.


Branches can also create a memorable border.  They can simply be laid down on the ground or woven into a border.  They can also be stuck into the soil and then trimmed off to an appropriate height.

When designing ones landscape do forget the unutilized border.  It can save you time in weeding and plant control while giving the gardener one more element to personalize.


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When to Harvest Squash

Winter squash is ready for harvest after the rind hardens and surface color dulls.

The vines will have dried and the skins are hard and can't be scratched with a fingernail.

Make sure you get them in before the first hard frost.

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