Especially for those who prefer complex forms without the wild spirit that nature often reserves for us, the use of natural supports that regulate the exuberant luxuriance of plants is an element of fundamental importance. The definition of paths and runners also meets this need.
Various solutions exist for obtaining these results. We strongly recommend all those substrates that derive from the processing of natural elements or that know how to camouflage in an absolutely coherent manner with the harmony of the surrounding greenery so as not to create style breaks that are false and cloying to the eye.
The balance within a well-tended garden is perhaps the greatest value and the most difficult goal to reach, because a soil that is too fake or too wild leaves, in both cases, a sense of dissatisfaction in the observer. In this small guide, we will go through the tools most used to ensure neutrality and harmony to our garden.
The simplest element but, in our opinion, perhaps more effective for obtaining the best results, is probably the stone. Easily available but of great visual impact, they must, however, be carefully selected to obtain the correct coherence we seek. You can choose between two main types: the first is the quarry stone, the medium / large one, with an irregular shape and colours ranging from white to grey to pink.
The best solution in this case, if easily available, is the collection of stones that derive from the crushing of marble rocks. They are in fact characterized by an irregular shape but nonetheless evocative of the round, they fit together easily and have variable colours tending however to yellow and pink. Otherwise, we can opt for the river stones, which guarantee an absolutely different result from the previous one.
They collect on the beds of the rivers, have a rounded and very smooth shape, are generally clear and regular and the dimensions are slightly lower than the stone from the quarry. In both cases, the stones can be arranged in a simple row resting on the ground or, in the case of rather high beds, they can be kept together with mortar to build rural walls that recall those typical of past country borders.
The opposite of the option of a stone border is the laboriousness of the operation, which requires taste in the choice, the possibility of easily accessing the raw material and manual work in case you opt for the “low wall” solution.
There are also, on the market, wooden borders, more or less worked, sold in fractions of 1 or 2 meters and equipped with small spikes in the lower part already prepared to be planted in the ground. This element represents a practical and quick solution to our problem as it is sufficient to unroll the edges of the border to have already done most of the work. They are pleasing to the eye and suitable for use in large gardens. However, there are also some contraindications in this case.
First of all, wood is a perishable material, which, therefore, we will have to estimate to change periodically in the event of deterioration caused by stagnant water, atmospheric agents and attacks by insects. Surely periodic and careful maintenance can lengthen the average life of the border, but we keep in mind that, although it is fast and very pleasant to see, that of the wooden border is perhaps the most expensive formula.
Concrete and wrought iron borders
To avoid this inconvenience, we can choose between a similar edge in the structure to the previous one but in concrete rather than in wrought iron. The cement edge, which is also available in various forms and at various heights, is a border even in this case sold by the meter that responds effectively to the containment purpose of the plants or shrubs but which, and here is the weak point, perhaps generates, among all, the less beautiful result.
In fact, cement is one of the most distant elements from the concept of “nature” that we usually imagine and the contrast is always very strident. Another point against this choice is the laboriousness of the arrangement, in the sense that, in any case, a certain manual skill is required in the installation of even a rather simple project.
The iron border is a lovely cross between the beauty and naturalness of wood and the strength of concrete. These systems are in fact subject to a particular process that makes them particularly interesting for external weather conditions and, even in this case, it is easy to find types already equipped with stakes that can be planted directly on the ground without having to prepare large masonry work.
Iron, although also not very consistent with the image of “natural element”, is, however, less intrusive than cement on a visual level and is also suitable for large surfaces.
If the border does not need to be very high and high containment, we can also opt for the simple combination of bricks in the various shades of the brick, which create a pleasant contrast with the surrounding greenery and which, with few but skilful moves, they can create pretty choreographies.
The tools are therefore multiple, it depends on our taste and our ability to opt for the one that best suits the result we want to achieve.
Another natural element that is well suited to the creation of garden borders is wood. Wood, especially if raw and seasoned, is a material capable of giving a strong touch of naturalness to our flower beds. Woods such as chestnut and larch are the best for outdoor use and are undoubtedly among the most durable woods not treated.
Wooden borders can be made in different ways. A fairly classic method of using the borders is that which involves the longitudinal arrangement of the poles, alternating with vertically driven poles. This realization system is a fast and practical method for large-scale borders. To make these borders, longitudinal poles of 8/10 cm in diameter and poles of 10/15 cm of diameter to be fixed vertically will be required, with a height above ground not exceeding 15 cm. Inside the borders made with this technique, it can be fun to divide the spaces with logs or with vertically fixed boards.
Another method for making wooden borders is that which involves the use of vertically fixed planks in the ground and supported by vertical posts positioned at a certain distance, which varies according to the availability of the boards. In rustic and rural environments, rough trunks are also widely used for making borders, combined together according to the dimensions of the individual elements.
In addition, there are many ready-to-use borders on the market, made with half poles tied together or with joined tables, but with a little time, desire to do and imagination you can find far better solutions than the products offered in DIY stores.