Five Different Garden Borders

6 Materials
10 Minutes

Here are five different ideas for a garden border using things you probably already have around your house.
Number 1 - plates.
Carefully tap your plates into the ground using a rubber mallet. If the ground is especially hard, dig a trench before you insert the plates.
Number 1 - plates
Gently tap the plates into the soil using a rubber mallet.
Using different shapes, colors, and sizes, you have an interesting border to your garden.
Number 2 - bottles
Soak off the labels in hot water and scrub any remaining glue from the labels.
Using a rubber mallet, gently tape the bottles into the soil
The more bottles you have, the closer you can put them together. Using different colored bottles, you would have a really beautiful border.

Number 3 - Pallet/Scrap Wood
Gently tap the wood into the soil using a rubber mallet.
You can vary the heights, colors, and sizes of the wood or make it all one height using the same wood.
Number 4 - Aluminum Flashing
Wearing gloves, fold down the top of the edge as it is sharp.
This is a very sleek and industrial look.
Number 5 - Rope Lighting
Using landscape pins, secure the rope lighting to the top of the edge of your border.
Your garden is now lit up at night.
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Have a question about this project?

17 questions
  • John Butler
    on Jun 3, 2017

    How is the rope lighting powered?
    • M
      on Jun 3, 2017

      these are solar powered. Very inexpensive. Harbor Freight sells them 9.99- 13.99 depending if on sale. They last thru cold winters up north without bringing them inside!!!
    • Jan
      on Jun 3, 2017

      An electric cupboard that is for outdoors.
      Drill the electric cord of the box through from the nearest inside safe socket.
      The box normally has 2 sockets for outside use which is covered by a locked cover..
      I have a outside freezer in mine which is there all year.
    • Barbars
      on Jun 3, 2017

      I like the lights the best. Fresh and simple.
    • Alicia W
      on Jun 4, 2017

      Actually M the rope lights are plugged into an outside covered outlet.
  • Alison
    on Jun 3, 2017

    No questions, just love the ideas ,especially the plate and rope light ones . Have some rope lights already hidden away somewhere , and off to the dollar store and sales for plates. Just brilliant , thx so much.
    • Alicia W
      on Jun 4, 2017

      Thanks so much Alison. I knew not everyone would like all the ideas - just trying to get people's creative juices flowing.

  • Delilah Jones
    on Jun 3, 2017

    How hard is it to separate the hosta plants to plant somewhere else? I have a little hill that I want to plant them on so I don't have to mow it anymore.
    • Danielle
      on Jun 3, 2017

      Hostas are super easy to separate. Just dig them up and you'll see that there are natural places where they split. If you don't mind waiting for them to fill in a bit you can actually split them into about 3 leaves for each split and replant. Do it on a cool, cloudy day just before rain for best results. Hosta are incredibly hardy to being split and moved, and they fill back in QUICK. I love them for this reason.

  • CarolAnn
    on Jun 3, 2017

    Does the rope lighting work on batteries or does it need to be plugged in? I like that idea of lighting up the walk. Thanks for sharing.
  • Lenora Miller
    on Jun 3, 2017

    What happened to the plates
    • Julia Johnson Black
      on Jun 3, 2017

      What do you mean?
    • Denise
      on Jun 3, 2017

      They realized they looked stupid and took them out would be my guess
    • Tam 15076171
      on Jun 3, 2017

      These were all different ideas so the plates were just one of the ideas and I'm guessing that the plates went back in a box to be used for something later.
    • Shari Carlson
      on Jun 3, 2017

      Personally I love the plates the best but being a bit OCD I would need to have them all in one colorway or a repeating design of two or three colors. I have seen this done with single plates from old style dinner plates....that was pretty, too.
    • Nan21954607
      on Jun 3, 2017

      My daughter-in-law used some pretty old dinner plates and it looked really pretty and unusual. The only drawback was when it rained, dirt would splash onto the plates and she would have to rinse them off with the hose
    • Alicia W
      on Jun 4, 2017

      Not sure I understand your question Lenora
  • Tam 15076171
    on Jun 3, 2017

    Could the aluminum flashing be painted so it wouldn't look so industrial?
    • Jackie
      on Jun 3, 2017

      I have painted aluminum eve's troughs with spray paint and it worked just great. Just make sure it is nice and clean.
    • Desiree Suggs
      on Jun 3, 2017

      Use copper instead or paint PVC

    • Alicia W
      on Jun 4, 2017

      Yes it can be painted but you should prime it first so the paint sticks
  • Maureen Clancy Cooney
    on Jun 3, 2017

    Actually, no question. Just wanted to say thanks! Love love the rope lights and wood pallets. Great idea!
  • Sam24434709
    on Jun 3, 2017

    Loved the rope lighting, where does one buy that?
  • Edd
    on Jun 4, 2017

    Will the casing/housing of the rope lighting become cloudy/translucent over time?
    • Alicia W
      on Jun 4, 2017

      I don't believe it will since the "rope" is completely sealed.
    • Tex11210580
      on Jun 4, 2017

      Yes it will over time. A film of dirt and "green stuff" will cover the casing. The lights are fine but the casing will definitely discolor. It can be scrubbed clean with a household cleaner and a brush or coarse rag.
  • Suzy
    on Jun 4, 2017

    Hi I love your ideas they put our brains into action!!
    i live in Western Australia and would like to know what the plants are called that you have alongside your path behind the plates. Thankyou for sharing your ideas they would have taken a fair amount of time to demonstrate  Sue
    • Lynda H
      on Jun 4, 2017

      I believe the plants are Hostas
    • Ssa10780079
      on Jun 4, 2017

      Looks like those are hostas, a great plant for part- shade.
    • Bgbloomer
      on Jun 4, 2017

      The plants are called hosta. Several varieties are shown. They are ideal for shady spots
    • Alicia W
      on Jun 4, 2017

      Yes they are hosta
    • Joannaliddy
      on Jun 4, 2017

      I live in southwestern Ontario near a grower, Hosta Choice, where we visited recently. They have more than 1300 varieties of Hosta plants on site. It's absolutely mind boggling trying to pick just one to take home for your own garden.

    • Suzy
      on Jun 5, 2017

      Thanks to all that answered my question . I do believe I am able to get them here, I will check with my local garden centre next time I visit them
  • Dolores Warren
    on Jun 4, 2017

    Hostas can not be planted on the south or west side of a house. They need shade.
    • Valerie Blake Camors
      on Jun 4, 2017

      Host as are on the west side of our house , but they are shaded by a tree.
    • Linda
      on Jun 4, 2017

      Can they be planted under pine trees where the lowe branches have been cut
    • Judy Hornbrook
      on Jun 4, 2017

      I am live on the east coast of New Brunswick, Canada - and I have had hostas for years in full sun; large bunch of them on the south side of my house. They do very well there. Given that I'm not in a southern climate, we don't get the intense summer heat ... a "hot" day here in full sun would be about 85 degrees.
    • Dianne Bowers Turner
      on Jun 4, 2017

      There are varieties of Hosta that can take full sun.
    • CarolAnn
      on Jun 4, 2017

      I have a very old, small variety from my grandmother's day and they are on the west side of the house with no shade. They have always done well there, but as someone else mentioned, there are different varieties of hosta and some can't take direct sun.

    • Monica Culham
      on Jun 4, 2017

      II am in southern ontario and have Hostas on all sides of my house some in full sun. Hostas can take lots of sun if the get watered enough. Blue hostas need more shade
    • Susan
      on Jun 4, 2017

      I have hostas on every side -- all are thriving very well.
    • Jazzy
      on Jun 4, 2017

      Yall r lucky because here in Southwest Louisiana something eats mine and they need cooler weather. It gets really hot here and it does not matter what side of the house they are on... But enjoy looking at them. They remind me of ferns...

    • Nina
      on Jun 4, 2017

      I live Atlanta Georgia
      and I have about 30 in full sun around my pool for 18 years
      they grew so well I had to remove half of them in full to give space. Good luck and don't be shy. Try one in full sun
      snd variety of other places. If they do well you will have to split soon anyway.
    • Liz Weilacher
      on Jun 5, 2017

      We have Hosta's around our entire house and they're awesome. I'm in Ohio, it gets hot.
    • Kincaid99
      on Jun 5, 2017

      The variegated Hostas that we had in full sun blistered and all the leaves died, we replaced them with Coral Bells. We live in Missouri
    • Katmandu Gross
      on Jun 5, 2017

      I've got them in the hottest, sunniest parts of my yard and they do great. Zone 5
    • Jerry
      on Jun 13, 2017

      It also,depends where one live. In Oklahoma,north or east side is best ,or where thwere is some shade from the afternoon sun.I am sure,if one live up higher in the zone,like maybe 5 and higher,could take more sun,not as hot. But,I have learn one thing,that is,plants will live where they want to,if they are doing good ,leave they,even if other tells you,that they can't live there,when they are doing just fine!
    • Mec22150762
      on Jun 14, 2017

      Hostas in full sun just don't grow as large as fast, as those in full or partial shade. They do grow beautifully any where. Water helps
    • Beth Gold Roccia
      on Jun 17, 2017

      My Hosta's are in full sun and doing wonderfull! I moved last year and took one huge Hosta and broke it up into 12 little plants and they're pretty huge after one year! One of the easiest perenials aside from Never Dies and much prettier!
  • Karen
    on Jun 6, 2017

    I love the bottle border. But what happens the the bottles when you weedeat? Does what get into the buried bottles 🍼 to have any impact on mosquitos or varmints?
    • Becky
      on Jun 6, 2017

      It doesn't look like the sidewalk will need weedeating any time soon. And, the bottles can't get water in them. The bottle neck is in the ground. Good grief!
    • Karen
      on Jun 7, 2017

      Ahem! Bottle Borders beyond the sidewalk concrete could be weedeated. Buried bottleS might receive water from an extreme weather event or very saturated soil. 'Enery 'iggins you ain'.
    • Regina Bragg
      on Jun 8, 2017

      A bottle turned upside down can get moisture in it from the sun or most soil. Good grief.

    • Sheri Manning
      on Jun 11, 2017

      It makes a musical sound when using the weed eater... very fun to do
    • Karen
      on Jun 12, 2017

      Thank you Sheri for answering my core question!
    • Deanna Concidine
      on Jun 13, 2017

      I suppose you could also paint the insides of the bottles if you only have clear ones. I think you would have to plant the bottles neck up to get the wind noise to drive moles away.
    • Kristin
      on Jul 7, 2017

      Karen: I had to buy a SunJoe clipper to trim my bottle border between the garden and the lawn. The weedeater was breaking the bottles. I haven't had any trouble with mosquitoes and here in Maine they get big enough to carry you away. BTW, no question is stupid!
    • Constance
      on Jul 25, 2017

      Had you thought of putting Dollar Store solar lights inside the bottles?

    • Shirley
      on Jan 12, 2019

      Water won't hurt bottles.

  • Susan
    on Jun 11, 2017

    What is the purpose of the plates, bottles and wood? Did you remove the flashing?
    • Stm4887970
      on Jun 12, 2017

      they create a border or edge for your flowers

    • Beverly Gilbert Marquez
      on Jul 1, 2017

      Decorative only. Goodwill or Salvation Army will have lots of variety.
    • Nona
      on Jul 4, 2017

      I use my plates in my garden every year! I place them randomly and they are so pretty! Dollar stores are a great place to shop.
  • Robin Caltabiano
    on Jul 15, 2017

    What is that varigated leaf plant on the right in picture #2?
    • Sandra Parker
      on Jul 15, 2017

      Hosta. It seems all of the plants on the right are some type of Hosta. Love them and super easy to grow.
    • Lady clare
      on May 28, 2018

      They are all hostas, freshly planted from the garden center.

    • Deborah Chase
      on May 28, 2018

      They're all hosta, and when they mature it won't matter what you put in for a boarder, because you will never see it.

    • Itsmemic
      on May 28, 2018 true...once he hostas grow you won't see anything anyway !! I LOVE HOSTAS !!

    • Drofplants
      on May 28, 2018

      Nice job! Love Hostas, just trim 🌱as nessesary.

      They always give a smile 😊👀

    • Linda Mead
      on May 28, 2018

      If you have snails, they will decimate your hostas.

    • Susan
      on May 28, 2018

      Yes, hosta, and you can get hostas that grow in the sun now, as well as shade-lovers (which is the original hosta). Just make sure that you have the appropriate type of hosta for shade or sun.

    • Mark Cowling
      on May 28, 2018

      Hosta love. Not all hosta attract the snails btw.

  • Herma Hayes
    on Sep 9, 2017

    Is the Rope Light Solar or Electrical???

    • Alicia W
      on Sep 11, 2017

    • Matty
      on Jan 12, 2019

      I have a solar one 👍

    • MOM
      on Jan 13, 2019

      where did you buy it?

    • Tanya Rhodes
      on Jan 17, 2019

      You can do this either way. Home Depot has a good array of rope lights, including solar powered. You can also go to Amazon or Walmart online and find the same stuff for order. You just look at the prices and buy the one that best meets your need.

  • Lagree Wyndham
    on Apr 6, 2018

    The pallet wood looks good, but does it also act a Buffet for termites?

    • Gene Dalton
      on May 28, 2018

      My thoughts too

    • Barbara McLaughlin
      on Jan 12, 2019

      I used this method and had to replace the wood as termites got to it.

    • Delores Snellen
      on Jan 12, 2019

      Or wood lice will eat it (some people call them roly poly bugs

    • Catherine Gilbert
      on Jan 12, 2019

      Some pallets are pressure treated. That seems like the only wood you could use in something like this. Untreated wood would rot very quickly, and/or draw insects. Still, it looks better than bottles or plates!

  • Pyesangel
    on May 29, 2018

    I love the look of the aluminum flashing. How hard is it to work with and about how much does it cost????? Are there different widths and lengths???

    • Alicia W
      on May 29, 2018

      Hi Pyewackett. The aluminum flashing comes in rolls and sells for around $20. It's very easy to work with but you must wear gloves as the edges do get sharp.

    • Stevie Johnson
      on Jun 11, 2018

      Yes as to different sizes. Check online for prices at places like Lowes. Search for "flashing". You can get flashing in copper, too. More expensive than aluminum, but the color & the patina it gets as it ages might be perfect for your application.

    • Harriett Dokken
      on Jan 12, 2019

      You might call a roofer and ask if they have any scrap you can have. Use a 2x4 to make a 90 degree bend, and the use the 2x4 to complete the edge bend.

Join the conversation

3 of 148 comments
  • BHudson
    on Jan 14, 2019

    I am going to do the bottle edging. I have the bottles and am waiting for spring! I got the (beer) bottles from a local bar. I asked them to save them for me.

    • Beth
      on Jan 14, 2019

      So much better than tossing them in the landfill! And if you don't wash them, the beer residue might be enough to keep the slugs away (slugs HATE beer!)

  • Janet Romero-Gaeke
    on Apr 27, 2019

    I lined my backyard vegie garden and tree surround with plates. My neighbors asked me why. sigh...

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