31/08/2010 17:15 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Garden Edging: Beyond The Brick

Eye-catching garden borders don't have to be ordinary. These ideas are packed with personality. Which one would you try?

Bricks, railway sleepers, rocks - go to any landscape garden designer and these are the most likely border options you'll find. But where has all the creativity gone? While lush lawns and gorgeous landscaping are sure to raise the value of your home, a little whimsy could go a long way while you are actually living there.

So give it up for the folks that created these gorgeous garden edgings. They've managed to channel their hobbies, interests and eclectic habits into their formerly boring borders. Be inspired by these crafty ideas and think about how your garden could be an extension of yourself!

Large quahog clam shells line a flower garden near the sea. Photo: Gina Provenzano

Seashells: Trim your beds with your seashore finds. To keep them from toppling over in a heavy rain, dig narrow, 4in-deep trenches and fill them with cement. Before the cement sets, place the shells in your desired pattern.

Flickr user: Gary Lennon

Bowling balls: The Big Lebowski would be all over this garden lane! Using retired bowling balls as a landscape border is a quirky way to achieve striking results. While probably best if displayed in moderation, don't spare any of the psychedelic swirling colors from the mix.

If cars rev your engine more than throwing strikes, take modern twist to the humble hubcaps. Polish up some differently sized metal hubcaps and bury them halfway down, along the garden edge.

At left, mosaic border edge, Kaffe Fassett. At right, recycled glass bottles, ReadyMade.

Broken plates: If your favorite plates are beyond repair, break them up and create a mosaic trim. It's truly special when the borders are made from something with a bit of kitsch and history, like Great Aunt Maggie's old china.

Bottles: This look takes recyling your glass bottles to a whole new level! Invert your favourite drinks bottles and bury the necks at least halfway into the ground. Whether you work in orderly rows or along a meandering path, the colored glass bottles can catch the light and reflect beautiful patterns onto your garden.

Ceramic plate border, Flickr user: MJIphotos on Flickr

Chipped plates: Chipped vintage ceramic plates and boot fair bargains are great additions to a cottage garden border. Unify the look with matching plates, or go eclectic with a mix of patterns and colors. Be sure to secure your plates by embedding them at least halfway into the dirt, or setting them in a narrow cement trench.

If fashion plays a bigger role in your life than food, opt for a quirky display of shoes or garden boots instead. Raid charity shops and jumble sales, fill them with cement to line your beds, and display your latest collection. If you don't secure them, your decorative trims may end up on your neighbours' lawn.

At left, oven willow border, Gardener's Supply Co. At right, nautical roping, Photo: Caralee from Outdoor Resorts and Properties.

Willow branches: For a more traditional approach, which still avoids the run-of-the-mill, try shaping willow branches into a lovely criss-cross pattern and setting them in the soil. Secure each intersection with wire. The overall effect is free-spirited, yet contained. Don't have the patience to craft your own garden path trellis? You can pick up woven willow edging at larger garden centres and online.

Ropes: A homeowner wanting to tie her vegetable garden in with the nautical theme of her child's play pirate ship used heavy-duty marine roping and wooden posts to line the edge. Don't worry that the look is too childish, as it can easily be used for any garden border.

Old ski fencing, Telestar Logistics.

Skis: Always on the piste? Show your allegiance to the Alpine way of life by trimming down old skis and burying them, alternating the tips and the bottoms to accentuate landscaped beds. More of a boarder? Try outcast or broken snowboards instead.

Wagon wheel fencing, 1.bp.blogspot.

Wagon wheels: Feeling like taking a walk on the wild side? The Wild West that is! Secured to a wire backing old wagon wheels act more as a fence. But cut in half and buried in the ground, they're a show stopper. Swap the wagon wheels for bicycle wheels if cycling is more your speed. With radiating spokes and shiny rims your garden will be riding high.

Whatever your style, whatever your quirk, channel the spirit and express it in garden edgings and trims that say something about your personality. Who said borders had to be boring?