How to Maintain a Garden Rock Border

Easy step-by-step that shows how to maintain a garden rock border. Curvy garden edging is the perfect addition to any landscape design. Lawn edging with rocks is a DIY project anyone can do!

Easy step-by-step that shows how to maintain a garden rock border. Curvy garden edging is the perfect addition to any landscape design. Lawn edging with rocks is a DIY project anyone can do!

Along the edge of my fence row garden is a rock border. Years ago my first batch of rocks were given to me but I didn’t have enough to finish the border. I actually had to buy rocks…which at the time I thought was ridiculous. Who buys rocks? I’m so glad I found the money back then, in a tight budget, to do it. I love the casual and cottage feel it gives the garden but there is some maintenance involved. Once a year, you devote an afternoon to spruce up your garden edging. Here are a few tips that will show you how to maintain a garden rock border.

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Easy step-by-step that shows how to maintain a garden rock border. Curvy garden edging is the perfect addition to any landscape design. Lawn edging with rocks is a DIY project anyone can do!

The picture just above is how my rock border looked in late spring when I started cleaning my beds. The rocks had sunk more than ever before. Months of snow and ice had definitely taken its toll.

Easy step-by-step that shows how to maintain a garden rock border. Curvy garden edging is the perfect addition to any landscape design. Lawn edging with rocks is a DIY project anyone can do!

How to Maintain a Garden Rock Border

The first thing I do is dig out the rocks and set them about a foot away from the grass edge, on the garden side. This leaves me a nice space to level off in order to move the rocks back towards the border. I work in sections so I don’t have to move around so much. After I dig out a section of rocks, I use my hands and a small garden cultivator to move old mulch and soil back towards the border. Simply put, I’m filling in the holes the sunken rocks have made.

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Click for my favorite garden cultivator.

Easy step-by-step that shows how to maintain a garden rock border. Curvy garden edging is the perfect addition to any landscape design. Lawn edging with rocks is a DIY project anyone can do!

After filling in the holes and leveling off the garden edging, I then set the rocks back where they were. They rest completely on top of the old mulch and make a very nice lip so the new mulch won’t fall off the bed. Some years, depending on how much energy I have, I consider it finished at this point. This year however, I went a step further. It was a beautiful day and I just didn’t want to go back inside.

Easy step-by-step that shows how to maintain a garden rock border. Curvy garden edging is the perfect addition to any landscape design. Lawn edging with rocks is a DIY project anyone can do!

Easy Lawn Edging

I made the lawn edging by cutting the grass/sod about 6 inches away from the rocks. The sod was soft so it was very easy. Below is a pic I posted on Instagram when I was finished.

Easy step-by-step that shows how to maintain a garden rock border. Curvy garden edging is the perfect addition to any landscape design. Lawn edging with rocks is a DIY project anyone can do!

Garden Edging anyone can do!

I was hot and sweaty but so happy with the garden edging when I was finished. It not only looks much better, now the mower wheels easily run along the lawn edging for a crisp, clean look.

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Easy step-by-step that shows how to maintain a garden rock border. Curvy garden edging is the perfect addition to any landscape design. Lawn edging with rocks is a DIY project anyone can do!

As always, my assistant was in the yard with me but wasn’t much help! She loves being outside after suffering through a long and very cooped-up winter.

How to Maintain a Garden Rock Border. Kelly the miniature schnauzer.

Lawn edging made with rocks is definitely not for everyone. It’s not maintenance free and it takes a bit of effort. I think the end result is definitely worth an afternoon spent outside and if you don’t have to pay for the rocks, it’s basically free!

See: Backyard Garden Landscaping Ideas

Thank you so much for stopping by…

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34 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I Love rocks!! What you have showed me, it gives me some ideas for my flower beds. Thanks for the tips!!

  2. 5 stars
    Rock borders are the best! When we bought our first house there were no borders separating the lawn from the beds in the 17 year old landscape so the grass had grown into the beds. So I gather some nice rocks from the hillsides of my favorite fishing rivers and it looks awesome!

  3. Donna Marie says:

    I mulch part of my flowers with solid rocks found on our farm in Southern Indiana. I LOVE rocks!!! I am about to go out now because it is going to be only 79 degrees today. Can you believe it? Yesterday I worked six hours because I have been sick and the weeds took over. Maybe my battle can be won today!!! Here’s to fellow rock lovers–use them when you can!!!

  4. Oh my gosh Ann, your flag painted on the garden shed… We have a flag painted on ours as well! Daughter Natalie and her Daddy spent one Father’s Day doing it. It’s an American flag design flying when Ohio became a state. We love it. Always have dreamed of having a “Quilt” Barn, but would need that barn first. Fun to look for those when traveling. ~Best

  5. Debbie Rodriguez says:

    Enjoyed seeing your pictures and reading your description of the work. I intend to do something like this around my front beds. I like the extra space outside the rock border, to help keep grass out of the beds. Great tutorial ! Thanks.

  6. Looks great! I always had a gap between the lawn and my rock borders precisely for the mowing ease. I think it looks better that way too. :)

  7. Suzy Howell says:

    It’s so pretty Ann. I too had this idea of a rock boarder for my garden. I live in Oklahoma. My husband and I just retired so I decided that in our motorhome travels I will find big pretty rocks from all over the country and make my boarder one rock at a time And One Trip at a time. We started it in May. So we already have a few rocks. I can hardly wait to go again to find some more to add to it. We will go so on. I’ll let you know how it comes out.

  8. Kalle Miettinen says:

    Very beautiful work. My daughter is building a similar thin in her garden and asking my advice.
    One more thing might help you an her getting less work. Putting a garment under the soil to prevent
    any grass from growing by the stone border. What is that garment called, my language is finnish?
    Thank you for the Idea.

  9. Mary Beth @ Cupcakes and Crinoline says:

    So lovely! I just redid a portion of my rock border. Now I have to redo it using this method! We need to live next door to each other so I can copy in real time. :)

  10. karen@somewhatquirky says:

    I love your border. The snow was pretty hard on all things garden around here. Lots of heaving in the hardscapes. Bet you were tired after you finished redoing this border!

  11. Oh Ann, I can totally relate to not wanting to go back inside! Here in Kentucky our winter was so unusually severe and lonnng! I have vowed not to complain about the heat or any part of this summer! And haven’t we been blessed with the best spring? I love your rock border! Have half heartedly started one of my own with found rocks-thinking I will bite the bullet and purchase some rocks. Thanks for your inspiring posts!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      I am not going to complain about the heat either…I may think it but I’m not saying it out loud!

  12. It’s just beautiful Ann!

  13. I didn’t even realized that you had to “tend” to a rock border! But, I surely see the difference in your before and after pictures. Looks wonderful, Ann!

  14. Jane @ Cottage at the Crossroads says:

    Ann, your rock border looks terrific! We have a bed in our front yard that’s edged with rocks. I’ve never thought to dig them up so that they’c be more prominent! Well, I want to enlarge the bed this fall so I may get around to it then. It’s already too hot here to pick up rocks! Leo puts an edge around our beds by turning the weed eater on its side, digging into the dirt a bit. He saw some landscapers doing it years ago and has been doing that since then.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Yes I have seen the weed-wacker trick. My neighbor does that and I love it. I have no desire to try and do that myself though! I agree…it is getting too hot for this sort of thing. I’m not complaining though!

  15. Looks fantastic, so sad you had to pay for rocks. I just pick the farmers fields for free but normally end up with poison ivy :( Pinning!

  16. Mary Anne says:

    I have a rock border but I haven’t redone it in several years! This will inspire me to get it done soon. I’ve never bought this kind of rock, just picked them along roads whenever I can, much to my hubby’s chagrin! Must admit I’ve bought much bigger rocks used around the garden, the latest weighing about 200 lbs!

  17. Love it…it looks fantastic! Buying rocks? Yeah…I’ve done it…but then I have a problem. Hello, my name is Donna, and I have RCF…Rock Collecting Fever…alas, there is no cure…except for more rocks! ;)

    1. Ann Drake says:

      I know what you mean Donnamae! I literally could not sleep until that border was finished and the only way to get it done was to buy rocks. I have no regrets!

  18. This was such a helpful post, Ann. We live in a fairly new subdivision, and each home is landscaped by the builders, using rocks to edge the flowerbed borders. While we have replaced the cookie-cutter plants that were initially put in, we’ve left the rock borders on the front beds. There is the black edging material in place that I am not overly fond of, and I like your idea of the 6 inches cut away from the rock edge. It looks nice and will make mowing easier. Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      You are so welcome! I used to have the black edging too and was so happy when I was able to pull it all out. Good luck with your new house!

  19. Penny @ The Comforts of Home says:

    I love your rock edge….

  20. Ana Maria says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! It’s 89 degrees here in Miami and the daily afternoon rains have started….. so I’ll ask my son to do it! ;)

  21. it looks great, I laughed when you said who buys rocks, it made me think of the day someone helped themselves to the rock border on our driveway, they hauled away all our rocks on the one side of our drive!!!Your yard looks lovely and your helper is a beauty!!! Much to regal looking for garden work, she must be the supervisor lol,

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Laurie! It’s so good to hear from you…and I would have a heart attack if someone stole my rocks! I’ll be by to visit your blog soon. It’s been a long time…Ann

  22. Shirley@housepitality designs says:

    Great tip Ann…and I am passing this on to my hubby too!!! Happy Monday!!…Love your helper!

  23. Sherry Saladrigas says:

    You must not live in the South!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My yard is full of Rocks and Georgia Red Clay . You did a great job it looks very pretty. What is your beautiful assistants name ?

    1. Ann Drake says:

      No I live in Northwest Ohio…and there isn’t a rock to be found! We do have a little clay though. My little dog’s name is Kelly. She’s pretty much my third child instead of a pet!

  24. It looks so neat!!!! I love rocks as edging, so casual and cottage perfect!!! And I love your helper, I had a Gretta just like your baby doll, she was my heart. Wish I had my flower gardens in as good as shape as you do, maybe by this fall I will!!! It’s in the 90’s here today so not much will get done. Maybe tomorrow. LOL. Have a great day.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Love the name Gretta for a schnauzer!

  25. Christine says:

    I love and adore rock borders! I have them front and back also. And like you; I had to buy the rocks too. I mixed on some of the “Hubby has to move” sizes with the smaller easier to manage ones and loved it so much in the front I added it to the back. (Well, I am almost done in the backyard).

    I have my grass butted right up to the border which in the past makes it hard to trim, but using a garden blow torch (not for the faint of heart) works wonders on trimming around rock. I think my assistant and your assistant are on the same page too….She hangs out in the shade while I’m sweating to the weeds…..Great post, I loved seeing your border!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Garden blow torch? Oh my goodness I don’t think I could handle that! I bet it does the trick though. Good luck with finishing your borders!

  26. debbiedoos says:

    Looks fantastic Ann!