In my garden I have three types of borders employed. The most simplest of these is 'banked' borders. These are borders that have something substantial being used to contain the area worked in. Banked borders come in four specific types. 1 – Stones, masonry, walling or cement, bricks. 2 – Wooden. Whether that is an actual trunk of a tree laid down, or a wooden fencing it self, or just garden posts of wood. Hedging/trees inclusive. 3 – Metalic. Standard chain-link fencing and gating. Circular cages. 4 – Tubbing borders. These are usually container gardens in themselves, used for the purpose of giving a different height and perspective to the plants and shrubs.
Personally I use stones, and circular cages made of chicken wire. Occasionally employing the odd wood and tree limb. Depending on what effect I am trying to achieve in my garden. Here's some ideal tips and advice, for making your borders more attractive and easier on the maintenance level.
Stones & Slab Borders
You can buy stones in all shapes and colors and also all sizes. There are a variety of ways to stop stones looking dull and boring. Especially if you are like me, and only have one type available to use. When lining say, a flower bed, with stones, try using larger flatter pieces, on their sides. You can paint these, if you are feeling adventurous. Build your stones thicker as a border, and place a few species of rock growing plants on the top spread down. Creating a beautiful carpet of color. Chose something simple like a phlox or a succulent used to arid rocky areas. The plant called 'chicks-n-hens' is good. Cemented slabs, formatted stone (tiled or specifically patterned) add their own uniqueness to a garden border. Try paving your border. Placing slabs at varying intervals between plants.
Wooden Borders. Use an old tree trunk. Trim off excess branches. Cut or delve a deep groove along its center, and plant pansies or similar annuals and perennials. Even new saplings planted inside all cut trunks. Of course you could paint them too. Or you could just waterproof stain them. Add planter hangers as an extra decorative touch to your wood fences, then add wind chimes.
Tubbing & Metallic Borders. Sadly not much you can do about chain-link fences. Unless you plant a climbing plant that is hardy and fast growing. Like ivies.
Tubbing is pretty self explanatory. I use this method, as it helps add depth, perspective and extra color to the garden.
Easier to remove the tubs, when mowing. Planters come in a variety of shapes/sizes. Don't be afraid to experiment!
Pointer: If painting a border. Do it before you plant. Ensure its non-toxic all weather paint. So that it lasts, and doesn't kill your garden.