Exterior & Garden The Victorian House

Pretty Plant Supports and Garden Edging

Me, lately:

Lady Birley, Rhoda, photographed in her garden by Valerie Finnis

I’m like a British lady in my garden, and my plants agree. Unfortunately, the British seem to have better plant supports available to them. (How’s that for a segue?)

Years ago, I bought a couple of pom pom peony cages from Terrain. I love them and leave them out all year — they look great even after the plants inside have died back. I use simple hoops and grow-through grids in spots that are tucked away, but I wanted a few more decorative supports and they’ve been hard to find. My search kept turning up plenty of options in England, but not much here in the States. Battle Hill Forge did come up in my search and liked them a lot, but I ordered these jardin bird cage plant supports from Gardener’s Supply Company, and they’re due to arrive soon. Trellises, too, to flank the garage and for a couple of spots on the house.

Garden Plant Supports

I’ve also been looking for rope edging. Why is this not being reproduced? Again, these are available in England, but not here. Antique lots pop up on eBay for hundreds sometimes, and occasionally at flea markets or independent garden centers, but it’s all so expensive — especially when you compare pricing to the modern equivalents for $1 each.

Garden Edging

Old paver bricks would be a good alternative too, but I’m going to head out to look at the edging stones in person. Maybe they’re fine and I’m overthinking it? (Wouldn’t be the first time. Or last.)

Off I go! You’ll find me among the plants like:

Roberto Burle Marx

Wonderful people pictured: Lady Birley in Garden People by Valerie FinnisRoberto Burle Marx

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  • AshleyM
    May 17, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    I live in Germany (stationed here with the Air Force) and they have the BEST garden and building supplies here! It is difficult because I see all of it and want to take it home with me, but obviously it will weigh too much. But the beautiful things are just staples here, not specialty. I think that makes it harder. Anyway, good luck in your search!

    • Making it Lovely
      May 18, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Yep, shipping it all would be prohibitively expensive. Same reason the companies with these products in Europe don’t sell them internationally. The staples here are definitely not beautiful — just plain and cheap (which I guess is what the market bears?).

  • Ryan
    May 17, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    i didn’t even know there were nice options for garden edging. I’m needing some to edge some new lawn and will probably end up with gross plastic edging for now. Most concrete work is done locally so perhaps you could convince a concrete place to make you some. I found a mold on ebay but I’m pretty sure I’d do a terrible job of producing them myself (not to mention it would take forever to make one at a time.

    • Making it Lovely
      May 18, 2017 at 10:03 am

      I’ve seen the molds too, but yeah, mixing up batches of cement to make one at a time seems kind of crazy when you need 100 all together.

  • Rose Kiley
    May 18, 2017 at 5:44 am

    You can buy molds to make your own concrete edging. I don’t remember the company name, but they also have concrete tint so you can make your own color, too. I bought mine in a hardwarestore, but the company is online.

    • Making it Lovely
      May 18, 2017 at 10:05 am

      Have you made them? Doing one a day for three months to get enough, mixing individual batches seems like it wouldn’t be worth the trouble. You could speed up the process I know by buying multiple molds, but then costs start to add up too.

  • indigolattice
    May 18, 2017 at 8:08 am

    I have to say, I had never noticed until you pointed it out that our gardens are not always as sophisticated as the European. But then I’ve only just started becoming a garden lady. However, I have begun to feel that the picking are slim. That rope edging! Now I would die for some of that!

    • Making it Lovely
      May 18, 2017 at 10:16 am

      It doesn’t help that I’m looking at fancy schmancy gardens by people who leave $100,000 antique benches outside like it’s no big deal. And then I’m like, ‘why can’t I find these pretty things at a reasonable price?’ Ha.

  • Margie
    May 18, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Nitterhouse Masonry sells it in Northeast.

    • Making it Lovely
      May 18, 2017 at 11:42 am

      Thanks! I reached out to them to see about shipping to Chicago. Not sure it’s a possibility, but worth a shot.

  • Sara
    May 18, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Probably not the look you are going for, but for years I’ve admired the wooden peony cages in the gardens at the White Gull Inn in Fish Creek, WI. They are tall wooden lattice type cages. I can’t find a picture online, but this is a link to the closest I can find: http://www.gardenality.com/Questions/1736/Plants/Perennial-Plants/Where-To-Buy-Wood-Lattice-Peony-Cage-Support.html# (I’m happy to know that I’m not the only person to love them)

    Have you tried an actual brick or tile shop? We are working to have our front stoop rebuilt, so I’ve spent a lot of time at our local brick shop and they have examples of roped-looking bricks. I’m not sure what they are used for (a fireplace??) or the cost, but that might an option.

  • Rosie
    May 19, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Rope edgings are indeed gorgeous. Too bad they are out of your reach. As for the alternatives – the one on the right is not bad at all :)

  • Battle Hill Forge
    May 21, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Thanks for the mention on your site, Nicole! Love your aesthetic. FYI we’re having our first sale ever on our stakes and tripods. Come on by and check it out!

  • Jill
    May 25, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Wow! that rope edging is pretty amazing. I’ve never seen it before, I’m now off to investigate if it can be found here in the land of Oz.

  • Barbara Potter
    August 24, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    I too, have been looking for years for the rope tiles to edge my garden with. After an exhaustive search, I did find a company in Milwaukee WI that made them, but the shipping was more than the tiles; it would have been over $600. for 40ft of tile! I had completely given up and then serendipitously found a site on ebay that had the molds for $29.00 plus shipping. The local statue/fountain company is going to cast them for me in a terra cotta color. I am so excited I can hardly stand it!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 27, 2018 at 9:27 am

      That’s such a good idea! I still would like to add the edging.