Corten Steel Edging for Beautiful Landscaping

Garden landscaping design with Baumea grass growing in large round pots made from corten steel edging.

In today’s landscaping industry, there is a rising trend towards incorporating
Corten steel edging to create visually stunning and long-lasting outdoor spaces. Corten steel, also known as weathering steel, has gained popularity not only for its unique aesthetic appeal but also for its durability, environmental benefits, and cost-effectiveness. This article will explore the various aspects of using Corten steel edging and provide insights into its design, maintenance, and overall value for your landscape.

Table of contents

The Corpus Museum in Oegstgeest uses corten steel and corten steel edging to create its famous weathered look.

1. Understanding the appeal of Corten

One of the primary reasons for the increasing popularity of this steel is its distinct and captivating appearance. This steel develops a rust-like patina over time, creating a warm and earthy colour palette that blends seamlessly with natural surroundings. The raw and organic appeal of Corten steel enhances the beauty of any landscape, making it an excellent choice for both contemporary and traditional designs.

But what exactly is it about this steel that makes it so visually appealing? Well, it’s all in the unique combination of its colour and texture. The deep brown and orange hues that develop as the steel weathers create a striking contrast against lush greenery or vibrant flowers. This contrast adds a sense of depth and visual interest to your outdoor space, making it a true feast for the eyes.

The unique aesthetics of Corten

Unlike alternative materials commonly used for edging, Corten steel offers a natural, weathered look that adds character and charm to the overall landscape design. It’s like a piece of art that evolves over time, telling a story of its own. As the steel ages and the patina develops, it becomes a living testament to the passage of time and the ever-changing nature of the environment.

Imagine walking through a garden where Corten steel lines the edges of the pathways. The warm, earthy tones of the steel harmonise with the surrounding plants, creating a seamless transition between the built and natural elements. It’s a visual treat that not only enhances the aesthetics of your landscape but also evokes a sense of tranquillity and connection with nature.

Durability and longevity

Corten steel, aside from its aesthetic appeal, earns high regard for its exceptional durability. This steel is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and resist corrosion, ensuring that it keeps your landscape edging in excellent condition for years to come. It’s like having a reliable companion that stands strong against the elements, protecting and framing your outdoor space with unwavering strength.

With a lifespan of up to several decades, this steel eliminates the need for frequent replacement, making it a smart investment for long-term landscape projects. It’s a material that not only adds beauty to your outdoor space but also saves you time and money in the long run. And let’s not forget the environmental benefits of choosing Corten steel – its longevity means less waste and fewer resources consumed over time.

It is a versatile material that offers both aesthetic appeal and practicality. Its unique aesthetic, durability, and longevity make it a material that truly stands the test of time.

Garden landscaping that uses corten steel edging to define and protect planting areas and flower beds

2. The environmental benefits of Corten

This steel’s environmental benefits contribute to its popularity among eco-conscious architects and designers.


Corten steel is considered a sustainable edging choice due to its low maintenance requirements and longevity. By using this material, you can reduce the amount of waste generated from regular edging replacements. Furthermore, it is completely recyclable, ensuring that its environmental impact is minimised even after its useful life.

Impact on soil health

Unlike certain edging materials that can harm soil health due to chemical leaching, This steel has a neutral pH and does not negatively affect soil composition. This makes it a safe option for edging around plants and trees while maintaining the desired aesthetic appeal.

A close-up of the rust-coloured corten steel facade of the Arlo Williamsburg Hotel in Brooklyn, USA.

3. Incorporating Corten steel edging into your commercial project 

When considering the use of Corten edging in your landscape design, it is vital to understand the design aspects and installation techniques.

Choosing the right style

Corten steel edging is available in various styles, sizes, and finishes, allowing you to choose the one that best compliments your overall design theme. Whether you prefer sleek and minimalist lines or a more organic, rustic appearance, there is a Corten steel edging option to suit your preferences.

Placement and installation tips 

Proper placement and installation are crucial for achieving optimal results with Corten steel edging. It is essential to plan the edging placement to define different areas or create visual boundaries within your landscape. Additionally, ensuring proper anchoring and securing techniques will help maintain the structural stability of the edging, particularly in areas with high foot traffic or exposed to strong winds.

A textured rust-coloured perforated Corten steel sheet used for architectural design and cladding.

Corten steel edging maintenance and care 

While Corten steel is predominantly low maintenance, incorporating regular care practices can extend its lifespan and preserve its appearance.

Cleaning and preserving your Corten steel edging

Regular cleaning can help remove any accumulated dirt or debris from the surface of your Corten steel edging. You can achieve this by gently washing the edging with mild soap and water, then drying it and applying a protective sealant. This sealant will help maintain the natural patina while protecting the steel from excessive weathering. AJ Marshall can now supply a Corten rust accelerant, de-greaser and varnish. This non-acid based product is ideal for applications where it is not practical to expose Corten to the atmosphere.

Addressing potential issues with Corten steel edging

Although highly durable, Corten steel may occasionally develop surface rust. In such cases, gently scrubbing the affected area and applying a rust converter or inhibitor can prevent further corrosion and maintain the edging’s integrity. Regular inspections can help identify any potential issues early on, ensuring timely intervention and preservation of the edging’s functionality.

Norway's Trollstigen mountain valley route between Romsdalen and Langvatnet build with corten steel edging and concrete

5. The cost-effectiveness of Corten edging

Investing in Corten steel edging offers long-term cost savings and value for architects and landscape designers.

Initial investment and long-term savings

While the initial cost of Corten steel edging may be higher than certain alternatives, its exceptional longevity eliminates the need for frequent replacements, reducing long-term expenses. With minimal maintenance required, this investment proves to be economical and financially sustainable in the years to come.

Comparing Corten steel edging to other materials

When comparing Corten steel edging to other common materials like concrete or plastic, its superior durability, environmental benefits, and aesthetic appeal become evident. Corten steel outperforms these alternatives, offering a long-lasting and visually captivating solution for landscape edging.


In conclusion, incorporating Corten edging into your landscape design offers numerous advantages, ranging from its unique aesthetic appeal to its durability, environmental benefits, and cost-effectiveness. By understanding the various design aspects, installation techniques, and maintenance practices, you can create a beautiful and enduring outdoor space.  Embrace the organic beauty of Corten steel and elevate your landscape to new heights.

AJ Marshall is the UK’s largest independent supplier of Corten steel. If you are in need of weathering steel, contact our team here for a free quote.