DIY Garden Edging using Pruned Raspberry Canes

This easy and frugal project shows you how to weave pruned raspberry canes into attractive garden edging.
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Create attractive garden edging with free materials

Did you know that if you google ‘use raspberry canes’ or even ‘raspberry canes diy’ that absolutely no ideas come up? Every gardener who grows raspberries goes through the same winter ritual — taking out the old wood. Whether you have autumn or summer fruiting varieties you’ll be left with a bundle of canes that generally gets burned or composted. They seem like such a shame to ‘waste’ though, especially when you consider the other materials that we buy to bring into the garden like willow, hazel, and bamboo.

This winter I kept the canes until I came up with a good idea for how to use them. They lay in a stack for about a month before an idea struck me — they could be used to make edging.

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Materials needed for this project

  • A bundle of pruned raspberry canes
  • Bamboo cut into 18″ segments
  • Tools: a hacksaw and a hammer

Recycling in the Garden

I’ve been looking at garden feature ideas and nearly bought pre-fab hazel edging at a local shop. I stayed my hand though thinking that there’s got to be a better DIY solution. Something that isn’t going to cost me anything and look even better. Eureka struck as I stood contemplating the raspberry canes.

There’s only two materials that I used to create my woven ‘Wattle’ edging that you see in this project: a bundle of raspberry canes, and three old bamboo canes. I also use the support from larger wooden stakes that I have driven into the ground but I think that these are optional. They’re more for the support of the new raspberry bushes that will grow again this year.
This easy and frugal project shows you how to weave pruned raspberry canes into attractive garden edging.

Pruning Raspberries

The first step is actually pruning your raspberries. Autumn fruiting varieties (like mine) are generally cut down to the ground every year. This is because they mainly fruit on new wood. Summer fruiting varieties fruit on canes that grew the previous summer so for those types you need to selectively prune out the canes that have already fruited. I cut my canes down to about 1-2″ above the ground.

You prune your raspberries in winter, when the plants are dormant. The canes should still be alive even though they look withered and dead. Discard any that are soggy, brittle, or look diseased. In the photo below you can see how many canes I needed for the section of edging I made — it was a decent sized bundle.

This easy and frugal project shows you how to weave pruned raspberry canes into attractive garden edging.

Bamboo Cane Supports

When you cut raspberry canes they’re at first flexible and strong. Over time they will harden and lose some of the bendiness and strength. They need good, solid supports to wind themselves around  so that they remain in place. Bamboo canes fit the bill. Even when they’re old an beaten up they can still be strong.

The supports for the wattle edging are 18″ segments of bamboo cane that I cut with a hacksaw. Pressed 4 inches into the ground at 12-18″ apart they’ll be your edging’s support. I recommend that you run a piece of string along the area you want to build the edging. Use it as a guide to place your bamboo supports so that they line up straight.

This easy and frugal project shows you how to weave pruned raspberry canes into attractive garden edging.

Weaving the Raspberry Canes

Once the bamboo canes are in, begin weaving in the raspberry canes. Begin from one end and weave one cane in and around the pegs and push it all the way to the ground. Take a second cane and weave it along the same pegs but in the opposite direction — the video at the top of this post shows the process better.

Once you have two canes woven in you move to the next section and weave canes in exactly the same manner in that space. All you’re doing is winding the canes in and out of the bamboo pegs and then making sure the cane that follows it is woven in the opposite way around. Simple.

This easy and frugal project shows you how to weave pruned raspberry canes into attractive garden edging.

This easy and frugal project shows you how to weave pruned raspberry canes into attractive garden edging.

Finishing the Edging

Once you’ve built up the edging to the desired height all you need to do is hammer in the bamboo pegs. More for aesthetic reasons than anything, you bang them in so that the tops are flush with each other and are just above the top of the raspberry canes. I used the back of my hatchet to do this in the video but most would probably use a hammer.

The finished product is strong, attractive, and pretty much free! It’s such a good feeling to transform ‘waste’ into useful things.

This easy and frugal project shows you how to weave pruned raspberry canes into attractive garden edging.

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9 Discussion to this post

  1. This is beautiful! What a great way for reuse in the garden. I’ve seen this done with willow, but not raspberry!

  2. Great idea to use just what you happen to have around! I tried the same with Eucalyptus branches when I lived in Portugal. That became a far more coarse edge/fence though since it’s less flexible. Still, I got rid of material that else would have just ended up on the compost heap.

    • lovelygreens says:

      Exactly! Think of how we bring so many materials into our garden when we have things at hand that we can use. Even if your Eucalyptus fence was coarse, you reduced garden waste and saved money. Well done!

  3. Sue says:

    What a brilliant idea. I might even give it a go using some new raspberry canes as the uprights, then it will be a living edging.

  4. TerriO says:

    I never thought to do this with light materials. I made a fence at the front of my woods using downed and trimmed branches in much the same way. Great idea!

  5. Kerry says:

    It works with grapevine, too. I weave the trimmed vines through my wire farm fence. It’s beautiful, and it’s a very meditative activity as well.

  6. seamus kane says:

    Great idea, I moved into a house which had two raspberry bushes which had not been looked after for over 5 years. I am committed to re-using material and for example, I grew nasturium and mint in lawn grass cuttings. For this, I used old fish crates which I found in the garden but you have given me an idea to create a mini raised bed made from raspberry canes.

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