10 Ideas for Raised Garden Beds
Get inspiration for creating your own garden space with these different types of raised garden bed and flower bed styles.
Potager Raised Bed Design
Known as the kitchen garden, a raised bed potager showcases the orderly, more formal design these beds can bring to a landscape. Consider using a simple wood frame construction consisting of rot-resistant lumber for years of successful growing. In addition, raised beds are suited for intensive gardening techniques, like interplanting, succession planting and square-foot gardening.
Raised Beds as a Design Element
One of the bonuses of a raised bed is that it can work as a design element in the garden. An example would be incorporating formal raised vegetable beds into the landscape or using a particularly striking layout for raised flower beds that make the beds themselves part of the display.
Colorful Raised Beds
Raised beds made from UV-stable polypropylene inject the landscape with bold color any time of the year. In addition, plastic beds are not prone to rot like those made from wood, and are generally long-lasting. Just remember to seek out materials that are UV-stable to prevent quick deterioration from sun exposure.
Go Rustic With Woven Wicker
There are a wide range of materials that can be used to build a raised garden bed — rock, wood, concrete, and metal are all popular choices. Woven wicker is an interesting pick that evokes a rustic English garden appearance and brings an extra design element to your garden space.
Informal Stone Raised Bed
Using stone to build a raised bed can be executed in a few different ways — including a more regimented purposeful look, and a more informal stacked look. The latter features individual boulders randomly stacked and fitted to create a foundation. It brings an interesting, earthy feel to the garden and creates a more natural transition to the surrounding landscape. In addition, stacked stone edging will not rot, despite contact with wet soil. It also absorbs heat and radiates it into the raised bed soil, allowing earlier planting in the spring and a longer growing cycle into the fall.
Metal Makes It Modern
If you are drawn to a more modern style, consider adding metal raised beds to blend into your landscape. Pretty much any metal you choose is going to be long-lasting and carefree. For a metal material that lasts four times as long as galvanized steel, consider the steel product Zincalume. Design hint: Incorporating curved edges into your metal raised beds can soften the hard look of metal.
Add Vertical Interest With Tall Beds
Do you have a small yard? Create the illusion of space by incorporating vertical interest with tall raised beds. In addition, taller beds are easier on the back when it comes to ongoing plant maintenance since you don’t have to bend over or stoop to reach the plants like you do with in-ground beds.
Attach a Trellis for Climbers
Put the frame of your raised bed to use as a construction platform to attach a trellis. Then you can fill your garden with climbing flowers, or edibles like snow peas. The raised bed frame can also serve as an anchor for other accessory items, such as a frost blanket, mesh fencing to deter animals, or a floating row cover.
Have a Seat
You can also build your own small, portable bench out of hardwood that is just the right height for perching on the edge of raised beds so that you can easily tend to the plants in the garden. Your bench would need a wide lip that hooks over the edge of the bed so that you have a stable seat. Simply place it where you need to work, and then when you’re done, pick it up and carry it to the next spot.
Orderly Kitchen Garden
When it comes down to it, a tidy and compact raised bed kitchen garden is all you need to bring fresh ingredients to your recipes. The setup can be as complex as a large plot of land hosting many raised beds and trellises, or as basic as a few large pots on a sunny balcony. All you really need is a spot that receives five to six hours of sun, good soil, and a little commitment. Oh, and it’s nice if the chosen spot is near the kitchen, to go with the name!