Want to give your garden a little lift? Raised garden beds – aka planting beds that sit above the ground – give you more control over growing conditions, make gardening more comfortable (with less back-straining bending) and add a little style to your yard. Whether you want a new way to showcase your florals or you’re planning a serious vegetable garden, let these raised garden ideas inspire you to get growing.
While traditional gardening has plenty of advantages, planting directly into your yard’s soil has some limitations when it comes to placement, soil and overall look. As an alternative to conventional gardens, raised garden beds go on top of any surface in your outdoor space – allowing you to choose the soil, ensure optimum drainage and easily place your garden in the best-lit spot for what you want to grow.
Because they can be placed anywhere with adequate light, raised garden beds are super versatile – they can even be stacked to create an artistic tiered design that works beautifully with your summer florals. For more advice on how to integrate raised flower beds into your backyard renovation or garden space, Brian McCourt and Sarah Keenleyside from Backyard Builds offer five useful tips.
Tending to a garden is a popular Canadian pastime for good reason – gardening is a gentle, relaxing way to stay active and healthy at home, it makes your home look and feel fresh and it can reap tasty rewards. However, if your garden is flat on the ground, you’re going to inevitably spend a lot of time hunched over or on your hands and knees. Raised garden beds bring your plants up closer to you for a more comfortable experience.
Roll With It
When it comes to choosing what material to use for your raised garden bed, the options are nearly endless – pretty much anything that can be used to hold soil can be repurposed into a raised garden bed for your outdoor space. We’re lovin’ this old wagon that has been repurposed into a stunning raised garden.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
By salvaging discarded items like tires, milk crates or even an old bathtub and turning them into unique raised garden beds, you can save money, showcase your creativity and rescue items from the landfill.
While it may take a bit more labour and expense than upcycled options, building raised garden beds from structured materials like bricks or stones creates a sophisticated, architectural look.
Make It Metal
As Sarah Keenleyside showed in her Backyard Builds backyard renovation, oversized aluminum tubs make excellent raised garden beds – delivering a gleaming metallic finish and plenty of planting space. Using metal as the base for your raised garden bed also impacts the temperature of your soil, as the sun’s ambient heat can be retained in the dirt (ideal for plants and herbs that thrive in warm temperatures).
A Woven Finish
Want your garden to have a more natural look? Surrounding your raised garden beds with wattle fencing is an inexpensive option that adds a woven, structured aesthetic that has a classic feel.
Even if you opt for a more traditional wooden garden bed idea, the flexibility of a raised design allows you to use a variety of materials surrounding the base for stylish and unique garden looks – like these delicate orange-hued pebbles.
Alternatively, a combination of different materials, like the stones and mulch shown here, placed around raised garden beds creates the look of distinct zones – making a smaller backyard garden space appear larger.
Mark the Spot
More than just a great way to garden, raised garden beds are a natural way to delineate spaces in your yard. Consider placing linear garden beds along pathways or use them to define different areas in your backyard. For example, placing raised garden beds around your outdoor living area creates a gentle visual separation from your living space and your lawn.
A Green Edge
Planting low-maintenance greenery in sleek garden beds along the edge of your property – as the Backyard Builds team did in this unique outdoor living space – is also a classic garden edging idea.
Space for All
Need garden ideas for a shared outdoor space? Raised garden beds instantly create a series of distinct mini gardens – ideal for giving multiple members of the household (or neighbourhood) their own little garden to tend to. Another option? A series of raised garden beds can be used to grow different plants or vegetables in different areas of the yard.
On the Grid
If you love the organization and space-saving simplicity of using a square foot gardening method to plan and grow your produce, a raised garden bed is your ticket to success. Because a raised bed lets you plan your garden’s exact dimensions and depth, it gives you greater control over your growing conditions.
A Strong Foundation
Finally, if your backyard vegetable garden features a more complex setup (using structures like lattices to help plants grow), a raised garden bed also makes a solid foundation to attach and build on.