How to create a raised flower bed for your garden. DIY Tutorial

A flower bed/garden bed is a beautiful garden decoration which could give the design edge needed to an otherwise simple garden layout.

In this blog post, I will explain how we did our own flower bed with basic carpentry skills.

Note: I will not talk about the best location for a flower bed, or about what flowers grow best in it because I am not a gardening specialist. I did do some research about what plants and trees I could and wanted to have in the garden bed but I couldn’t be more generic. Please refer to the RHS website which is a good start to learn about flowers and plants in UK in case you do not want to buy books on the topic just yet. I do not have books to recommend at this point because I used mostly the internet… It might change in the future but my garden is quite small so I am not going to design or cultivate anything too complicated.

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The flower bed or garden bed serves a purpose in addition to being nice to look at which is to grow your own flowers and trees in an orderly way. No muddy shoes in the house!

 

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This flower bed is 60cm height, 300cm long and a depth of 30cm, however, the soil only goes 35cm deep

There might be various reason why you would want a flower bed, but ours was because of the following:

  • We have a small deck garden and wanted to have a simple, tidy, easy to maintain area yet still wanted to have flowers, shrubs, and miniature trees.
  • Affordable. Making your own flower bed is a budget DIY, all you need is some motivation, a couple of days of good weather, and specific material see below.
  • Bespoke, therefore, more likely to have this nice integrated look. There was actually an area that was without decking (see before picture), therefore, it was a good opportunity to build a flower bed there.
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I used a mix of general compost, top soil and a small amount of pelleted Vitax Q4

About Compost: a nice tip is inquiring at your local Reuse and Recycling Centre or TIP if you can collect fully processed compost for your garden. This is usually free. We did inquire but there was none available at the time, it was all gone! so perhaps plan it a bit in advance.

Now let’s talk about how we did it and how to do it !

Planning

It took us about 2 weeks of planning (mostly because I was looking of what to plant in my new flower bed!), 1 day of purchasing/running around what we needed and 2 full days for installation.

Tools needed:

  • Cordless drill/screw driver
  • Level
  • Manual Saw for wood or electric Jigsaw
  • Staple Gun

Items needed (click links for image and more info):

  • 3x Exterior pre-treated Wood planks in D47xH200mm. Cut to Size.
  • A few Interior Wood planks D25 x 150mm. In 1.2m length – to create a bedding and also avoid humidity between the flower bed and the right-side fence panel. This is super important! You don’t want to have to replace your fence after a few years because it started to rot, plus you wouldn’t know about it unless you neighbour sees it…
  • Wood fixing brackets
  • Landscape Wood screws of different dimension (get different sizes depending on the thickness of the wood)
  • (optional) A few concrete blocks to level the ground to the level of the decking (see pictures below)
  • A geotextile landscape membrane / In our case, we decided to use a spare heavy duty waterproof blue sheet which we pierced to provide drainage.
  • A good quality soil is essential and it needs to be matching the type of flowers/trees you will be planting.
  • (Optional) Paint – I decided to paint the same colour as the fence to give it an integrated look

 

The process

MEASURE DESIRED LENGTH, IDENTIFY DESIRED HIGHT, GET THE WOOD FROM YOUR DIY STORE OR LOCAL WOOD RETAILER, GET WOOD BRACKETS, BUILD THE FLOWER BED

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BEFORE – The estate agent picture. We did do some work in here, as you can see!
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BEFORE – a mess and many tip runs

We went to our local wood retailer with the required dimensions and brought back the exact Exterior wood planks length cut-to-size.

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Lay down the concrete blocks, and base of the flower bed. We left space for drainage.

 

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Buy pre-treated wood and if you can add a coat of wood preserver. Otherwise, it may start to rot with heavy rain weather conditions + continuous contact with soil even partial.
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This way, the flower bed has its own base support which means we can replace the decking at a later date without the need to discard the flower bed. Note that the small planks of wood here act as the support of the upcoming suspended flower bed weight.

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I have used Cuprinol Garden Shades in Muted Clay on the flower bed and the fence panels
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We used a blue sheet and perforated it throughout (drainage reason). We used a heavy duty staple gun to secure it all around the flower bed and also screw it onto the supporting flower bed wood planks (as mentioned on the above picture).
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Before we planted the trees I laid out where I wanted them to go. In just a few months, the Olive trees have grown up nicely (check my Instagram for recent pictures)

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Looking at the flower bed, I was a bit annoyed by the blue sheet blue lining so eventually, I painted it the same colour as the fence too so it is not distracting when I look at it.

 

What I decided to plant in the flower bed:

  • 3x Olea Europaea / Olive trees (I am praying for them to survive the winter)
  • 2x Rosemary
  • 1x Curry plant (love the silver colour)
  • 1x Mint plant

This was my preference as I wanted a Mediterranean feel in the garden and these can be found in traditional gardens of the Mediterranee. There are also two pots of Munstead lavender and 1 pot of Eucalyptus Gunnii.

Disclaimer: This is how we built our own garden bed, but we are not professionals so in doubt always check with a professional (that is why we like going to specialist retailers as they can help and know their stuff, I am not affiliated with Champion Timber by the way, I am just a happy customer).

 

If you liked this DIY Tutorial, then you would like this other one about how to create a floating cedarwood fence. 

Thank you for reading, feel free to add those pictures on PINTEREST and share the article with other DYIers!

Good luck with your projects!

Marlene

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