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Landscape Design: 10 Gardens Transformed by Raised Beds

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Landscape Design: 10 Gardens Transformed by Raised Beds

July 9, 2015

Raised beds are a garden designer’s secret weapon, and not just because they look good. A raised bed is a microclimate of fertile soil where flowers flourish and herbs and edibles co-exist peacefully with trailing nasturtiums.

Perhaps you worry that you don’t have enough room for raised beds or that a raised bed or two will disrupt the design of your garden? Allow us to us change your mind, with these 10 innovative ideas for adding raised beds to a garden.

N.B.: Looking for practical advice about how to build DIY raised beds, how big to make them, or what materials to use? See our design guide at Hardscaping 101: Raised Garden Beds.

The New Front Yard

Above: Photograph courtesy of Sam Tisdall Architects.

In London, architect Sam Tisdall designed a tiny 800-square-foot house with an enormous vegetable garden in raised beds in the front yard. For more, see Garden Visit: The Little House at No. 24a Dorset Road.

Seaside Sprawl

Above: At their summer house in Little Compton, Rhode Island, Dan and Dara Brewster ceded much of the lawn (and view) to a sprawling kitchen garden with raised beds. For more, see Rhode Island Roses: A Seaside Summer Garden in New England.

Triple Threat

Vegetables, flowers, and fruit. Photograph by Lori L. Stalteri via Flickr.
Above: Vegetables, flowers, and fruit. Photograph by Lori L. Stalteri via Flickr.

A Stacked Deck

On a sloping property in West Sussex, England, garden designer Annie Guilfoyle of Creative Landscapes designed three tiers of terraced beds; the middle level is used as a vegetable garden and the lower level is dedicated to growing fruit. For more, see Before & After: A Kitchen Garden in Sussex, England.
Above: On a sloping property in West Sussex, England, garden designer Annie Guilfoyle of Creative Landscapes designed three tiers of terraced beds; the middle level is used as a vegetable garden and the lower level is dedicated to growing fruit. For more, see Before & After: A Kitchen Garden in Sussex, England.

Edible Backyard

In Hollywood’s hills, garden designer Lauri Kranz of Edible Gardens LA conceived a chic enclosure more reminiscent of an Apple store than of deer fencing. For more, see Steal This Look: A Deer-Proof Garden in Hollywood Hills.
Above: In Hollywood’s hills, garden designer Lauri Kranz of Edible Gardens LA conceived a chic enclosure more reminiscent of an Apple store than of deer fencing. For more, see Steal This Look: A Deer-Proof Garden in Hollywood Hills.

Clever Camouflage

In Connecticut garden landscape architect Janice Parker created a procession of raised beds, a row of &#8\2\20;five strong planters spaced so the very ugly manhole covers in between them, which are for drain-out and maintenance on the coast and can&#8\2\17;t be grassed over, can&#8\2\17;t be seen,&#8\2\2\1; she says. For more of this garden, see Landscape Architect Visit: A Cottage Garden on the Connecticut Coast.
Above: In Connecticut garden landscape architect Janice Parker created a procession of raised beds, a row of “five strong planters spaced so the very ugly manhole covers in between them, which are for drain-out and maintenance on the coast and can’t be grassed over, can’t be seen,” she says. For more of this garden, see Landscape Architect Visit: A Cottage Garden on the Connecticut Coast.

Tennis, Anyone?

Above: Ceramicist Frances Palmer transformed a neglected tennis court into a verdant garden, using the surface as a foundation for rows of raised beds. For more, see Steal This Look: An Old Tennis Court Turned Kitchen Garden.

A Concrete Plan

Above: LA-based landscape designer Kathleen Ferguson transforms a sunny corner of a garden into a mini edible garden with a closely clustered collection of small raised beds. For another of her gardens, see New Glamor for Old Hollywood: A Visit to Howard Hughes’ Garden.

Black Beauty

Photograph by Sandra Pettersson.
Above: Photograph by Sandra Pettersson.

Above: We admire stained and painted raised beds in gardens, such as Swedish designer and entrepreneur Agneta Enzell’s black raised beds. Be sure to use eco-friendly stains and paints that are safe to use on edible beds (for more detail see our 5 Favorite Eco Friendly Stains). For more, see Hardscaping 101: Raised Garden Beds.

Above: Sunset designers created a checkerboard effect with raised beds, with a single variety of plant in each box in a demonstration garden at the magazine’s Celebration Weekend 2015. Photograph courtesy of Sunset.

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