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.
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.
A Stacked Deck
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.
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.