I was clearly naive about the number of options for raised beds there were to consider. Long gone are the days when my mother tossed a couple of railroad ties against the hillside and called it a garden. And the cost has changed too!
These gorgeous beds from Naturalyards would have cost well over a
$1000 to hold the Dirt to Dinner growing plots for each of the kids. Not quite what we had budgeted for! But if money were no object, these would be the beds for me. They are beautiful, easy to assemble, available in lots of size choices and look like they would last a generation.
I also like the idea of Link-a-Bord bins that would have snapped together. They are made of all recycled materials. They are light and easy to construct. They come with two different depths, both a little shallower than I like for vegetable gardening, but reasonably priced. They still have the nice, neat look that any realtors scanning the neighborhood would approve of.
There were also quite an array of sizes and shapes to choose from. Want a good geometry exercise for the kids? How many square feet of space do you get with this?
It’s an equilateral triangle with 7’ sides. Then it has another equilateral triangle on top so you can have that section be twice the planning depth of the large triangle ends, so now you really need to look at the cubic feet,…
When the calculator cooled off, it didn’t make sense to go with the funky shapes, much as I wanted to.
Lee Valley had some great kits where you use 16” pavers and their hardware to build beds. These things probably would have survived the next Big One, but somehow concrete and kids and all those nuts and bolts didn’t work for me for this project. Though I love Lee Valley and the excuse to get some fun tools would have been worth it.
I was hoping to get back to the more natural “wild” look of at least the Natruayards design, if not something onto the other side of that when I came across a post on a gardening chat site that referred to the 600 year-old technology of raised bed design used in English gardens. That’s when I found mastergardenproducts.com.
Oh yeah. That’s as granola-y as they come. It’s perfect. Sadly, it’s nearly impossible to find enough Willow that size to make similar boxes today, but the ones we’ll be using in the Dirt to Dinner garden will look something like the modern ones before we seal them with linseed oil, line them and fill them with our garden planting mix.
I’m a little worried that the sticks will need some kind of covering on the top to keep from sticking us, but I’m sure we’ll figure something out. And we may even weave some of our own versions to see how they compare.