View Full Version : Raised Flower Bed

05-05-2009, 12:06 PM
Summer is here and I am starting to do yardwork. It is my first FULL spring/summer season in my house with my own yard and I want to get to work right away. I already dug out where I want the bed to be. It was so full of weeds and rocks, I just dug it out about half a foot deep.

All I know is that I want to build a nice stone retaining wall about a foot, maybe 2 feet, off the ground. Any pointers?

I also have a giant tree in my backyard. I want to build a garden bed around the trunk, obviously raised as well. The two gardens will hopefully match somewhat except one will be oblong shaped and the other around a tree. Any preps for the tree that need to be done?

First time gardener with big visions!

05-05-2009, 12:48 PM
get a diy book, coles has lots of great ones, will be worth it

05-05-2009, 01:49 PM
I guess I should eh. Books are expensive... but compared to building a garden that falls apart because I didn't do it right?


05-05-2009, 02:38 PM
you may want to do some checking before you put too much of a raised bed around the tree. Here is a little information---

Roots need to use air to get oxygen. Without oxygen they cannot respire which means they die. Raising the grade over the root system will smother them. Raising the grade against the trunk invites disease.

From what I have read some of it depends on the type of tree. I had to redo my septic field and in the process had to cover the ground around a maple and a birch with over two feet of soil. That was four years ago and they both servived.

05-05-2009, 04:02 PM
I think this tree is a couple years old... like... at -least- 30? The trunk is wider than me... I haven't figured out what kind it is yet. Not maple and not oak. I gotta wait for the leaves to come out, and then I can figure it out.

I guess I am going to have to research this further than soonet. lol. thanks for the advice!

05-06-2009, 10:23 AM
you can find lots of garening information on the web or lots of books at the library.

hobo is right about the tree, you can do some, but do need to be careful about how much you put on top of the tree roots and what type of tree it is.

just getting the retaining rocks and the soil can be quite expensive. one thing to not chintz on is the soil, your plants will only be as good as your soil. (unless you plant things that thrive in bad soil)

i know we have alot of natural rock around locally. maybe you know someone with property who would let you take some. i know folks take rock from crown land, dont think its legal, but they still do it.

check your tree against a manitoba maple. they are very prevelant around here. they send all kinds of those 'hellocopter' things down in the fall and in the spring youget them sprouting all over your yard. my neighbour called them a weed tree, but they are all i have and i love trees.

if you check soapbox about veggie garden, i wrote about a good cheap and easy way to start a raised bed, maybe some pointers that will help.

05-12-2009, 12:33 PM
We just did ours, it goes across the front of our house. It's raised about a 1ft 1/2, with wood. To fill it with dirt cost us around $400! Not sure how big you plan on going but that's how much ours was. We purchased some good dirt, cheap dirt and peat moss. We will probably add more dirt next year because it will sink down. We also used the weed stuff(for underneath) which is fairly cheap priced. We had to have some depth to ours cause I have lots of bulbs and needed it deep.

05-12-2009, 12:40 PM
$400!! Yikes. Not sure how big the front of your house is, but I am thinking mine will be about 6 x 2 and then probably 4 x 4.... feet? Rough guess. I suck at guessing measurements. I guess we'll have to see. I still have to take a look and figure out what tree it is. I don't recall any helicopters out there when I was raking but I can see it out my bedroom window and there is something hanging off the branches. Not sure yet.

05-12-2009, 01:14 PM
Another idea for under the tree if you can't put a flower bed because of the roots would be either "glory of the snow"


or Crocuses

/fallbeautie (http://www.veseys.com/ca/en/store/fallbulbs/fallblooming/autumnflowering


Since the both spread year after year, under a tree they would look pretty...just an idea.

I will try to post pics of what we have done to out yard later on today.