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Shape your raised beds for variety

Rounded beds can make a friendly path.
Rounded beds can make a friendly path.
Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Your garden doesn’t have to be an endless sea of rectangular beds with gravel paths. Sure, it’s neat and tidy. It's also boring. Who cares about those sensible little rows? You're a gardener, not an accountant. Wouldn't you rather liven things up a bit? One thing you can do is change the shape of those garden beds. Start with simple triangles. Work your way into stars, hearts, flowers and more.

Triangular garden beds

Three sided garden beds are simple enough to make. Use leftover landscaping logs with the ends cut at an angle. Fit the angles together and nail. For higher beds, stack the logs up. Staggered spikes hold each consecutive layer to the one below. No leftover logs? Most home improvement stores sell inexpensive rounded landscaping logs that suit this project well.

Stars are just multiple triangles

Once you get the hang of making triangular beds, stars are simple enough. Just down-size your triangles. Fit five together, points outward. Now you have a pretty little star raised bed with a bonus planting spot in the center. Plant with a color scheme in mind or randomly. Either way, your raised bed star will be the talk of the neighborhood.

Heart shaped raised beds can be made from old metal sheets.

Remember that old metal garden shed you removed? This is a good use for the leftover metal sheets it was made of. Use a strip of metal about 2 feet wide and however long you want your heart. Shape it into a heart. Use the edge of the metal to make an imprint on the ground. Dig out the center of the imprint. Line the edge of the heart shaped hole with the metal strip. Fill in the hole with the dirt you just dug up. Add enough good soil to plant in.

Note: You can also make a moon to go with your stars using this method.

Large round pots form flower power raised beds.

Don't forget, old garden pots can be raised beds too, if they're tall enough. Place a circle of brightly painted clay pots around a central, larger pot. For added effect, paint the central pot a different color. If you like, use more than one cluster of flower power pots. Painted green bricks form the “stems” and serve as a stepping stone path to the flower power raised bed garden.

Make a jagged edge raised garden bed.

Why stop at plain shapes? Once you have a basic wooden border in place for your raised bed, make things interesting. Nail varied shapes and sizes of scrap wood around the edge, jutting upward. Not only will this raise the height of your bed, it'll cut the cost of layering landscaping logs. Plus, you'll use up all those scraps you didn't know what to do with.

What's your favorite raised garden bed shape?

Maybe you like checkerboards, diamonds or something else entirely. In any case, chances are, you have some discarded containers around that will be perfect for piecing your shape together.

Portions of this article were previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

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