There are many ways to get creative and use what we have around our environment. Some of the popular raised garden beds are made from cypress or cedar wood, which holds up well as a natural building material. Pressure treated lumber can be hazardous as it has been known to leech chemicals into the soil. There have been some really creative raised garden bed ideas using retired clawfoot bathtubs, sinks, corrugated metal sheets, rocks and timber.
After moving into our home in June, we found the remains of the storms from the prior years in the form of trunks of trees. These large logs were decomposing behind the shed and what an opportunity to use something we already had on hand to build one of the first raised bed gardens. I constructed an oval shape out of the natural logs. After digging and removing about 8 inches of the sand, I filled the interior with a layer of gravel for drainage and natural composted soil. We planted collard greens, broccoli and onions for a Fall Florida garden. The Collard greens were incredible!
Throughout the yard I discovered abandoned cinder blocks. A cinder block raised be garden in a creative way to use space. It takes some time and planning to lay and line the blocks and it well worth the effort. The blocks stay together nicely without the need for mortar. It is comforting to know that the garden design is not permanent and can be reworked and redesigned with time. The holes in the cinder blocks are great for starting seedlings or herbs, beneficial flowers and growing smaller vegetables.
After remodeling the bathroom to our home, we had a large amount of concrete pieces. These pieces were used to line a walkway to the garden. They did a great job of holding the mulch into place and it feels good knowing that these things can be reused.