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Elevated Bed: A Garden Where It’s Needed
by Kathleen Hennessy

Some of my earliest memories of gardening involve my parents. I remember beautiful magenta dahlia beds and an amazing circular iris garden that was right in the middle of our yard. I also remember the enormous vegetable garden we were forced to weed on weekends! My parents gave me my first introduction to growing food and flowers.

After several years, and a few back surgeries, my mom has a tough time getting down on the ground to plant. It’s something she really misses. So, we decided to bring the ground up by creating a garden table for her front patio.

This elevated container garden is a great way to give anyone with mobility issues the ability to get back into gardening. Our garden table, customized for my mom’s patio space, will sit 41-inches tall, is 40-inches long and 24-inches wide. We’ve used 1-by-8 inch cedar planks for the box portion of the table. The 4-by-4 inch post legs are Douglas fir.


1. Cut the legs of the garden table to the desired height. We added a few inches above the desired soil level. If you’re planning to add decorative post caps, determine if you need to bevel out the top of the legs to make them fit securely.

Cut the 1-by-8 inch boards to create the sides and bottoms of the garden table. We cut four boards to 24 inch lengths for the sides and four boards to 40 inches for the front and back of the table.


2. Begin assembling by securing the sides, front and back of the table to the legs. Measure from the bottom of the post up to the desired height and lay out your boards. We chose to use two 1-by-8 inch boards, allowing for a 16-inch soil depth. Spax Powerlags bolts add a decorative look.


3. Cut 1-by-1 inch boards to create cleats for the bottom of the table. Attach the cleats to the sides of the table, using gold, triple-coated deck screws, to create a base for the bottom.


4. Notch out two bottom boards to fit around the posts, then tap in to bottom of the table and secure with wood screws.


5. Use a ½-inch bit to drill holes into the bottom of the table. The holes will provide drainage for the garden.


6. Add a decorative touch by attaching copper, fence-post covers to each of the legs using exterior silicone glue.


7. The finished, elevated garden bed is ready for placement, soil and plants.


From State-by-State Gardening Mar/Apr 2015. Photography by Kathleen Hennessy.

Posted March 2015


Kathleen Hennessy has been writing on gardening and DIY topics for more than 15 years. She and her husband, Mike Head, have tackled several projects together. Typically he does most of the work! Read more about their adventures in her blog at, or follow her on Twitter @29mingardener.



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