LA Murano
LA Murano
  • Hometalker
  • West Sunbury, PA

My $20 Garden Bed

5 Materials
4 Hours

The area under my front porch has been the messiest spot in the yard since we moved here. The guy that built this house did many things quite oddly and this is one of them. The base of the stairs are rather large and just sort of ends. The ground was uneven and large rocks littered the area. I don't think grass was ever planted under there as it was a tangle of weeds amid bare spots. Finally I got sick
my 20 garden bed
Between planning and finish, this new garden bed project took several turns. I knew I needed to replace all the grass and weeds under the porch with something weed resistant. I decided a weed barrier was necessary and thought mulch would look nice. The husband shot that down with a few snarky comments about wood chips and termites near a wood sided house. *sigh*
my 20 garden bed
Luckily we had a pile of pea gravel left over from when the coops were built. The gravel quickly became my replacement for the wood chips. As I looked around at the materials (odd and ends) I had around the garage, I realized that this was not going to be expensive at all. I was just going to have to do the work all myself. Well, not quite all myself... I was going to make the teenager help too!
my 20 garden bed
I decided we needed something to edge it with to keep the pea gravel in and make a clean line separating it from the yard. We measured the length of the area and headed to Home Depot where we picked out some landscaping bricks.  Luckily I already had some industrial strength shipping plastic that had come wrapped around something my husbands work ordered, and I love to recylce! I was going to use this for weed barrier.
my 20 garden bed
Once home we grabbed some twine and ran it from the front corner to the back corner to make a straight line. We used a long handle scraper to cut a line in the grass for the edge of the bricks. Next we cut the weed barrier to fit and placed it over the area. We placed the bricks in the trench we had just dug to hold down the fabric.
my 20 garden bed
Using an exact-o knife, I cut holes in the weed barrier where each plant was to go. I used all plants that were already growing in my main garden. I transplanted a Red Veined Sorrel as the centerpiece for this garden. Next to each porch support I placed the 4 O'clocks called Marvel Of Peru. I also planned on adding hostas on each end, but the deer ate mine before I could thin them this year. Instead I brought over some potted herbs to add some height and greenery.
my 20 garden bed
Once all the plants were in place we filled it in with the pea gravel. I added some stones and decorations that were getting ignored in my more crowded gardens and called it done. Since all I purchased for this project was the bricks, it cost me less then $20. If I had to purchase everything new, it would cost closer to $65. Still much better then that $200 the landscaper wanted and he hadn't even included a cost for the plants since I already had them! This project took me about 4 hours to complete. The most amount of time was spent on the trench for the bricks.

Suggested materials:

  • Bricks  (Home depot)
  • Weed barrier  (Recycled plastic, but HD also sells this)
  • Mulch  (Recycled rock, but Garden stores carry it)
See all materials
LA Murano

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 8 questions
  • Sue28039999
    on Oct 12, 2017

    Like the idea and the look -- turned out well.

    Question 1: Was wondering: how much "head room" is between the bottom of the porch and the new pea gravel -- enough to add brackets and hanging baskets from posts?

    Question 2: While you wouldn't want to put too much stuff (lest it be perceived as clutter) beneath any porch, especially a front porch, since you're making this a bit of an eye catching project anyway, have you considered making a "tiny folk" community to draw attention away from or to block the view of any part you still think needs attention.

    • LA Murano
      on Oct 28, 2017

      I'm only 5' tall but when I stand under it I can't reach the bottom of the porch. I'm guessing 7'-8'. Brackets and baskets would look great on the posts! Thanks for the idea!

      I have a miniature garden in a container on the porch above. I never though to expand it and move it down here....ohhh, that could get expensive though. SO many cute things!
  • Velma Lewis McElwee
    on Oct 14, 2017

    what is the best cleaner to clean a inside brick wall
    • LA Murano
      on Oct 28, 2017

      Inside a house? I have no idea, sorry. I power washed this since it was outside.
  • G.G. Mia
    on Oct 24, 2017

    you said you had left over pea gravel from when the coops were built. Chicken coops? You use pea gravel instead of the chips?
    • LA Murano
      on Oct 28, 2017

      We used pea gravel under the base for our coop. It's a kids plastic playhouse, and it's on a square wood base. The gravel is under that to help level it and for drainage.

Join the conversation

3 of 37 comments
  • Suz22724278
    on Nov 1, 2017

    I'm assuming you don't have any cats around, otherwise you've just created a big kitty litter box for the neighborhood cats. I have a similar area right next to my front walkway that I have partly filled with stepping stones. Between the sand to set the stones and the similar gravel type substance, the neighborhood cats love using it as their personal kitty litter. And we don't even have cats!
    • LA Murano
      on Nov 4, 2017

      We have barn cats and they haven't messed with it. This is actually gravel not sand, so I doubt they'd like it. Plus, they have miles of woods to go in, instead of right in the open by the house. Your sand and stepping stones area sounds lovely!

  • Happy Days Hometalker
    on Jun 15, 2018

    Love it! Next time at the craft store pick up some gold sparkly gems and scatter around.

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