My Unique Flower Bed Project.

13 Materials
4 Weeks

I've wanted a beautiful flower since we bought the house 5 years ago. Season after season I pulled miles of the invasive vines. I raked. I Preened. I mulched. I spend hundreds of dollars on flowers only to have them choked out by weeds the very next week. This year, I vowed to build the flower bed I wanted and banish those weeds. Here's how we did it.

We started by prepping the oil.

My husband used a gas powered tiller and tilled deep into the soil on both side of the walk way. He made several passes ripping through as much of the roots and vines as possible. Next we hand raked removing the the shredded vines, rocks and debris. 

Creating the outline and killing the weeds.

We used stakes and string to create the outlines we wanted. Then we used a turf edger to trench along the string lines. We then raked again and treated the tilled beds with Preen Weed Preventer. Follow the package directions. We waited a week and then treated the beds again. 

Building our edging.

As I said, I wanted something that no one else on the block had. I got the inspiration for this on Pinterest. I used 6x6 pressure treated lumber and 4x6 to create the curve. We used a chain saw to cut them. We learned the hard way. Save yourself the time and effort and go with the chain saw! The entire right side garden is one height. We cut those at 16" lengths. The left side begins at 16" for the straight-a-way. At the curve we began cutting them longer incrementally about a half inch at a time. As you can see, we started cutting at an angle starting at the curved incline. I felt this gave it a smoother upward transition.

We positioned each piece one at a time, trenching and leveling as we went. We used a sledge hammer to tamp each piece in place as we went. We only had to bury these a few inches. We have a clay based soil so that was enough to hold them firmly in place. However, we did use cement on the curved side. This is the side we knew would act as a retaining wall of sorts and need more support.

We had fill dirt delivered in advance. We used it to brace the wood as we finished sections. We used an old 2x4 and the sledge hammer to tamp the dirt at the very base of each piece.

After I got the elevated curve just where I wanted it, we used the cement. We poured the mix along the inside and outside tench line making sure to fill the gaps. Then we filled it in with dirt.

At some point I got smart and decided to stain before we cut them. It was much easier to go back and stain the tops than it was to stain them after they were set. I used a transparent stain in Dark Walnut. Yes I Did! I stained fresh pressure treated lumber. It worked out fine.

Finishing touches

It was impossible to get completely flush against the sidewalk so I filled that in with decorative gravel. We considered using it along the entire 50 linear feet bed but decided not to.

The finished project.

We are so happy with how it turned out.

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 13 questions
  • Robin Herring
    on Aug 7, 2020

    How long has this beautiful garden been finished. curious about no weeds.

    Our area uses large cement pavers and we still have weeds or grass growing in our plant beds. We gave one of those weed resistant mats down as well.

    • Wanda Rodgers
      on Aug 8, 2020

      It is more the depth of what the wood blocks are placed. We did something similar years ago with a fence wood. We cut them all at different heights and buried several inches to block the roots. It really helped keep the grass invaders out. It then was a lot easier to keep the weeds down. Wonderful look. I love the dark color.

  • Kathleen
    on Aug 9, 2020

    Why did U all do it the hard way? Proud of the job U did but U could have saved money & time by doing it the way we made a raised bed garden,just cover the place U want to plant anything, with plastic,it will kill the grass,then I put cement blocks down to hold the plastic down,I put in compost to fill in up to the top of the blocks,U R ready to plant anything U want to, if any grass or weeds comes up years later U can use the weed killer U mention or use a hoe as I do in my raised bed garden for veggies,mine is a small garden 20 ft x 30 ft,I grow all the veggies I need & freeze what I don't use,I also share with neighbors,good luck, any body can use this info to make a garden or flower bed,has anyone done this before? My husband helped with this but he got sick with colon cancer,died 4 years ago.

    • EmmaSurf
      on Aug 27, 2020

      Plastic is really bad for the soil. Water won't percolate through and it cuts off oxygen to the friendly in the soil. It will start to break up later also.

  • Robin Lynch Scanlon
    on Aug 15, 2020

    Love this. Dark is pretty.

    It would look nice with round (fence post style too)

    I have a thought. ...

    After tilling and digging a hole deep enough maybe lay plastic in the hole with rocks or cement blocks on the edges.

    Leave plastic and fill with dirt and plant.

    I have the same issue with my entire yard and would love to keep unwanted growth out. After seeing this and reading others posts on using plastic to kill grass this thought cane in my mind. What do you all think?

    • Pam Turley Lucido
      on Aug 16, 2020

      Plastic works great but you’ll still need to punch out a circle beneath the plants for the roots. Also, because the weeds come in from wind, you’ll still have to spot treat as they pop up or they will take over again.

Join the conversation

2 of 123 comments
  • Trudy
    on Aug 20, 2020

    Love the big lumber, curves and dark stain. Very unique!

  • Daisy@TX
    on Aug 28, 2020

    My friend used plastic then put in soil and her plants an then mulched. She had Austin stone as edge left over from her new home. Looked absolutely beautiful. Then came a downpour of rain - washed mulch and soil off the flower beds!!

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