A Georgia Raised Garden

3 Materials
$4000
2 Weeks
Advanced

Andrea and I had a big potted garden on our terrace, and it was getting bigger. What started as basil and mint was turning into tomatoes, carrots, squash, ginger, avocado... the list goes on. We were running out of room! So, we decided to go raised garden. And we went all in! This project took about two weeks to complete, mainly because my friend Delaey and I could only work from 6-9 in the morning and 6-9 at night to avoid the Georgia summer heat. In the end, we have a beautiful garden that lights at night and will be the perfect spot for us to both grow and consume all the vegetables, fruit, and herbs we want!

We have more posts on this project focusing on filling the beds and adding pavers and irrigation. See them here:


Our back terrace was running out of space for our potted garden. So, we decided to go raised garden. And we went all in!
Here's a view from the main back yard. It nestles up to the house, but commands its own space.
The vision was for a square garden with L-shaped corners. This image came from Google Maps. Great resources for high level planning.
The before was a hedge that had gotten way too crazy.
We removed it in one afternoon, in the Georgia summer heat. Man did we sweat that day!
Then we had to remove the stumps in the ground left from old trees and the hedges that we had just cut down. Totally worth it to hire a professional for the stump grinding. He was in and out in about an hour.
The first box goes in. We built a whole box first to learn all the tricks of making building faster, the important ways to keep things straight, and any design changes we needed to make. You always learn a lot by building a prototype.
The others went in much faster than the first.
Then we thought, what if we had a little shade. We took our inspiration from Japanese gardens. Cranking up the Zen!
The first steps in building the arbors hinted at what the final design would look like.
Close to finished. The arbors really define the space.
From the side you can just see the strings of lights we put up. We plan to add pavers in and around the garden, and use the central area for dinners.
The view from inside toward the house.
From the side, you can see the lights in all their glory.
A very satisfying job.

Check out more posts on the garden!

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SteveAndrea Bourne

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

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Have a question about this project?

10 questions
  • Terry Truett
    on Mar 14, 2017

    What size are the boards that make up the sides? Are they 2x6s or 1 inch. How high are the beds - about 18inches? I assume you put 4x4 post in the corners - did you put those in concrete? Do you have any plans that show measurements/size?

    • SteveAndrea Bourne
      on Mar 16, 2017

      HI. They are 2x8s. And there are three. With the top board I think that made it 24". There are 4x4 posts. We dug down about 12" to bury the posts but didn't use concrete. The posts are bolted to the box structure, which is pretty sturdy. I don't really have plans. I can tell you the whole thing is about 25' by 25'. The inner square is 16' x 16'. We added pavers to complete the project. They fill the inside in a herringbone pattern and there's a path from the main house down to the garden. It was a really fun project and has been a great garden that my wife spends a lot of her time in. Cheers.

    • Terry Truett
      on Mar 17, 2017

      Thanks so much for the reply. Looks like a great project and very well built. Can you give me the rough measurements for one of the smaller boxes on the front side. I always build things too big so great to have some measurements as a starting point. Thanks!!

  • M
    on Apr 13, 2017

    exactly, how did you put the "zin" boards up for the shade?
    • SteveAndrea Bourne
      on Apr 14, 2017

      The important part is the 4x4 posts that we bolted to the body of the boxes. We used 12" long 1/2" diameter bolts with nuts and washers, two per post. This ensured the posts weren't going anywhere. We also buried the post about 12" into the ground below the bottom of the box for even more strength.

      Once the posts were up, we cut the 45 deg ends on the bottom-most 2x8 boards and attached them to the posts with 3" deck screws, making sure to keep them level. Then we added the next level of 2x8 boards up - the longest ones. These too, we cut their ends first and then attached to the posts with deck screws. Finally, we put up the final tier of 2x6 boards. We cut the 45 degree ends first and attached to the second tier (the long boards) with metal brackets designed to hold one board on top of another at 90 degrees. You can get all supplies at home depot.

      One note. After two years, the boards have warped some. This is because we used lower quality timber. We're thinking of removing the top most boards and replacing them with cedar 1x2's. Cedar is more expensive by far, but it will look better, won't warp, and will provide a bit more shade.

      Hope it works out for you!
    • Carole White
      on May 4, 2018

      Wow...this is awesome!!!! Thanks for sharing

    • Felicia
      on May 4, 2018

      Beautiful project. About how much did the materials cost? Or do you have a list of materials used, how many of which boards?


  • Amanda Bowman
    on May 4, 2018

    How do you keep the pets out of the garden?

    • SteveAndrea Bourne
      on May 4, 2018

      Hi Amanda, Our two dogs were definitely a problem at first, digging through our precious top soil! So, we got some fencing - I think they call it cattle fence - and cut it into about 4-5' x 30" high sections. It's pretty sturdy stuff, stays rigid. We drilled some holes in the top boards so that we could slide each section into place when we weren't working on the garden. This made a 20" fence that went around the perimeter of all the boxes and kept the dogs out.


  • Kelly-n-Tony
    on May 4, 2018

    What did it cost to do this project? It's so inspiring!

    • SteveAndrea Bourne
      on May 4, 2018

      Keeping in mind this project was pretty huge (25 feet by 25 feet), the materials cost was pretty high. In the thousands. We did keep it as low cost as possible by doing all the work ourselves. It sounds like maybe it would be good for me to actually write up a plan and materials list for a project like this, and perhaps smaller versions that are more affordable? What do you think?

  • Barbara Zimmerman
    on May 5, 2018

    What did you get to fill boxes? All black dirt or something else under it.

  • User
    on May 10, 2018

    Costs? Blue prints? It is just incredibly beautiful!

  • Teresa Lopez
    on May 15, 2018

    That is a great idea. I want a low maintenance yard so this will be a great added addition. What will you be putting on the ground for your table to sit on?

  • Cathy Wallis
    on May 15, 2018

    I absolutely love your garden! I live in the country and I’ve had three back surgeries so my husband put nine raised beds for me isn’t that sweet because I cannot bend over. Now my raised beds are tall there about 4 to 5 feet off the ground so how do you think I could use the same plan only with higher beds?I love the lights and I want to have dinner out there at mine too!

    Thank you, Cathy

  • Pampack@g
    on May 19, 2018

    Are they solar lights or electric sting? Beautiful!!! How do/ will u pull from the top? Or are u planting fruit/ veggies that hang an pull squash cucumbe, tomato 🍅 fabulous idea!!! What will be on ground floor?? Besides a wonderful bestie or table chairs, bench? Great work for sure! Thank You for sharing!

    • Voni Weingart
      on May 11, 2019

      Following her light post, they are electric

    • Jeanne Martin
      on May 13, 2019

      He says he's planning on putting in pavers. Maybe re-read it because all your questions are clearly answered in his post. Or go to his blog for more info.

  • Karen
    on Jun 22, 2019

    Do you have specific instructions for making this project?

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