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.
My Unique Flower Bed Project.
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.
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.
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.
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.