In an effort to be more earth friendly, our goal was to garden as much as possible (in our already full yard) and make it look good, too. Last spring we added a wooden cover for our pool equipment. Initially we added it for aesthetic purposes but realized how much sun the equipment gets (we're in TX!) and how hard that is on the system - so turned out to be very functional. After a few years of so so crops in the ground (it's red clay), we decided that raised beds were the way to go and wanted them to match the pool shed.
Before you get started the first step is to collect lawn trimmings and branches - this is what will fill the bottom half of your raised beds...we collected for an entire season to fill all of these beds. This will compost over time and save you alot of money on soil/compost.