When I was planning this garden, here's what I considered:
1. I wanted to use soaker hoses to water the plants and also didn't want to waste space between beds so the garden is one giant bed rather than eight separate 8'x4' beds.
2. Another reason why I made one continuous bed was for ease of installing deer fencing. If the beds had been separate, I would've had to build the fence around the beds, which means more fence posts, more mulch, and more fencing. The way the garden is now allows for one-100' roll of fencing to go around the entire perimeter with some extra left over for the door.
3. Maximizing lumber was essential. The dimensions of the garden allow for that. Even though I have to step into some of the beds to reach plants, it was worth it to me to keep the project economical. I used 1"x6"x12' boards and ended up needing 17 with little scrap left over. Each color on the plan above is a separate 12' board.
4. I wanted to be able to enjoy my garden. That's where the cut into the bed comes in at the top, straight back from the door. I left enough space for two chairs and a table.
After my plan was set and Bobby said he thought it was a good plan too, we started building! This is the site:
these ones on both sides of the join. I think in the future I'm going to connect some metal braces across the beds to help relieve some of the weight of the soil on the sides, but for now these are working just fine. Next, I laid out the pattern on the inside to make sure everything would fit alright, then we stood like dorks in front of it for a picture.
Next job was to put up the deer netting. I used this netting I bought on Amazon here and it's kept out the deer so far! If you have bunny issues though, this netting will not stop them from chewing through. I also put some short metal fencing around the bottom perimeter of the garden to keep the little guys out.
|Make 'em work|
After the door came the planting...
Then the mulch... (note that this whole project is over the course of about four months)
I used landscaping weed fabric and pegs to hold it down on the paths. For the mulch, I purchased eight bags of cedar mulch at Lowe's because even though it costs more than having it delivered by truck, I needed less than a yard for the paths and the minimum to have it delivered was three yards. The bags were super easy anyway, because I could transport them in my car, then easily haul, dump and spread where I needed it.
And .. That's it! Added a couple chairs and a table and it's complete!
This has been a really great garden. I was concerned when I first started building that I wouldn't dedicate much time to it since I hadn't with my gardens in the past, but I've found that it's so nice to easily access the beds and to have a nice place to relax, read and even eat in the garden. I've been regularly spending time out there and it's really therapeutic after being in the office all day. I'm so happy I built it!