What’s the idea?
Build raised flower beds and improve the look of your garden. They’re a great way to grow fabulous flowers.
What’s the story?
I’ve decided to build some raised flower beds so I can grow flowering plants that wouldn’t normally grow in my garden.
Because in addition to my allotment, I have a garden behind my house but it has heavy clay soil,
Which makes growing more difficult.
You may also have problems with your soil and want some fresh ideas.
Or you may just want to give your garden a new look and grow better flowers.
Building a raised flower bed is also a great way for beginners to start gardening.
People should do this because…?
If your garden is looking tired, raised beds full of flowers provide a stunning visual effect.
It can become a feature, and if you make it large enough it can become a seating area as well.
Because the garden is raised it makes accessing your plants easier. Plus there’s less bending down!
If you have poor soil like me, raised beds will allow you to add compost and organic material more easily, so you’ll have lots more beautiful flowers.
The added advantage is that if your soil is chalky and alkaline,
You can add soil that acid-loving plants like Azaleas and Heathers enjoy.
Because the soil is raised it warms up earlier in the season, so your garden will be full of flowers sooner.
A raised bed is also a great place to grow flowers specifically to cut and bring indoors,
So that you don’t have to take them from the rest of your garden.
And don’t forget the pollinators as they’ll love the blooms.
How do you do it?
How to make a raised bed.
Building raised beds is a very easy process.
Once you have the frame built, decide where you want to put it, a sunny position is best.
First, dig the existing soil over to a spade’s depth and remove any weeds unless the bed is being placed on a hard surface.
Once in place add topsoil mixed with plenty of organic matter,
Such as compost, well-rotted manure, or recycled green waste.
Fill to the top of the sides of the raised bed and spread it evenly.
Now add the plants you have chosen and water them in well.
Choose plants for your raised bed.
Raised garden beds are great places for Alpine and Mediterranean plants because of the good drainage.
Now that you can use acid soil, pick plants like Rhododendrons and Camellias.
In springtime, plant bulbs like Daffodils and Tulips which will provide masses of colour.
If you do plant out bulbs it’s a good idea to cover them with netting first to stop birds and squirrels digging them up.
Sunflower seeds can be planted straight in the ground after the last frost, although I usually sow some in pots inside to give them a head start.
For summer colour grow annuals like Cosmos and Zinnias. Perhaps you could try an old favourite, Dahlias.
Why not plant some vegetables in your flower bed? Try lettuce, radishes or tomatoes and as well as colour you’ll add something tasty too.
Give your flowers a feed.
Flowers need lots of food, so use organic fertilizer regularly to give them a boost.
Keep them watered too, especially when it’s hot as they can dry out faster in raised beds.
Cut your flowers first thing in the morning because their stems are full of water and place them in a bucket of water.
You should remove any leaves at the bottom of the stem to avoid your flowers rotting in the vase.
I grow sweet peas every year and they bloom longer when picked regularly.
Finally, enjoy your new garden.