Build a Circular Raised Garden Bed
By Mark Clement
Inspired by Stonehenge, I call this project Plant-henge. I love projects that combine carpentry and landscaping; cool layout, dirt, big changes and my chainsaw. I get to use mac-daddy tools and make a year-round impact on my landscape.
Part of my design goal here was creating visual texture while filling an empty landscape and adding near-year round color. I used vertically oriented round Southern Yellow Pine poles for the structure.
The poles are affordable, scalable (you can make this project any size you want), and they’re easy to work with. Plus, they’re safe for flowers, food and whatever else you want to grow out of the ground. Let’s get into it.
My raised garden bed has two circles, a larger one with a small one inside it. The outside circle is 6-feet in diameter, the inner 2 feet in diameter.
(4) 2x6x8 pressure-treated (PT) boards
(16) 5x8x8 PT round posts
(50) 8-in. structural screws
1# 3-in. deck screws
Tools: Chainsaw, Impact driver, Assorted hand tools
Plants: Plants obviously depend on climate and critters—like deer. Where I live, deer eat tulips like Chips Ahoy but leave daffodils alone, which we planted here for Spring color. Check with your garden center.
Also, think about winter color, which—despite this being a Spring issue—you’ll see here (it was shot last Fall so we could be ready for this issue). Ornamental cabbage and kale along with pansies keep vibrancy and color in the landscape once it gets cold. Bottom line, you can put whatever you want in there for nearly year-round color.
Build a Sawbuck. Since my chainsaw is my mainframe cutting tool here, I built a sawbuck to make cutting easier and faster.
I bridged three poles with 2×6 to create a workstation that would trap the round poles while I cut them. It kept the work stable and flat and kept my saw’s chain out of the dirt.
Focal Point. I’ve seen the willy-nilly garden hose layout some landscapers depend on. The carpenter in me has a tough time being that imprecise. For this micro-henge, I sunk a structural screw in the center of the circle location, then hooked my tape on it.
Pull your tape half the diameter of the circle (ex: 3 feet for a 6-foot circle) and “swing” it. Working alone, I gouged a path in the grass with my Hyde painters’ tool. Or, have someone follow you with a bottle of chalk. Alone or in tandem, chalk or spray-paint the line before digging.