Back in 2010, I espied a couple of old palettes in a neighbour’s front garden and thought these might make wonderful raised beds for my own front garden. I spent an afternoon deconstructing the palettes and building the beds (here’s a ‘How to’), and then filled them with a mixture of topsoil and lovely rich compost as the soil below is rather heavy clay.
A year later and the beds were flourishing. In fact, they’ve been wonderful spots for experimentation ever since, and I’ve loved growing heaps of salad leaves, herbs, tomatoes
and my annual tulip display (grown in the front garden as squirrels decimate these bulbs in the back garden).
However, this wood doesn’t last forever, and despite a bit of mending here and there, these beds are now well past their best and in need of replacement. The question is, what with?
I visited Deb Nagan’s very inspiring garden in Brixton in 2013 as Part of the Chelsea Fringe,
and her lovely metal raised beds have always stuck in my memory. Such gorgeousness combined with such great practicality.
So where to get some metal raised beds?
In the past we’ve used Everedge to supply us with metal edging for our street tree pits,
and they also have a large range of other products for raised beds and planters. Following some very helpful discussions, I plumped for two (very reasonably priced) custom-made raised beds, 20cm high in Cor-Ten Steel. This naturally rusts over time, but they also supply galvanised steel which won’t rust, and powder coated steel which can give you different colours.
I love the deliciously warm colour of the rusted steel and its rather industrial look sits well in our urban setting. Peter from Everedge has added, in the comments below, that you can also have rolled edges if you’re worried about safety, but I can’t say that this crossed my mind when I was planning the bed.
It took a little while to construct as you have to bolt various lengths and corners together, but these raised beds should last for many years to come and I’m eager to see how my red and white Arsenal tulip display will look in this rusted bed come April.
P.s. I’ve also noticed that Harrod Horticultural sell a cream 30cm high snazzy ‘Retro’ raised bed. Not rusted steel, but groovy nonetheless.