Unique Garden Bed Designs and Ideas


Ideas for building out your garden beds…Looking for a less “conventional” approach and need a little inspiration to do so? Make it more artistic looking and increase the curb appeal by taking a little different tack when you plot out your prospective beds. 

So if “square” 4 x 4 or 4 x 8 isn’t what you have in mind, take a look at a few more unique and creative plot ideas that are not difficult to replicate, or emulate them slightly and make it your own. Hey it’s your backyard,you should aim to make the most of it.


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garden bed designs

Concrete Blocks

Concrete blocks are a great way to go, because you can line them up in many different ways, you could create a “U” or “L” shaped design (or possibly a “keyhole” which is also popular) and as an added bonus you can plant smaller crops, or those with shallower roots, such as herbs in the block openings, too.

You’d probably need about 20 of them at least to get a viable layout going on, but the versatility of these cinderblocks gives you many possibilities for a classy looking design.

Totes in a Row

When I first started gardening (circa 2015, I think…), I sought out a few large Rubbermaid totes …I went to thrift stores and got a few on the cheap that were just the right size – 18 gal – the same size I happened to use for my cats’ litter boxes. That was a great idea as I didn’t need to worry about the lids being missing , as i didn’t need them for this project ! All I did was to use my drill for a few drainage holes in the bottom, and the rest was easy.

Image credit: ohaquafina11

I thought of this as “Container gardening” (another great approach when you have limited space) but when you have enough of these totes lined up, surprise, surprise, you really have a raised bed! A good approach if you’re short on space, as you could line them up anywhere. You could layer up on the materials under the soil, (the author recommends sticks over gravel) and build out from there (something I didn’t do, that I should have.)

Doesn’t have to be 18 gal (that’s just the ideal size) I planted 2 of each veggie in each tote, you can do the same., be sure you plant the same or companion plants together, or those that will cross pollinate.

Old Tires

Some people use old tires as planters, and they will even spray paint them too, I’m not sure i would use these for my own crops as old tires may leach out chemicals into the soil that might not be good for vegetable crops you’ll eventually harvest, SO if you want you could save these for your flowers or non edibles instead.

Kiddie Pools

Gotta love this one….Once the kiddos outgrow their cute plastic wading pool, what do you do with it now? Kiddie pools can be repurposed into just about anything. Mine eventually became a sandbox – good times. Once I tried to turn another into a micro goldfish pond, but that was a huge mistake. So there’s a limit to what it can be repurposed into….but these are super for growing stuff.

And all you’d need to do is put some drainage holes into the bottom. I would focus on crop plants that have shallower roots, like “bush” type plants, herbs, strawberries, etc., as a rule, kiddie pools are only about a foot deep.

Use Sheet metal to Build a Structure for beds

Sheet metal could serve you well as a garden bed substrate with the right reinforcements – check out what this guy did, I like the “C” shape, and the use of drain pipes, which the author says is to prevent being scratched by the metal edges. Worth looking into if you are into “industrial chic”.

Image credit: Image by Dan Marshall

Tiered Designs

You could easily get more crop plants into less space if you took the tiered, stacked approach, and produce a striking conversation piece and curb appeal at the same time. It could be a square, pyramid, triangle. Just be sure they each have adequate space.

pyramid design bed garden

I Saved the Best For Last…Repurpose a Race Car into a Garden Bed?

Or should I call it a “car-den bed” LOL…. For all you guys out there, what do you think of this, a kids’ toy race car, or young kid’s bed, transformed into a real garden bed? Pretty spiffy right?? I’m not sure how he worked out the drainage part of things, but…Love it! Now that’s using your noodle!

Image credit: izzyinst

You could take this approach to an object you long away stored away that your children outgrew or another thing that’s lost its use, could you repurposed it into a garden bed like this? If it’s deep enough and can be drilled, (very important, just lining the bottom with gravel doesn’t work very well and can lead to waterlogging and bottom end rot in plants. Learned that the hard way with one container I did that with.) and everything pretty much bit the dust.

So I hope you enjoyed this list and contributions, which one of these was your favorite?



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