I love to grow our fruits and vegetables as often as possible. The mature avocado tree in the back yard produces fruit for nearly half the year, and in the last six months I have also grown squash, strawberries, peppers, onions, carrots, and radishes. Unfortunately, however, these gardens are easily overrun by the traveling Bermuda grass we’ve attempted to grow in the partially shaded backyard.
One of Melanie’s very useful suggestions in our landscape design included some large raised garden planters. We’d downloaded some plans for planters, but when I came across already-built wooden planters that included clumping bamboo (one of our planned plants for a privacy screen) for only $200, I jumped quickly. We rented a Home Depot truck, drove to Santa Monica, and picked up the planters with the bamboo.
These 8-ft planters aren’t perfect, but they are already built and are a great size for the growing I plan on doing. We lifted them to the backyard with only small difficulty, then slightly dug out their foundations to ensure the planters would be level with the lines of the cinderblock wall they adjoin.
I found it quite difficult to choose colors for the planters, but eventually settled on matching them to the house itself: pinkish overall, with white wood details. I will also be stenciling on a Craftsman-style design I’ll be utilizing in multiple places inside the home.
In order to avoid purchasing a cost-prohibitive amount of gardening soil (not to mention transporting that soil up the stairs to the yard), we filled the bottom ¾ of the planters with old wood from the large woodpile we inherited. Many of these pieces are too large to burn without quite a bit of chopping, so using them for the planters completed two tasks in one!
We have yet to plant this year’s crops, but installing these good-looking planters is a huge upgrade and a firm step in the right direction.