Design: Tall Beds for Deep Roots

We recently completed a new garden installation in Sherman Oaks, CA, where a homeowner wanted tall raised beds to remind her of her garden in Oregon. Stately, tall beds with plenty of root space for veggies to grow big and strong. Gardenerd was happy to oblige.

The space was already mapped out with a foundation of decomposed granite. So we knew drainage would be great. Located near the family pool, the garden would be out of the way enough to grow safely, but still provide a visual spectacle for guests.

The homeowner recently remodeled the property and left a blank canvas for a new vegetable garden.

The homeowner recently remodeled the property and left a blank canvas for a new vegetable garden.

We used an existing valve dedicated for the veggie garden to run irrigation to each bed location. We also included two flower pots, one in the veggie garden and one in the grass across the pool, to tie the whole design into the existing landscape. Irrigation was laid for those as well.

Galvanized watering trough makes a great herb and flower bed.

Galvanized watering trough makes a great herb and flower bed.

The homeowner wanted a rustic look, like their garden in Oregon, but instead of making the entire garden out of watering troughs (which would absolutely bake plant roots in scorching Sherman Oaks summers) we opted for one herb bed made from a 4-foot diameter trough instead.

In progress. Hauling in the mammoth raised beds.

In progress. Hauling in the mammoth raised beds.

The rest would be made from cedar, built to last and stylish to boot. The neighborhood practically came out to watch the arrival when these babies rode in on a trailer. It took 4 workers to bring in each level of the beds, which stacked 3-high to form 36″ tall planters.

We used leftover bricks from the pool edge to anchor a flower pot nearby.

We used leftover bricks from the pool edge to anchor a flower pot nearby.

We planted fall crops in the veggie beds including brassicas, peas, sweet peas, lettuces, radishes, beets, garlic, and shallots. The flower pots and herb garden were planted with beneficial insectaries including nasturtiums, alyssum, and calendula.

The finished garden, just planted with the homeowner.

The finished garden, just planted with the homeowner.

The final product is magazine worthy, if I do say so myself. In fact, the garden (fingers crossed) will be part of a local Sherman Oaks magazine spread in spring. The homeowner plans to hang a sign on the galvanized trough to welcome guests to the garden. She’ll be harvesting greens before long, and is delighted knowing that now she can garden in cool weather, unlike in her Oregon garden.

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