A surprisingly elegant garden circle can be constructed from the plain concrete blocks readily available at hardware and home supply stores. Concrete blocks are inexpensive and work well for garden circles as they are porous and make sturdy, protective containers for ivy and various creeping plants. Stacked blocks support a raised bed and can be used as planters themselves, or capped with flat concrete or stone pavers to create a sitting area. This project combines blocks used for planters along with covered blocks for seating.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Garden string
- Wooden stake (at least 12 inches)
- Marking spray paint
- Garden hoe
- Garden rake
- Concrete blocks
- Metal rebar stakes
- Garden soil
- Small stones or coarse sand
- Stone garden pavers or slate
- Creeping plants
- Flowering plants
Decide what diameter (width of the circle) you want for your raised bed.
Cut a piece of garden string to the size of the radius (one-half the diameter) of your desired circle size.
Place a wooden stake firmly into the soil at the centre point you want for your garden circle.
Tie the string to the stake and pull it out in one direction--straight and tight.
Hold onto the end of the string with one hand. Slowly walk the perimeter of the circle, keeping the string straight. Use orange marking spray paint to create the outline of a circle as you walk.
Hoe and rake the soil in the middle of the circle outline. Remove any large rocks, grass and weeds and flatten the soil.
Place a row of concrete blocks into the flattened soil along the inside of the circle outline. Make sure the ends of each block are touching one another.
Drive metal rebar stakes down through the middle of each block at least 6 inches into the ground for increased stability.
Fill the holes in each concrete block with a mixture of garden soil, small stones or crushed rock, filling each hole completely while packing the mixture tightly into the ground.
Place another layer of blocks on top of the first row, alternating block placement so gaps between the blocks in the bottom row are covered by a solid section of concrete on the top.
Drive rebar down through the holes and into the ground for the top layer of concrete blocks for greater stability and longevity.
Fill each hole of the blocks with the soil and stone mixture--except for the holes you want to use as planters.
Fill the planter holes with garden soil only--no stone or sand.
Plant ivy, or any type of creeping plant you desire, in the holes containing the garden soil. Over time the plants will drape down over the sides of the concrete, creating an elegant flowing effect.
Cap the remaining concrete blocks with flat stone garden pavers or slate for a finished look and to add some seating to your garden. Another option is to fill the remaining gaps between the front of the blocks with stucco.
Place garden fabric over the ground, entirely covering the inside of the raised bed to restrict growth of weeds and roots from surrounding plants.
Fill the bed with garden soil.
Enjoy planting any combination of flowers and vegetables in your circular raised bed. Add some large rocks to the mix for a dramatic look.
Tips and warnings
- Plant hardy, evergreen ivy or plants in the concrete blocks.
- Wear heavy gardening gloves when handling concrete blocks.
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