How to Build a Raised Garden Bed Out of Natural Stone

Written by denise brown
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Not only does a raised garden bed add visual interest to a landscape, but it also makes tending the plants easier on your back. You can build your own flowerbed out of natural stone, or you can purchase brick or landscape pavers to build it. It takes physical strength to set the stones, and you may want to take several days to build it. Take care to lift heavy stones in a manner that doesn't hurt your back.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Garden hose
  • Rope
  • Flour
  • Tape measure
  • Gravel
  • Sand
  • Hand tamper
  • Level
  • Hammer
  • Chisel

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place a garden hose or piece of rope in the location where you plan to build the raised garden bed. Sprinkle flour over the hose or rope to mark where the outer boundary is going to be. Remove the hose, being careful not to disturb the flour markings.

  2. 2

    Measure the average width of the natural stones you are using. Dig a trench inside your flour boundary that is 2 inches wider than the stones and 3 inches deep.

  3. 3

    Scatter small gravel 2 inches deep in the trench. Shovel sand on top of the gravel. Use a hand tamper to pack the trench to within ½ inch of the top of the trench. Try to make the base as level as possible.

  4. 4

    Select the stones you want to set for the first course or row. Try to alternate between one large stone and two or three smaller ones. Set large stones in the corners. Place the stones on the sand base and press them firmly into position.

  5. 5

    Set the next course of stones. If you used a large stone on the course below, try to set two or three smaller stones over it. The exception is corners. They should always have large stones. Use a hammer and chisel to trim stones to fit. Continue setting courses of stone until the flowerbed is the desired height.

  6. 6

    Put the capstone course in place. This top row of stones is typically larger and it may be wider. The extra weight holds the stones below in position and stabilises the flowerbed.

  7. 7

    Put at least 2 inches of sand in the bottom of the flowerbed to allow for drainage. Fill the rest of the flowerbed with soil suitable for the types of flowers you intend to plant in it.

Tips and warnings

  • A wheelbarrow can help you move stones closer to the work site.

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