Those who have have read my herb garden posts for some time will know that the only way to effectively grow herbs at Cae Non is to use raised beds. The first batch of raised beds I built were made of scrap wood and were rectangular. This poses several problems, especially if you’re using offcuts of scrap wood of varying thicknesses and sizes – getting the planks to meet up in the corners is rather challenging.
However, almost by accident I found a better way of utilising waste materials which make rather nice raised beds. The trick is to start off by making a triangle, with two tyres stacked on top of each other in each corner. Fill the tyres with soil or compost. These can be used as planters or large pots for plants you’d rather keep under control (especially true of creeping plants like mint or bugle).
Next, get some long wood screws and individually screw the ends of each of the planks to the side of the tyre stack. As the tyres are flexible, You don’t need amazing precision carpentry skills, and if you use 3 screws at the end of each plank, the sides of the bed will be really strong, with enough ‘give’ to move slightly without breaking (a consideration if using ratty old planks.
Line the bottom of the bed with old rubble sacks to retard weeds, fill with good quality topsoil, ideally topped with compost or a mulch, and you’re there.
It can take quite a while to fill with topsoil, but the shape allows easy access. You can extend the bed by adding three side triangles butting onto the first bed.
The finished article with a grass mulch after settling down for a couple of months.