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Building a Raised Bed with Deck Boards

Some time ago I shared our plans for adding more privacy into the garden. Our garden is fairly exposed to passer-bys due to the cut out fencing that looks straight through into our garden. Instead of just replacing the fencing, I wanted to combat the privacy issues by adding some climbing plants instead. Doing this will also add more colour and life into the garden.

To add these climbers, I needed to create a raised bed. I thought long and hard about how I wanted to do this. Ideally I would have loved to have made it out of railway sleepers. I love the thickness and aged look of these, but at £10-£20 a sleeper, it was hugely beyond our price range. Grant suggested using reclaimed scaffold boards instead, but these tend to come in lengths of 3m, which aren't fit for transporting in our car. With the added delivery costs, this was still out of our limits. After much much researching, I discovered some reversible deck boards at Wickes. On one side they look like your average grooved decking board and on the other side, they look just like planks of thick wood. Perfect! They were on a 4 for the price of 3 offer at the time, and a total of 12 planks only cost £35. Bargain! Although these are already treated for outdoor use, I did use some decking preserver to give added treatment and reassurance. This is also pretty essential for any end cuts anyway. I applied this on a rainy day indoors - our hallway looked somewhat hectic...

The consistency of the decking preserver was quite watery, but it dries completely clear and is suitable for staining over the top.

We also bought two lengths of treated CLS stud timber which was much thicker than the deck boards (and slightly more expensive) which we would use as the supports of the raised border. I got Grant to cut a couple of planks so that I could stagger them in formation which will add stability to the border. He also cut the support timber to length, and of course I re-treated all new end cuts.

I laid out the decking on the floor in the formation in which I wanted to secure it all together. I decided to secure it together from the back so that no screws would be showing on the finished side. I also left a gap of a few mm between each board, in case of wood expansion in the future. It's looking a little rough here, but hopefully you get the picture of how it's fixed together. Each plank is secured onto the support timber which will sit on the inside of the bed. I used decking screws to do this.

Before securing the decking into place, I gave the wood two coats of a decking stain. This one is by Ronseal in the colour 'Rustic Pine'. I absolutely love the colour! I think it works really well with the colour of the reed screening too.

After laying out the decking and fixing all the pieces together, (no photos to show this, sorry!) I then fixed the border to both the floor and the wall. I used some brackets to hold it to the floor, and some small lengths of wood to attach the border to the existing fence posts against the brick wall.

I think it's looking pretty darn good! I especially love the fact that there's no screw heads on the finished side. I think this really makes it look seamless.

I used some weed control fabric on the inside of the border which I secured in place with some staples and nails. This will stop the compost from leaking through those few mm gaps in the wood I left.

I filled the bed up with some soil from around the garden, and bought a large pack of compost to lay over the top. Our neighbour also generously gave us some she had spare too, I do love a good neighbour!

I think it could do with a little more filling, but I'll save that for when I start planting. I'm hugely pleased with how it's all turned out, and I'm already eyeing up which climbers I want to buy :)


(rounded to the nearest pound)

New Tools Purchased:

Materials Used:
Decking x12 £35
Support Timber £10
Screws £10
Brackets £10
Decking Stain £24
Decking Preserver £10
Weed Control Fabric £5
Compost £6

Total: £110

1 comment

  1. Thank you very much for sharing this informative post.

    Builder Merchant


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