Theodore Leaf On How To Make A DIY Raised Bed Garden
Since moving back to Los Angeles after two years of living in a fourth-floor walk up in Chelsea, I have found myself craving time outdoors.
This is a different kind of outdoors, not the “sipping rose at a sidewalk cafe” kind, rather the “roll up your sleeves and plug into what’s going on out there” kind. I must admit, my gardening past times have historically consisted of avoiding any outdoor work ever– I would have rather cleaned the entire house top to bottom than pulled a single weed. Now, I am excited to connect to my tiny space tucked away in the Hollywood Hills and to see what we can grow here. This all starts with a single 8ft x 2ft elevated garden box and an intention to grow delicious ingredients to support endless dinner parties.
“I’m excited to connect to my tiny space tucked away in the Hollywood Hills… This all starts with a single 8ft x 2ft elevated garden box and an intention to grow delicious ingredients to support endless dinner parties.”
Without any experience I was at a loss for how to start, and that’s when fate brought me to the amazing people here at Garden Collage. I came in to meet the team and chat, and after hours of fun discussing plants I left with a beautiful roadmap that was now mine to put into action.
With a little searching I discovered this well-edited collection of garden bases at raisedbeds.com, and soon I decided on this 8×2 cedar elevated garden. I was shocked that the whole thing actually arrived at my doorstep (thank you kind delivery person who trekked down 22 stairs!). The whole thing came together in about an hour (thanks to Good Drill and not without a few mess-ups on my end) and before you knew it, we had a garden just begging for some gorgeous plants. Armed with my plan I met with my “garden wizard” Leon (he literally looks like a larger version of the Wizard of Oz) and he helped me fill the car with all of the plants we needed to bring this to life.
“As the pole beans start to climb the trellis and the eggplants reveal their fruit, I am so excited for the day we host a dinner party in the garden and the vegetables and herbs are grown right here.”
All of you seasoned gardeners know this feeling of excitement when you get all of your plants in the ground and step back to see them. This was new to me, but I get it now: the connection and responsibility you feel when you take ownership over a space by planning it is really profound. After all of the “pretty stuff” was finished, it was time to make sure this didn’t end up like a sad dead basil plant from Trader Joe’s. The solution for me [living in L.A.] is automatic irrigation; with traveling and the complete lack of rain in Los Angeles, it’s really the only hope for this little garden. It is shocking how easy and affordable putting together your own drip irrigation system is. I literally bought a kit and put it together in about an hour, and it’s pretty amazing to see it work. We have the one system expanded to take care of both the herb garden and the vegetable garden on one line.
As the pole beans start to climb the trellis and eggplants reveal their fruit, I am so excited for the day when we can host a dinner party in the garden with vegetables and herbs grown right here. Now that I am spending so much time tending to the yard and gardens, I wonder: Who is going to clean the house now?