Need a raised garden bed? Here is an idea that’s easy to do, beautiful and essentially free!
Build your own elevated flower/garden bed by weaving branches and twigs – a wattle raised garden bed. Though this attractive garden bed may seem complicated, the technique is actually very easy to do. Even big kids can make their own little wattle garden bed – it’s that easy. :)
The elevated wattle flower bed featured in this project is great for growing some plants or produce just enough for a small family. It’s also a beautiful addition to your garden that makes tending to plants easier on the back.
You can also use this technique to make fences and garden edging. Read on to learn how to make a wattle garden bed and be inspired by more wattle ideas below!
- Lots of long twigs and branches (Willow, Dogwood, Cornel, and more depending on what is available in your area)
- Strong, thick, straight Sticks (for the frame)
- Drum Barrel of water (or any large container of water for soaking the rods)
- Garden Fabric
- Branches, Garden Waste, Compost, Soil and Seeds/Plants
Gather the rods: First of all you have to collect the rods. You can use willow of course. But dogwoods looks very nice too (I hope, this is the correct word – I also found the expressions “cornel” and “cornus”). Mind that the rods should be flexible and long enough. And that they have an diameter of app. 1 to 2 centimeters (0,4 to 06 inch). It looks very pretty, if you collect rods of different colors.
And please keep in mind, that the best time to cut the rods is January. Plus, you must not cut them after February, because it then damages the plant. I was lucky, because I found a big pile of cut rods near my house. So maybe you also want to watch out for landscapers, that do some park cleaning in the spring…
Soak the rods: To make the rods smooth and flexible, you should soak them at least one night. As you can see, I simply used our garden pond to do so. If you have none, you can also use a rain barrel – or you bath tub.
Choose form and function, then start weaving: After supplying some thick, straight sticks, that will serve as frame for our elevated bed (or fence), you have to choose the size and form of your woven something: The length of the sticks defines the height, the distance and position the form and size of the bed (or fence). As I already said, it might be a bit more difficult to weave a straight fence, since you loose some firmness, if you weave linearly.
Then start to weave the rods. I do not know, if there are any special tricks – I just tried to start the weaving of every new rod with one stick after the other. As you can see, I also used some thin bamboo sticks, since I had not enough strong ones. But never the less, the bed is quite solid. Probably these thin sticks will make the elevated bed lasting not as long as it could using only thick sticks… But that I only assume.
Finish weaving and arrange elevated flower bed: When you reach the height, you wish to have, you can finish your weaving by braiding the ends of your rods into the tracery. My rods were mainly too thick to do so – and I also decided, that it looks quite fine for me (actually I was pretty proud ;-)). I then furnished the tracery on the inside with a special garden canvas, that let water diffuse from the inside to the outside, but no roots etc.
Then I was ready to start my elevated flower bed: You start with some branches, then add some garden waste, some compost and some good mulch…
Seed and plant: Thus I was quite in time to seed my vegetables in April: carrots, beetroot, green squash and pumpkins – which then went into my nice elevated flower bed in the middle of May…
Thanks to ikoglin for this great project.
Here’s a recap of the photos to make it easier. We’ve also included more wattle edging ideas for inspiration. Click on any image to enlarge it…