Introduction: Weave Your Own Elevated Flower Bed
First of all: please excuse, if my english is some kind of funny - I am german ;-). But let's start with how you can weave your own elevated flower bed ... or fence. You can easily use this technique for other things too. I'd also like to mention, that this is the first time, that I've woven something like that. This confirms that it is really pretty simple. You should only be aware, that it is more difficult to weave something which is linear, since it is not so solid. So if you like to do a fence, you might want to make it meandering...
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Step 1: Gathering 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 Febuary, 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...
Step 2: Soak Your Roods
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.
Step 3: 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 lenght 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 stong 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.
Step 4: Finish Weaving and Arrange You 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 insight to the outsight, but no roots etc.
Then I was ready to start my elevated flower bed: You start with some branches, than add some garden waste, some compost and some good mulch...
Step 5: 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...