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Growing Flowers In The Air

Sometime the place to plant your favorite perennials is above ground. Sounds impossible? It's not!

CBS News's home improvement contributor, Bob Vila, went to Martha's Vineyard to demonstrate how to give any garden a lift.


As long as the design is simple rectangles and squares, anyone can add architectural interest to their yard with a raised flower bed. A good lumberyard will precut your landscaping timber, so all you have to do is assemble and nail the pieces together.

Be careful not to use old railroad ties because they're treated with a preservative called creosote. It's fine for train tracks, but it will kill plants. Landscaping timbers aren't treated with any harmful preservatives.

Assembling the structure:

  • First, determine how high you want the planter to be and the dimensions. For This Morning's flower bed (about 4 feet wide, 12 feet long and 1 foot high), lumber was precut in 4-foot and 8-foot sections.
  • Next, dig a trench to allow the first row of lumber to rise about 2 inches above the ground. This serves as a base. The ends can be staggered for a nice little effect.
  • Then put the second level on and nail it to the first using 4-inch nails. And since the ones selected for CBS News are 6-inch by 6-inch timbers, only one more level is needed to reach the desired height.
  • Secure the third level to the second, then you are finished with the hard part. Now you have to fill it with soil. Consult your local nursery to find the appropriate soil.
For more information about Bob Vila, visit his Web site.

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