Woohoo! Homemade Flower Beds!

Wohoo! Custom flower beds!Hi, friends! Today I wanted to share a project we’ve been working on this month that hugely improved our curb appeal! We built flower beds!!!

So, this past summer Jeremy and I had the exterior of our home painted white (it was an orangish brown brick before). During that process, we had quite a few of our bushes removed. We spent a long time at the nursery one day looking at different options for bushes or plants for the front of our home. We didn’t want to do bushes (except for a couple peony bushes, but they are highly seasonal and wouldn’t look good all year round), so we finally decided to go with flower beds that we would rotate with seasonal flowers! We are still keeping some bushes on the sides of the home, but for the front this was an option I was much more excited about. I LOVE seasonal flowers!

A few months ago I got a quote to build brick flower beds, similar in size to what you see here. The quote was ‘SPENSIVE, you guys. So we looked into DIY options and figured out we could cut the cost down from around 5k to around 1k (and these flower beds are BIG!). The best part is, it’s a super simple building project. We’ll share below what supplies we used and the basics of how we built it in case it’s something you want to look into.

For months our house felt super incomplete because, even though it had its fresh coat of white paint, there were no plants of any kind along the front of the house.

Wohoo! Custom flower beds! Here’s how it looks today! I’m so so so so so thrilled with the flower beds. It was the perfect choice for us because they add so much color to our exterior.

Fun fact—I had a mini freak out the week before we painted our home and was like, “Jeremy! If we’re paying all this money to get the house painted, shouldn’t we paint it pink or something instead of just white?” You can guess what his answer was. Haha!

But now that I see it all coming together, with the fun door, the flowers and the changing decorations on the steps, I really think white was the right choice. I mean—obviously!

There’s still so much I want to do next year including working on our grass “bald spots”, trying to grow wildflowers from seeds, growing peony bushes for the first time, planting some bigger bushes (considering white hydrangeas, but still looking at options). And don’t even let me get started on the backyard.

That said, it feels really good to get these first few steps completed. I didn’t even think we’d get around to doing any outdoor projects in 2016, and we knocked out two really big ones. High fives!

Wohoo! Custom flower beds! Basic Instructions-

PVC boards
4″ x 4″ pressure treated wooden posts
-concrete mix
post hole diggers
-power drill
-flower bed lining
-miter saw or circular saw
-staple gun

Once you have measured your space where you’re going to be building the flowerbeds, dig your post holes every 6′ or 8′ depending on what size boards you choose and about 18″ deep. (We used 8′ boards, so the post holes were dug every 7′ 8″ to leave a 2 inch overlap for your continuing boards.) Once you have all of your post holes dug, measure and cut your 4″x4″ posts to whatever height you want your raised beds to be, one post for every hole you dug (keep in mind to add that 18″ from your post hole to your measurement!). Set your posts with concrete by placing your post in the hole and simply dumping the concrete mix in around your post and then adding water and mixing with a piece of scrap wood. With a level, keep checking every side of your post to make sure it is perfectly level. Keep doing this for about a minute until it seems like it’s not going to move on you.

After all of your posts are set, I would recommend letting them harden completely for at least 2 to 3 hours. Once your cement is completely dry, it’s time for your boards. Starting on one side, mount your boards with screws starting from the bottom and working your way to the top, making sure each one is perfectly level as you go. Continue until all boards are fastened. Next, take your fabric bed lining and lay it in the bottom of your flower beds. Using a staple gun, staple your lining up to a few inches above where your soil level will be all along the inside of your beds. Next shovel in your soil. (Or if you’re getting it delivered from a local nursery, see if the person delivering can dump the soil directly into the beds if they have access to back up their truck. It helps save you from a lot of potential back pain!)

Wohoo! Custom flower beds! And I’ll leave you with this fun little snapshot of Penelope and Scarlett helping me a couple weeks ago. How freaking cute is that?!

I love that these flower beds are one part decoration, one part activity! #memories

Hope you are having a great great weekend! xx -Elsie

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson and Collin DuPree. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions

  • I see that your vents around the foundation have been partially covered. What did you do to compensate for this much needed air flow under the house?

  • I love how simple and easy you have made this to follow! Such a simple way to make a house look even more gorgeous. Well done x

  • The day you posted this, I was at Home Depot wandering around the wood section trying to figure out what I needed to make raised garden beds. I got so overwhelmed and left empty handed. I came home and saw this post and was so excited! I can’t wait to go back and get the right materials and build my own garden beds!

    Thanks, Elsie!


  • The front of your house is so beautiful with all the work you’ve done! I love that you can change out the flowers seasonally and allow for different colored accents as seasons and tastes change.

  • Elise, you may know this already but I thought I would share a few tips about peonies! We have them in our yard. They like indirect sun and don’t plant them near windows or doors. They’re flowers are sweet and they attract really big ants! I love our peonies and wouldn’t trade them for anything, but the ants are less than pleasant.

  • The outside of your home looks lovely. The flowerbeds are a perfect addition.

  • Oh my God, I LOVE your house! Where I live in Hong Kong, I basically share a 300 sq ft flat with three other housemates. If I had a house I’d so decorate it like yours!
    – Charmaine

  • This is so cute! Your house is adorable – the white was such a good idea (and you still got the pink from the door – bonus!)

  • Great project! And so many options when it comes to planting! Maybe it would be fun to add some spring blubs now for bloom in spring? I live in the Netherlands where spring bulbs are very popular and I like to use lots in my garden designs. There’s so much more than tulips and daffodils – if you plant different kinds of bulbs you can have contionuous bloom for moths and before any perennials or annuals start to bloom.

  • Did you line the brick with something? You need a layer between the brick and the planters, not just liner on the bottom.

    Looks super cute though! I’m just worried it’s not structurally safe.

  • It looks great!
    Just one thought: changing out seasonal plants can get expensive. I think it’s why people settle for shrubs that look decent even in winter.
    Also: mulch! It reduces watering needs in summer and also weeds.

  • Did I mention that I love your work, ABM? Never?! Oh, my God… I love your work! You are so inspiring! Thank you!

  • This is so so pretty and ideal. Recently I started my own garden and even managed to grow lemons, dates and avocado plants – all straight out of seeds!


  • This is such a beautiful task to do with your family! I just found this blog and I am eager to read more!

  • What a beautiful touch to the front of your home =o)


  • Ah, the only bit I saw was the fabric liner at the bottom. Good luck!

    It is quite lovely.

  • Did you line the bed with something to keep from doing water damage to the house? And slope it so that water drains away?

  • Wonderful. A realy great DIY. And it is perfect for your house!
    I love it.


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