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Mid-Atlantic Gardening: Playing with Blocks

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Raised beds stage an eye-catching foundation planting. What have you done to enhance your home's curb appeal?

house front
edgers

I recently attended my nephew’s graduation and was thoroughly impressed with my brother’s landscape efforts. He’s been tackling projects with concrete patio blocks—and the results are gorgeous.

He has a newer home, complete with no topsoil. After a few years of futilely trying to grow foundation plantings in clay, my brother decided to install raised beds. He stacked diamond wall blocks three high to build a low wall. The blocks measure 8 inches long by 3.5 inches high and form a planting bed 10.5 inches deep. He filled the bed with 7 inches of soil topped with 3.5 inches of mulch. The blocks sit on a gravel base that's 4 to 6 inches deep.

My brother chose a gravel base over sand because he likes the sharper drainage gravel provides. As he lay blocks, he leveled them in two directions: front to back and left to right.

hose box

Patio stone pavers form stepper paths in the bed. Stones provide a clear path for dragging the garden hose.

The hose reel tucks into the corner beneath the eaves, where nothing will grow. Filling this area with 10 inches of gravel creates a maintenance-free spot.

edging

Patio blocks free you to be creative as you build. My brother is an avid camper and gardener, so he designed a small section to house a boot scraper that keeps muddy shoes to a minimum.

Raised beds stage an eye-catching foundation planting. What have you done to enhance your home's curb appeal?

See more Mid-Atlantic Gardening Articles.