By Mark Cardwell
GARDENING EXPERT Donna Balzer has
made a career out of helping people garden
better. So when her sister suffered a stroke
that left her unable to bend down and tend a
traditional row garden, Balzer built her an
elevated, or raised-bed, system that allowed
her to continue enjoying her outdoor passion.
“Raised beds can be terribly practical,” says
gardenguru.net), a Vancouver Island,
British Columbia–based gardening writer
and speaker. “They address issues of physical
ability [as well as] space and convenience.”
A form of gardening in which soil is
enclosed in frames or receptacles made of
wood, plastic, resin or rock that are from 6
inches to waist-high above the ground, raised
beds provide easy gardening access to people
with physical disabilities that prevent them
from kneeling or bending over.
“I call it containerized gardening,” says
Stephen Woods, owner of Native Woods
Nurseries near the town of Midland, Ontario.
According to Woods, raised-bed gardens
were a little-used decorative landscaping feature when he and his wife, Lori, started their
MARCH 2015 The Costco Connection 31
The Costco Connection
Raised and elevated garden beds are
available in select Costco locations and at
Costco.com. A variety of gardening tools,
plants and seeds are also available in
Costco warehouses and at Costco.com. CONTINUED ON PAGE 32
garden business in
the early 1980s.
“Some people would incorporate them
into their gardens and around swimming
pools or along the perimeter of their house or
property to highlight flowering shrubs and
vegetative plants like trailing petunias [or] to
give a nice cascading effect to trailing foliage
plants like ivy,” says Woods.
In recent years, he adds, raised beds have
become all the rage in gardening circles.
Much of that demand is being driven by people in need of access and practicality.
“With a raised bed they can sit or kneel
on the wall to do their gardening,” says
Woods, a Costco member. “It just makes
things easier for them.”
The popularity of raised
garden beds is growing
home & garden
Using elevated beds, such as
these pictured here, or raised
beds, offers easy access and
often better soil and fewer
diseases than growing directly
on the ground.