Here is a quick tutorial on how to build your own terrace small garden.
First of all consider the position in which you want to build your garden, once finished and filled with soil it will be impossible to move. You must also consider that one of the sides will provide the drainage, so it must be set close to a drainage hole or pipe. Last but not least, the garden should receive lots of sun. Otherwise not much will grow, no matter how well you build it. (Click to enlarge)
After determining the location and choosing the size (the one we built is 150 x 150 cm) you should decide what wood essence you would like to use. Considering the fact that the terrace garden will be exposed to weather all year long I chose a pre-treated spruce that has a sort of greenish look and ages very nicely into a greyish vintage look in just a couple of seasons.
For simplicity we chose tongue-and-groove planks, the result is very rustic and yet very nicely finished. For holding the planks together we used wooden half-round poles. For the top railing we used a 10 cm wide rounded plank.
You must now cut 4 tongue-and-groove planks for each side. The length of the planks will determine the size of the garden, so in our build I cut them to be 150 cm long. The upper plank of each side must have it’s “tongue” removed in order to support the railing. The final combined height of these planks will determine the height of the wooden poles. You can now glue them together taking care of stagging them by the thickness of the plank (2 cm. in our case) and remove the end of the plank tongue so the finished panels will interlock. You can then screw the planks together with the support poles. You should obtain four panels that look like this.
You can now combine the four panels with iron L shaped supports. For the top railing cut the 10 cm planks with a 45° angle and then screw it into the half-round poles.
Now it is time to prepare the water proof cover to place the soil in. You can use a woven plastic canvas for this. First fix the 4 edges of the canvas to a small wooden guide with some staples. Afterwards fix the guides to the panels, taking care in folding the corners up again the panels. To prepare the holes for the drainage fix three wood blocks that will pinch the canvas onto the panels. Then drill a hole through the block, the canvas and the panels. You will need a few of these holes, depending on the size of your garden. (Click to enlarge)
The drainage will be ensured by a hose rigged on a plank. Prepare it by carving some holes in the hose and by fixing it to the plank with screws. Then cover the holes with some pieces of mosquito net so that the soil won’t clog the hose. Fit the rigged planks with some extra hose coming through the holes in the panel and add a wooden block under the other end to ensure an inclination for the water to drain. For completing the draining system fill the bottom of the garden with some expanded clay pebbles. You can also add fillers like old brics, stones or similar. (Click to enlarge)
Finally cover all the drainage parts with some more mosquito net, then fill the garden with soil and you can start right away to grow your own vegetables! (Click to enlarge)