"Big Box of Fun!" Elevated Beds Bring Maine Garden to New Heights

Meet a Gardener: Patricia Zinkowski

Customer Patricia with Raised BedsPatricia grows vegetables in our Deep Root Cedar Raised Beds.

"Big Box of Fun!" We got a kick out of that headline for a product review of our Eco-Stained Elevated Cedar Planter Box. The reviewer, Patricia Zinkowski in Barters Island, Maine, continued:

"Well built, sturdy, raised planter boxes make patio planting incredibly easy and fun! ... In one day, I planted four boxes by myself! We assembled the boxes using clear instructions included in our kit and used a minimal amount of basic tools. The graphite gray color looks striking on my patio besides my rustic barn. Talk about instant gratification"

Occasionally we get the chance to visit customers, and Patricia's Maine location was relatively nearby. Her proximity to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens sealed the deal! So it was off to Maine for Susan Romanoff, our Creative Director, and Cindy Goodenow, the Merchandise Manager who developed the product.

It's always interesting to see how customers are using our products. Patricia, for example, chose our elevated planter boxes because she could place them over a low stone wall — a use we hadn't seen before.

The two 2x8 Elevated Cedar Planter Boxes are planted with bright red geraniums for a pop of color with a few vegetables tucked in where there was space. This creates a stunning boder to define the patio at the front of the house. Against the house are two 2x4 Elevated Cedar Planter Boxes with flowers and herbs.


Patio planters2x4 Elevated Cedar Planter Boxes with flowers and herbs.

Patricia has a small farm with one alpaca, one horse, four goats and a chicken. When it's time to fill her planters, she gets her soil locally and adds composted manure from her farm. Her vegetables love it!

The small house she lives in was converted from a barn, and the limited square footage means she's learned to be super-efficient in the use of the space indoors — we found it very welcoming and comfortable, with unique touches.

Out back, she gardens in four Deep Root Raised Beds. She grows garlic, artichoke, peas, beans, potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, beets, cucumbers and herbs. The entire garden is enclosed with horse fencing.

Her biggest gardening problems are Japanese beetles, chipmunks, and mosquitoes. She uses organic solutions, such as Dead Bug Brew Pest Control Spray with Spinosad and Repels-All® Liquid Repellent.

Patio plantersPatricia found these rustic chickens and decided they needed a place in her garden. We were charmed by them and how much they looked right at home!


Patio plantersThe blue borage flowers are edible, with a mild cucumber flavor, and contrast beautifully with the geraniums. Patricia grows a combination of edibles, medicinals, and ornamentals in her beds.


Patio plantersThese zucchini blossoms look good enough to eat — and they are!


chardChard foliage makes a pretty backdrop to flowers, and it will provide a summer-long harvest of nutritious greens.


chardBrilliant geranium and nasturtium flowers contrast beautifully with the charcoal-color stain.

Patricia's interest extend far beyond the plants in her yard. She is the co-founder of the Friends of Thai Daughters, an organization that is dedicated to protecting, educating, and empowering girls and young women who are at risk for human trafficking in Northern Thailand. Learn more at Friends of Thai Daughters.

Last updated: 07/13/2023