Build a Keyhole Garden

Combine your love for gardening with a seriously effective workout, building a keyhole garden out of paving stones. 

Attention, body-conscious plant lovers! Combine your love for gardening with a seriously effective workout, building a keyhole garden out of paving stones. A keyhole garden is a circular raised bed with a compost basket in the center and a notch "cut" out for easy access (from above, it looks like a keyhole). The compost basket provides a handy place to toss kitchen scraps and fallen leaves, where they'll turn into additional food for the garden.

Here's how to make a keyhole garden.

Materials needed:

- Marking chalk

- Measuring tape

- Gloves

- Chicken wire

- Wire cutters (optional)

- Paving stones

- Drainage materials

- Nature's Care® Organic Raised Bed Soil 

- Nature's Care® Organic & Natural Raised Bed Plant Food 

- Seeds or plants


1. Find a sunny, level spot. Put a stake in the ground, tie a 6-foot piece of string to it, and use it to guide the drawing of a circle around the stake, using marking chalk. On one side, add a notch opening (about 3 feet of the perimeter of the circle) that extends about 2 feet in toward the center of the circle.

2. Remove the weeds and grass from the circle, or put down some cardboard to keep them from growing.

3. With gloves on, make a tube from chicken wire (aim for about a 12-inch diameter) and stand it up in the center of the circle. It should be several inches taller than the expected height of the finished bed. Add rocks to the bottom of this basket for drainage.

4. Put down the first layer of paving stones, following the outline of the circle and opening. Continue to add layers, keeping the pavers close together and staggering them as you go. Stop when the bed reaches the desired height (3 to 4 feet is typical).

5. Create a drainage layer by filling the bottom of the bed with pieces of broken terra cotta or concrete, small sticks, untreated wood scraps, rocks, or a mixture of these kinds of materials.

6. Fill the rest of the bed with Nature’s Care® Organic Raised Bed Soil, which has lots of organic matter (like kelp meal and earthworm casting) to help encourage your plants’ best growth.

7. To give plants a good start, work Nature’s Care® Organic & Natural Raised Bed Plant Food into the top 6 inches of soil, following label directions.

8. Plant your favorite low-growing vegetables, herbs, or flowers, and water well.

9. Add kitchen and garden scraps regularly to the compost basket.

10. Give your plants an inch of water a week (rainfall counts), and feed plants again after 8 weeks.