Our raised bed design is several years in the making. After many variations, we have settled-on this design. It is lightweight, strong, inexpensive to build, attractive, and decay-resistant. We use galvanized corrugated metal for the sides, so there is no wood in contact with the soil. We use a western red cedar to frame, which resists decay, and is strong enough to walk on, sit on, and move around.
There are many virtues of raised bed gardening. The beds are moveable, easy to reach, easy to cover with hoops for frost protection, allow better control over soil quality, less weeding, less watering, and much more intensive planting. Raised bed gardening lends itself well to our "Living Soil" gardening method, which pretty-much runs on chopped leaves (more on that later).
These plans will walk you through the process of building your own raised beds. Think of your raised bed as a nice frame around a beautiful scene, which your garden certainly is.