Having raised beds is a great way to add a comfortable height for your gardening especially if you have a bad back or limited mobility.
There are many other positives to raised beds; the main one being control of your soil and drainage allowing one to match the soil to the plants you are growing. Soil in raised beds also heat up quicker in Spring and will stay warm longer, but remember to choose a position where there is at least 6 hours sunlight later in the year and need less tilling or maintenance.
A sloping garden can look amazing when raised beds are added and can also add value to a property. If money is tight this is a simple solution rather than an expensive landscape relevelling of the site.
There are many options for raised beds and contemporary white rendered walls can give a crisp and clean look but can be more expensive than the wood alternative many people use. Oak sleepers can be pricier and last longer than other wood especially when treated with wood stain or sealer. Softer woods and pine though a lot cheaper, might not last long, but can get you started on a minimum budget; it also has the benefit of being used to make compost once spent. Cedar is a favourite of mine due to lasting at least 15 years with no preservative maintenance and gorgeous look when designing. There are many bolt-together and pre-cut alternatives on the market. A lining can also help a raised bed last longer too. When raised beds are dormant over the winter check for any damage particularly on the corners, where anchor joints can stop them coming loose.
A raised bed over 36 inches tall can also deter rabbits and other predators.
Photos courtesy of Markus Spiske