In case you're interested in how I built the raised planter seen here, it was super easy. (And I can't actually take credit for building it—the husband did most of the dirty work, but I did hold the drill and the pieces of wood.)
We started with a trip to Lowe's, where we bought two 8-foot 2-by-10 redwood boards (a good choice since redwood isn't treated with chemicals) and 10-inch brass deck screws. We had the friendly guys at Lowe's cut the boards in half (free!) and we were set.
After we got home, we started putting it all together. It wasn't difficult, but as with everything home-related we do, there were some minor missteps and a bit of cursing. We basically butted the edges up against each other (no fancy mitering here!), drilled pilot holes for the screws and screwed everything together. As I said, super easy.
Here's how it looked last year (sorry there are no in-progress pics—it was done pre-blog):
We lined it with biodegradable weed barrier, filled it with five or so large bags of organic potting soil, planted some herbs and vegetables (some plants, some seeds), then covered the whole thing with more weed barrier, with holes cut out for the plants.
The herbs lasted over the winter ('cept the basil), and the box itself held up great. This spring it was just a matter of replanting and recovering with weed barrier (to keep the cat out—no, Giles, this isn't a giant litter box!).
I'd like to build another one, but that just might have to wait for next year.