The raised beds are actually retaining wall. Since we have so much work around here and hope to live here long term, JD did not want to use wood that was going to rot and have to be replaced in a few years. Conveniently, we had enough retaining wall material left from our walls in the back-yard that the first two planters did not cost us a dime.
Granted, this year we had to purchase enough to make three more, but I'm sold on the permanency of the stone. We have often had a running joke that JD likes to spend as much money as possible on every project, and I'm generally pointing out thrifty alternatives, but I think he was right with this project. These should last the long haul! Another benefit of retaining walls is that they have a little ledge that helps catch them from shifting like actual brick would.