Whilst on leave the husband and I recently made some garden beds for the front of the house.
It was a simple cut list, I measured the back of the beds (the veranda), and the sides of the step, and then worked out how wide I wanted the beds to be (30cm) and went from there. We used 50mm treated sleepers, so factoring in that width I had a cut list. It worked out that if I thought about what bits to cut from what lengths, I could get away with only using 2.5 sleepers per bed.
They sat empty like this for a couple of months until we could be bothered getting dirt to fill in the beds. Given the house is in a general state of disrepair, ugly garden beds weren't overly concerning to the look of our house.
We brought extra soil to fill in around the garden beds and to even up our lawn. We have the plants go in them, we want to paint the front of the house and do the roof before we plant them though, so they are sitting in the outdoor area for now.