Raised bed garden?

Raised bed garden?

I have a couple areas in my front yard (a 7x7 foot area or so, and a 2-3x12 foot-ish), as well as a couple in my back yard (probably 3x5 foot) that I would like to make raised beds out of and give some color to my house (my husband and I just bought our first house). And then there is a rather large area that runs the length of my driveway. Right now my front yard just has lava rock and palm trees (and dirt in the aforementioned areas). I am completely clueless on some of the details. Does anyone have any resources/links or suggestions? I figured I would use wood to make the raised bed. I am assuming Home Depot/Lowe's/etc. has some lumber that they can cut to size. How tall should the wood be, and how do I keep it in the ground? Ideally I would love to use brick but I am pretty... ehm... craft-impaired and I am making a bet that anything I tried to build would like awful (and I'm not sure how it would match with our stucco). And as far as soil, I know they sell bags of it, but I would think that would add up pretty quickly cost-wise. Is there anywhere more preferable to get soil? What kind of watering is preferable, and is it something I could install myself? Lastly, the two areas I want to plant in my back yard currently have grass in them (as does the rest of the yard. Knowing how tenacious it can be, what's the best approach to keeping it out of the raised bed (and getting it to go away in the first place). Is there some kind of all-powerful grass killer product? Lastly, I am curious about other raised beds--what the cost was, and the time it took you to create yours? Thank you thank you!!
Advice?

Advice?

Work in progress – HELP!

Work in progress – HELP!

Passiflora leaf ID

Passiflora leaf ID

my herbal garden

my herbal garden

Thank you!

Thank you!

New kitchen for me

New kitchen for me