Even though the seed catalogs started arriving before Thanksgiving, other than a casual perusing, I have kept them on a back burner while making preparations for xmas. I continue to try to show constraint, but it is difficult.
Last year was a rebuilding year for the garden, and I am finding it difficult to stop building. My SO helped me construct raised beds for square foot gardening, and my impulse is to make more, ever so more. In a complete reversal of character, though, I aim for moderation this year, improving what is already there instead of adding to it.
One improvement I want to make is the location of the raised beds. The book recommends placing the beds close to the house, the better to care for the plants. So I place three beds, two of them with perennials, near the patio. And yes, they get extra care, BUT. I would like to shade the patio with taller plants known as trees. So the asparagus and strawberry beds are going to join the vegetable beds out yonder in the lawn proper. The cement blocks used for the third bed are going to become part of a cold frame.
Another so-called improvement is geared toward making the yard more manageable: let some of the bark mulched areas return to grass. At one point, I thought mulching a good portion of the backyard would be easier than mowing, but au contraire. Grass, if kept out of the beds proper, is easier. This includes the paths between the vegetable beds. Most of the beds will need to shift north a bit, to make room for the mower. It is a good thing I have an able bodied assistant.
This strategy of improvement includes building two more vegetable beds, plus adding height to the existing beds. And I truly believe that that will be enough. For now.