A sure sign of spring at my house is planning for the garden. Last year was the first year that Karen and Chip - the world's greatest neighbors - and I planted this plot. It's my side yard and a fairly big area for people who don't really know a whole lot about gardening. We planted lots (post about it here) by guess and by golly, and we did OK, but not great. This was partly because of our never-ending cold and wet spring last year and partly because we didn't properly amend the soil before planting. Some things didn't grow, some grew weird and others did just fine through no fault of our own. We learned a lot. This year, we're using the whole plot, are planting less crops but more of what we liked, and have figured better placement for things (Karen's a great one for planning out everything). AND, last Saturday - when I was playing hooky from the opening day of the Saturday Market - we had 4 yards of a compost and sand (the soil is very clay-y) mix dumped in the driveway and the three of us spent four hours wheelbarrowing it from the drive and digging it into the soil. I'm still tired! We are very excited to get started. In the next couple of weeks we will begin plotting it out and planting the earlier crops.
The twiggy things in the back corner are raspberry canes that are already starting to bud out. Since last year, I've also built and installed the two rainbarrels and put in the composter. Almost looks like a real garden!