I have always liked the tidy look of raised beds. I don't really need them here, as the soil is pretty good and fairly easy to work, but even so, it seems like I've hankered for one for the farm ever since I first thought to plant a veggie in the ground. And now that it looks like I plan to stick with this business of backyard crop raising, I thought this winter downtime would be a good time to put one in.
I decided to use stone, since it feels permanent and solid. Wood is nice and probably would work just as well, but stone speaks of commitment.
I bought it in three separate trips to the nursery/stone yard, filling the back of the wagon with ~350 pounds of rock on each go-round. On the third trip, the guy taking my money said, "Building a raised bed, are you?"
Well, it turned out not to be so raised, which is fine. As I said, I don't really need it to amend the soil, nor, thankfully, have I gotten so creaky yet that I find it uncomfortable to kneel in the garden. But I've realized that it is not really these things that I am after, but that sense of orderliness that a solid border brings to what can be a disorderly world. It feels permanent and settled. It says I plan to be here for awhile, growing things.
I set it all yesterday--over a 1000 pounds of rock--carrying, digging, and shoving my way to a pleasant fatigue.
And at the end of the day, I thought it looked pretty good:
I had to build it around the cold frame, but that will be moved to another spot once the carrots are harvested. Once that's done, I'll spread the remainder of the composted soil across the bed. Come spring I'll scratch some buffalo grass/blue grama seed in the paths that border the bed. I think that the contrast between the softness of the prairie grasses and crisp edges of the limestone will be very pleasing.