Reworking the Raised Beds
I am less far behind on gardening than I am on blogging it (thank goodness). Here are the 3x3 foot raised beds that I ordered from Gardener's Supply, made of recycled plastic. They are less sturdy than I'd hoped, but with care should last many years.
Unlike the old layout, which had garden bed defined by lawn edging coming out roughly 4 feet from the fence, these middle beds have a number of advantages. They let me use the fence for climbers, give room to walk all around the beds, and most importantly, follow the sunshine better, as our winter sun illuminates the whole bed plus the strip between beds and sidewalk. The fence gets very little.
I have broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, and 'keep yer fingers crossed' peas in the beds currently. I cut the big basil bush down to a few shoots and put a small cage around it. I'll cover it with some floating row and see how it overwinters. I don't want it that big, and blocking the sun, in the winter, but it might cast useful shade next summer if it comes back strongly.