This allowed me to utilize enough ground for four more raised beds. Made one bed this evening and planted it with: carrots (danver's half long), beets (chioggia), amaranth (mercado dreadicus?!), poppies (Black Swan and Venus), and cosmos (Seashells mix). Yeah, i really did plant all those seeds in a single raised bed.... The flowers range mostly from burgundy to pink...the beet leaves will have red coloration so should match. I like to mix it up, always planting more than one thing in case something doesn't do well, and I like the cheer and spontanaiety of flowers alongside the more practical vegetable plants. The soil in this bed is very light and loose thanks to a lot of sawdust (leftover from heeling in the blueberry plants), which is why i planted a few root crops. The other areas have heavy, cakey soil that dries into an impenetrable crust....the delicate carrot seedlings wouldn't even sprout through it, i don't think.
Elsewhere throughout the garden, there are a LOT of calendulas and nasturtiums; both flowers are edible, and calendulas are also medicinal for healing salves and soaps. Also sunflowers are growing vigorously with the field crops (flour corn, winter squash, dry beans and peas for soup). Flowers make people smile and provide nectar and pollen for bees. Isn't that practical enough to justify making space for them? :-)
-->I have not seen a single snake, toad, frog or turtle here. Beetles, hummingbirds, robins...songbirds, a great blue heron... but no amphibians or reptiles, and not many spiders either.