As much as I like the simple stone xeriscaping, my side yard was rather barren. But my track record with plants is so miserable I wanted to start small. I had a young daughter at the time (2010), so I thought, what a great project it would be to start a vegetable garden! So I did a little research and found some supplies, such as the 3'x3' raised bed with snug-fitting critter net and potato bag. I filled the bed and bag with a 50/50 combo of compost (purchased, I'm not a green thumb yet, you know) and topsoil (didn't know at the time that they made "garden soil," too). I also bought a seed-starting tray with convenient cover to keep the cats out.
Look! Things are actually growing! Can this really be this easy? I planted broccoli, lettuce, carrots, onions, zucchini, red bell peppers, tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, and Yukon gold potatoes. I made sure to water them every day, added some fertilizer once or twice, and soon ended up with this:
Only the zucchini and potatoes never grew. The pepper plant grew but not much and I never got any peppers from it. And the onions never got very big. But the tomato plants grew past the top of the supports, the broccoli was huge (guess that's why the variety I planted is called "green Goliath"). It's what I call a successful first try!
So successful, that I decided to add a second raised bed this year.