Protecting your crop
Once you have your beds constructed and filled with soil and plants, the next consideration is how you might protect your plants from the plethora of wildlife in your area. The deer are always a consideration as they love to feast when you are not around! A tasteful fence around your garden may be part of the answer, but this option is not always ideal. You may wish to consider strategically planting perennials, ground cover and shrubs around you garden to deter the deer and other wildlife.
Some plants to consider:
Summer blooming: Thyme (Thymus), Butterfly bush (Buddleia), Foxglove (Digitalis), Meadow Sage (Salvia), Catmint (Nepeta faassenii), Hyssop (Hyssopus officianalis), Lavender (Lavandula), Monkshood (Aconitum), Mullein (Verbascum), Ornamental grasses
Groundcover: Ferns (Any Species), Bugleweed (Ajuga Reptans), Lily of the Valley (Convallaria Majalis), Pachysandra (Pachysandra Terminalis) , Spotted Deadnettle (Lamium)
Shrubs: Deciduous and evergreen shrubs are a good option for cottage country as they can be used to provide structure and definition around your raised bed box garden. Barrbery (Berberis), Aralia (Araliaceae), Andromeda (Pieris japonica), Boxwood (Buxus), Bush cinquefoil (Potentilla Fruticose), Oleander (Nerium) , Russian olive (Elaeagnus Augustifolia).
In Conclusion, be sure to have fun!
As an adult educator, I have spent many years studying how adults learn, reading and researching. But, when it came to box gardening, I wanted to learn organically, experientially. I wanted to get my hands dirty, to try new things and to learn as I went. Gary on the other hand, spent a considerable amount of time reading and researching information about raised bed gardening, organic gardening, soil preparation and planting. We learned to spend time individually and collectively in the garden even though we did things quite differently. We each approached gardening in a way that worked for us each individually and we both had a blast! We love it! So, however you choose to approach cottage gardening, dig in and enjoy!