With the mild temperatures this December, the ground is not frozen anywhere on my property. This has given me the opportunity to continue to develop a few beds that I will plant next Spring. Yesterday I actually planted 6 Allium Gigantum bulbs in the daylily bed. These were 75% off at HD and thus I paid 60 cents for bulbs that usually cost several dollars each. These went into the ground with no problem.
Mostly, however, I have been working on the soil prep for what I will call the Deck Bed. This is an area off of the deck that used to be a monstrosity of an above ground pool. The soil in this area consists of about 2 inches of sand below which is at least a foot of compacted clay and gravel. After having thousands of gallons of water sitting on top of this area for many years, the soil is heavily compacted. It has taken me about a week of tilling and digging to get the soil loosened enough for it to drain. This is an area that is a circle 28 feet in diameter so I can't make enough compost to cover it. I'm going to have to truck in some 50/50 (compost/topsoil) from a local dairy farm in order to give the soil the proper amount of organic matter.
I dug out this boulder earlier this week. This thing weighs at least as much as I do (about 200 lbs) and it was 3 feet below ground. It took me two days with a 6 foot steel digging bar to get it out of the ground and place it in the garden in a way that would be attractive.
I ran into another boulder this morning. Unfortunately this one is about 3 feet wide by 4 feet long and must weigh thousands of pounds. At one point it is only about 6 inches below grade. I'm not sure what to do about this but it's clear that it is not going anywhere. Here's a picture of the Deck Garden taken late this afternoon.