I only started this bed after I was pretty much done with the south deck garden, which connected to the path garden, is smaller and had great soil already, so it took priority. As you can see in the photo below it was originally used for (picnic table and boat) storage but with the success of the south side I have had to take on the north side as well. It is just too prominent a place to leave as bear earth.
We have a creak running down the property line on the north side and each summer it dumps a leaf-based sludge on the beach at its mouth. The first year I spent a long time scooping up buckets and buckets of it and spreading it around my property. In subsequent years there is less of it, but still enough to take advantage of. Watch out for the sand fleas though - after that first year my ankles were crazily bitten and incredibly itchy. Now I know that it is a job long pants with socks tucked in!
You can't ask for anything better to amend the soil than this natural compost.
Last year I added 5 x-large fern clumps I gathered from the ditches at the side of the road, which you can see are back with gusto. I also added some columbine which is coming up nicely and some black eyed-susans, also gathered from the side of the road, which we will have to wait and see how they do (i.e. I don't recognize their leaves yet - it's on my list of things to learn).
This spring I have also found some of what appear to be wild pink asters, except I understand asters bloom in fall, so I'll have to figure out what these are. Whatever they are, if it stops raining I'll scout the edge of the road today for more!
And of course there are 2 clematis at the base of each pole of the deck: 1 purple and 1 white. You can see on the far right that the beautiful white is already in bloom. I didn't keep the names of these plants years ago when I planted them, so if you have an idea, let me know.