That's my perennial herb garden on the left. Our front porch gets a lot of sun, which has been good for my little guys. What's not so good: the combination of sun light, dry air and unglazed clay pots means that these guys dry out really quickly, despite thrice-weekly evening baths. I have been walking a delicate line between root rot from overwatering and crispy leaves from too-dry air.
My solution? Build a raised bed. Since it would have a lower surface-area-to-soil ratio, the factors that go into drying out the soil superquick are reduced. I could go longer between soakings -- good for reducing root rot risk and reducing overall water consumption. Also, raised beds make for nice hardscape elements, they're easier on the joints when gardening, and I like working with power tools.
I had used the directions "The Perfect Raised Bed" (Sunset, March 06), which was written in such a way as to suggest that anyone -- including infants who had just discovered their hands and little old ladies wandering around in a glaucoma-addled haze -- could easily do this. Perhaps they can. I could not.