This is what my front landscaping bed looks like right now:
I love my happy yellow daffodils and my pretty pink tulips! I am so glad I planted those bulbs last fall!
We have come a long, long way with this planting area, and I am finally looking at it and feeling excited and not overwhelmed. When we moved in it had been neglected for some time. Grass had completely filled in the entire area, growing through the weed fabric and river rock. The investors who bought, fixed, and sold our house sprayed some Roundup and dumped black bark to cover up the problem. I could see it was a mess when we bought the house, but overall the house was worth it, so I got ready to work hard and deal with it.
All last summer the grass grew like crazy. I would pull it out, but I couldn't get the roots out because of the weed fabric. So by the time I was halfway done with the area the first part had already grown back as thick as ever. Very quickly I knew that the best thing to do was tear it all out: bark, river rock, grass, and weed fabric. That would allow me to dig into the dirt underneath and remove the roots. But I was overwhelmed with the twins and the Badger was overwhelmed with his new job, and I didn't know what we were going to do. The homeowner's association was sending us gentle reminders that we needed to take care of our weed problem, and I was sure trying, but it was just beyond me.
Enter my angelic visiting teacher. She asked what she could do to help, and I asked her if she wouldn't mind helping with the twins sometime so we could really focus on working out there. Well, she could see that I was in way over my head, and that I needed some serious help. So she went an organized a work party. One Saturday morning last fall all the young men in the ward and their leaders (so, a bunch of teenage boys and a few adults) showed up at my house. They attacked that mess and in a couple of hours all that rock, bark, fabric, and grass was out of there.
I can't even tell you what a huge thing that was. I am so grateful! Thank you, thank you, nice people! I dug through all that bare dirt last fall and got out as many grass roots as I could. I just dug through it again and got out a bunch more. I enjoy digging in dirt!
Now I have a mostly empty canvas to fill with beautiful plants. I love to look at perennials in catalogs and try to figure out what would be best where. I don't have much money at the moment, so some of the dirt will likely remain bare for awhile. But give me time, and this area will look amazing!