We've been slowly transforming our yard from a muddy dog run with thickets of noxious weeds to a lovely green oasis with smaller patches of still noxious weeds. We brought the grass back to life, planted trees and shrubs and perennials that have all had time to settle in and spread out and we were really happy with large portions of our garden. But there was the back corner...Known as "the pile" which was about a 16 by 12 by 3 foot tall hump of earth and rocks and giant roots covered in vigorous and invasive weeds. Also in that area was some patchy grass, some broken concrete sidewalks and my raised beds. And of course that is the area my kitchen window overlooks, so every day I could look out there and wish it different. David and I were smart enough to know that our marriage couldn't withstand the weeks of digging it would take to get rid of the pile, take up the sod, build planting beds and lay down gravel so finally after begging for years some gentle hints, David decided that my present of the year (for ALL the occasions) would be to hire someone to do this huge job for us. Here is a during and an almost-there picture. I'm still searching for a before picture although it's not an area I tended to photograph very much. Hopefully the after picture will be in mid-September and then I can have the fun of deciding what to plant in my new beds. My first instinct is a herb garden, an asparagus bed and veggies, but then I remember that while there is a lot to love about feeding your family from the garden, the stores and markets are full of delicious food, and the joy of having a bouquet of fresh, fragrant flowers in the house all through the year might be even better. I will go and buy myself huge bunches of fresh asparagus in the spring, but I would never ever buy myself a bouquet of flowers as it just seems too decadent. So I'm thinking disease resistant and fragrant climbing and shrub roses, more peonies because they're my favourite, and an array of beautiful and nose-pleasing flowers that bloom over a long season - a cutting garden. I'm up for any suggestions! There's also room at the back for a play structure for Adeline. I'd love a sweet playhouse that I could decorate, but our active girl would probably get more pleasure from somewhere she could climb and swing and slide. Then when Adeline outgrows that we could put in a trampoline (because I looooooooove to jump on a trampoline and Adeline would probably like it too) or I could just take up the gravel and have more room to plant things. I'm soooooooo excited about this project - it's been a long time coming.