I originally planned to rip everything out and start from scratch but after removing some heinous bushes, I scrapped that idea haha. It was so gosh darn hard! I was sweating and heaving and it made no difference. Thankfully the Mr. is the best guy ever and came out and did all of the really tough stuff for me. Despite all of his help, I have never been so sore in my life. Muscles I didn't even know I had are aching... STILL.
OUTSIDE THE FRONT DOOR:
BEFORE: Dead ornamental grass thing, spreading ivy, weird weeds/plants growing in the background
AFTER: Waiting on some more mulch and a cutesy woodland gnome but spreading perennials are planted and ready to shine :)
NEAR THE GARAGE:
BEFORE: More weird flower/weeds growing, an overgrown magnolia tree, and ivy taking over everything (even the weeds!)
AFTER: As you can see, this part of the house only gets morning sun so I have to figure out some additional plants to add (probably ferns), but the trees are pruned now and actually look like trees and the weeds are gone. All that is left to do is plant the remaining plants and completely mulch the area
ALONG THE SIDE OF THE HOUSE:
BEFORE: Those giant overgrown bushes were spreading like wildfire and it looked rough
AFTER: Both of those bushes are gone and in their place are hostas, small ferns, peonies and gardenias; all of which will fill in nicely once given a year or two.
ALONG THE SIDE OF THE HOUSE (another view):
I need to get some more mulch and might throw in a few ornamental grasses and some flowering perennials but all in all, we are done! Yay!
Now -- on to refinishing the patio next weekend!