I have a few garden projects I have been working on since I moved up here. I just completed one of them - a new hummingbird/butterfly garden. I regret I did not take a before picture, but trust me, it looked just like this only enclosed by a hedge:
The area was full of 2-3 ft high weeds/grass/small trees with a bunch of vining vinca mixed all in. Let's just say it was a ginormous mess.
After 2 days of weeding, digging out vinca to reuse in a different spot, ripping out himalayan blackberry brambles (dear god, I had forgetten how awful the fight against those thorny monsters can be), pulling out rocks, rocks and more rocks, and ripping up old plastic weed suppressing material (which did not suppress anything by the way, and just kept the water from getting underneath killing any flowers that were once in there and the weeds just grew on top), and adding some compost, I was left with this:
Oh, and I also found that nice copper bowl birdbath in the weeds on the side of the house, cleaned it up and reused it in this new spot.
This area actually drains well and gets pretty hot during the day. What's that? Hot!? Did you say hot and dry? If anyone knows hot and dry, it's a gardener from Central Texas! Now you are speaking my language! I took a trip to the local Hardware store to see what they had and - oh my goodness! - flowers galore! So many things to choose from. I dug around and found a bunch of plants that should like this hot spot in the front of the house.
I picked up some tall campanula and some tall garden phlox, because I remember those doing really well in a similar spot in the garden we had when I was growing up here in the PNW. I also picked up some black and blue salvia, red-riding hood penstemon, agastache, russian blue sage, spanish lavendar, dianthus, coreopsis, and sandwort.
There were already a few large boulders in the spot, but they were mis-balanced in the bed, so I had the hubby wheel-barrow over some more and placed them around to add some nice, balanced structure. I also had him trim the hedge up all fancy. Now it looks like a hedge out of Alice in Wonderland.
This is the end result:
I think it looks pretty darn nice. I still would like to get a couple roses to stick in the front 2 corners of the flower bed, but other than that and adding some mulch, it's all done. I even hung up a hummingbird feeder. Now all I need is to find a bench to put on the lawn in front of this so I can chill with a drink and watch the hummers and butterflies.