Landscaping Projects
We had a difficult area to landscape between our house and the adjacent one.  Originally, Bob's relatives lived in our house, and his folks built a house next door to it, which is why they are so close together.  I believe in this day and age there are now laws stating how far away houses are supposed to be from their respective property lines, but back then no such thing existed.

If you run your mouse over the pictures below, you will see before and after shots of this passageway from both directions.
This view is front to back, and the following one is back to front.
The plantings next to the brick house are violets.  They were already there, so we left them alone.   Towards the back corner of the house we planted a holly bush.  (By the way, we were ignorant and did not realize you have to plant a MALE and FEMALE holly bush in order to get berries, so we ended up planting another in our yard.)

From the holly bush back toward the front of the picture, we planted three barberry bushes and then blue rug junipers to fill up the hill.  The blue rug junipers only take a few years to completely fill up a space, thus choking out any weeds that might think about moving in.  We liked them so much that we used them on another project that appears later on this page.

The finishing up:  6 x 6 treated timbers to frame the area in, and a load of pea gravel.
When you use blue rug junipers in a landscaping project, keep in mind that their diameter when grown can be three to four feet around.  This small incline was eventually completely covered by six bushes. 
We had some leftover 6 x 6 timbers, so we went around to the front of our house and kept going:
I worked on this project while I was laid off and Bob was working in Chicago.  A large sycamore tree shaded the front yard, so what you see in the raised bed are impatiens.  Later on we got rid of the tree and transplanted a pin oak in its place, so the yard got more sun.  Then I planted dianthus and perennial geraniums there and added a couple of clematis to climb the railing.

The small side garden on the left I used for colorful annuals.

Jenny and Blake helped plant the flowers. :-)
There are several projects visible in this picture.  The kids are standing in front of their flower garden.  We eventually planted small bushes in the lower part of this raised bed.

To the left in the back of the picture, we used up the rest of the 6 x 6 timbers.  That was a difficult area to get going because it used to be a gravel driveway.  With a lot of patience and fortifying with compost, manure, and lots of tilling, we were finally able to grow tulips and other bulbs there, along with a white dogwood tree, burning bush, winter hearty gladioli, and clematis vines.

The pine trees you see to the right were purchased for $1.00 apiece at the Department of Conservation's annual tree sale.  They flourished along the alley because they got some "bonus" water whenever we watered our garden (in back of the kids).

Raised flower beds need extra water, but I didn't mind.  It became my form of "basket weaving" on summer evenings.  Oftentimes the neighbors would come by, and we'd talk about anything that came to mind.
Project Number Two is on the next page.