In comparison, the backyard was a breeze compared to the challenges of our front yard. How do you landscape around a bright yellow fire hydrant, a "snout" house and a stone wall with ugly cobblestones?
Move in 2001.
2003: First, you remove the grass and the tree around the hydrant and throw in a bunch of distracting plants.
2004: Then you take everything out and replant with larger, more distracting plants and mini trees. (No, the clouds and sky are not photoshopped).
2010: New paint color and trim. The plants have finally filled out and we added some large rocks. Could be that I'm just used to it now but the hydrant looks less noticeable.
The bulk (90%) of the work was done by James, who is strong and patient. It's taken 8 years but I finally like how my house looks.