I took a floating holiday yesterday from work (we're allowed one/year). I spent the entire day working outside in my gardens. I hired difficult child's old partner in crime, Ms. JFMFH - if I spelled it out, it would be censored for sure, but it's what she calls herself! Hahaha. Anyway, I completely obliterated my lower front veggie gardens and giant flower bed, which were sort of attached to one another; about a 30' round spot, with one major shrub (with our old dog under it, can't move that!) and a dogwood in the center. Those two remain, everything else is gone. After tilling it, Ms. JFMFH, removed all the excess (dark and rich) soil and put it to the side. I raked it all out and now it's ready for some seed (not sure if it's too late to do that, it may have to be straw till spring). :fall: In the meantime, I removed all of my perennials from up front and the side flower gardens and then we built a stone wall around that, made it wider, added all that excess soil and re-planted the perennials - it looks so great! I am so soooooo happy with how it came out! Ms. JFMFH owes me 3 more hours (I already paid her, yes) and she will next remove about 2' wide by a 30' long piece of grassy earth from in front of the new front porch that H built and fill that area with about 6" of some more of that excess soil so I can plant some more things in the Spring. For the winter, I will be covering it with some garden plastic, as H has not installed the new front gutters and this particular strip of land is directly under the rain drip from the roof, fantastic! My body aches, my back feels like it will go out any moment, my nails are just UGH, I have asthma and my eyes hurt. But working in my own yard and not having to do all the major big rock moving (about 100 of them!) or deep digging and tilling was so worth it. I've wanted to do this the entire summer and was almost giving up that it would have to wait until Spring but then I ran into Ms. JFMFH and she told me she'd just lost her job as a landscraper, so I hired her for a couple of days - how 'bout that? Cool!!