I neglected to take before photos, but believe you me, it was just a jumble of weeds, three bushy trees, some nice plants and a jumble of weeds.
Here's looking out off the porch onto the major arterial (or what passes for such in Walla Walla). You can't see the constant, albeit light, traffic. But if you could you would know why these bushy trees are a huge asset.
And looking in. Try putting this in a real estate ad. Not that I'm hoping to sell this place, ever. Neighbor on the left lent me his electric jackhammer to demo the ridiculous concrete pad, which formerly was on the right-hand side of the yard, abutting the sidewalk, 'twixt the brightly lit Russian sage and the walkway to the porch.
Here's the left side of the yard, as you look at the house. Russian sage, English lavender, plus trees and the remaining crabgrass. I've transplanted lunaria behind the pussy willows, in the hopes they'll go crazy like everywhere else in town and help drown out the crabgrass, if such a thing is possible.
And the right side. This poor, dear tree I transplanted from the other side of the yard, where it was being overshadowed by the pussy willows. Alas, its roots were so badly entangled with crabgrass I couldn't move it with the dirt still attached to its roots, three of which also were damaged. I put it in the ground carefully and gave it a healthy dose of water, but I'd be impressed if it survives, especially if the weather gets around to heating up.
From another angle, too. To the right, and behind, the Russian sage is the artfully buried piece of red vesicular basalt I spotted at the igneous rock dealership (aka U.S. Highway 12). I know this is way too many features to be acceptable as a Japanese garden, but I had these concrete tiles, so ...
We got this rhododendron and the nasturtium-like guy when we got the house. That and the pussy willows were all we kept. The cute little pansy types (in front of the rhododendron) showed up on their own.
I used some of the river rock I found in the yard to make a downspout splashy area. I'm sure landscapers have a different way to say that.
I used some of the other stones to put stone rings around the eight new lavender plants, plus the tree I transplanted, but I had a few left over:
Yes, I know, this looks a lot more like "during" photos than "after" photos, but there's not a lot more I plan to do. I intend to plant poppies and black-eyed Susans amongst the lavender and sage. Probably mostly poppies on account of the height issue, but I really like black-eyed Susans. I'm sure that will win out in the end.