It's a rainy day and not good for working outside, so instead let me share more information about where we stand right now in the garden. [I'm not happy with the quality of this photo, but you can get the idea. I'll show you closer photos later.] This was taken from the deck so it looks down a bit and gives you a better view of the "plan" of this space.
From left to right there's the shed/workshop with the fish pond and then a path that leads back to the compost pile and the boundary fence. On to the right is a small crabapple tree. Also notice a path that leads to the right and ends up at the semi-circular path - which is actually at the right corner where the "L" attaches. There is also a small path that leads off the back side of the semi-circle to the corner of the lot.
There are several planting areas created by the paths. Beyond the pond and left of the first path is a small area with iris for early color and a Clethera in the corner - it blooms mid to late summer.
Across the back behind the crabapple: a group of peonies - various shades of pink, then a trellis for a lavendar clematis vine, then a clump of Virginia Summersweet, a big clump of four hybiscus (two red, a lavendar, and a white), a Rosa Orientalis mutabilis [which is coming out this weekend], a Harry Lauter's Walking Stick and then a mini-rose in a tall planter.
The right hand corner is slightly raised - see the low wall I built? - and has shrubs around the outside [flowering almonds and a weigelia] and some perennials in front. In front of the low wall are chrysanthemums, iris, echinacea and Happy Returns day lilies.
Inside the semi-circle walk are mini-jonquils and some summer bulbs [It will be interesting to see what comes up this year.] and more Happy Returns. Beyond the semi-circle walk are some smaller shrubs [a Pink Pizzazz and a Shiboni] and alstroemeria - then a natural area of old fashioned chrysanthemums, obedient plant, English bells, and Jacob's Ladder. The latter are too far to the right to show in the photo.
Across the front in front of the main path are many Shastia Daisies and dark pink Monarda, as well as Japanese iris, a repeating hydrangea, a variety of daylilies, salvia and more of the old fashioned chrysanthemums. Also some geraniums, sedum and carnations. This is the area where I try new things and where the purple river will run from uphill on the right [behind the black obolisk and down to the right ending at the low planter near the left had path - pretty much right thru the middle of this photo].
Around the pond are some ground covers - ajuga, verbena, and yarrow with a buddelia next to the shed. In front of the shed are two Otto Lukens and another reblooming hydrangea. Goals for this space: 1) the purple river; 2) improve the planting around the pond; 3) replace the shrub rose with an evergreen - something pyramidal and 8 - 10 feet tall at maturity; 4) improve the planting in the raised area at the right corner, and 5) create a sitting area between the pond and the crabapple tree.
What could be nicer than watching the seasons come and go in the garden. I hope to retire in about three years and spend more time just digging in the dirt. I'm not a professional gardener, but enjoy putting my hands in the dirt and seeing what happens.
For now, let's enjoy it together!