I finally got the last of my flower seedlings planted tonight. The calendula, sunflowers, and last of the marigolds went into the ground. I rarely plant anything right in the ground because the dogs will just trample it. If I do put something right in the ground, I try and position it close to a barrel or planter or fence or someplace the dogs don't usually go. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. They've broken about 4 of my snapdragons already. I love my dogs more than I love my garden though (I love my dogs, I love my dogs, yes I love my plant-trampling dogs *very* much, I really do). My whole yard is evolving around the dogs, really. The raised beds were all about the dogs. It's working. It's just a work in progress.
I also had some pansies which I stuck into pots (above) and the alyssum, which I stuck into planters I had already planted (on the side of the house).
So, this is my first "before" picture. With luck, by August this will be all lushly green, and you won't even see the boxes. This is the view from my back fence. You can see my handstrung trellis for my pole beans in the foreground and my little yellow house, with the patio lanterns gleaming, looks faaaar in the distance. (Okay, you may have to click on the picture to enlarge it in order to actually see the gleaming patio lanterns.)
Take note because the above is an extremely rare photo of my "orchard." My orchard is always very weedy and I hate taking pictures that showcase my weeds. However, I got it weed-free last Saturday and figured I better take a picture before the green sprouts start showing again. In the foreground on the left is my dad's poor crabapple tree. I think it's on its last limbs. Dad fussed over that tree endlessly and I have absolutely no knowledge of what the fussing entailed. So, it is languishing. Beyond the mailbox my mom painted (gardening hand tools stored inside) are raspberry canes; and beyond those, the saskatoons. There's a sweet millions cherry tomato plant in the planter in the foreground.
You can see the fuschias I bought for my mom for Mother's Day hanging there, and beyond the deckio is the firepit, barrels with wave petunias (and marigolds planted right against those barrels)and then the raised beds. On the right is a "ladder" my dad built my mom specifically to stick little planters on, and my poor snappies are precariously arranged around the ladder. What the dogs need to do over there is anyone's guess. But anyway, again, barring snow in July or a tornado, this should look very different in August.