Here are two views of this weekend's reclamation project: a new bed carved from a driveway waste area. We are working to transform this dead zone into a small courtyard. Eventually there will be a deck wrapping from the side of the house to the back. Eventually there will some kind of hardscape path instead of packed dirt and shards of asphalt. Eventually I'll reclaim the rest of the vacant ugliness fronting the stone wall. But this is what we've manage to accomplish for a total of $100. The wood of the boxes was scavenged from a job site. The brick edging was left in the yard as junk. The only thing I bought was the soil. We are working on the cheap in this yard, but every wheelbarrow-load helps.
I'm going to plant sedum and speedwell and various other shallow-rooted rock-garden plants in the new bed. Beneath it lies a mess of ancient driveway and some giant tree roots, so my choices will be limited. But already the improvement is startling.