The first area below shows our hillside bed at the end of the walkway. We added some soil and some medium size stones that our local garden and feed store gets from Arkansas. Plus I planted some irises left over from the big backyard dig as well as ferns and a mock orange. This planting area is another tricky one. The issue there is that at the top of the little hill is the remains of an alleyway. So it has broken up asphalt up there, as well as broken bottles, etc. since that's where folks used to put their garbage cans. I've been slowly cleaning it up but it sometimes feels like a never ending battle (or maybe an arduous archaeological dig!). Being on a hillside it gets lots of good drainage. But it also dries out very quickly.
Another challenging area of the yard where we put a bed is in the former dog pen/alley area. I spent a whole lot of time cleaning up long buried dog toys, torn apart dog pillows, broken asphalt, and other garbage. We brought in some larger rocks (slowly) and soil and planted some shade plants like hosta, ferns, inland sea oats, etc. To my surprise, a white Salvia gregii has done fairly well there this year. And the little oakleaf hydrangea is hanging on, the last of three that bit the dust early on. My friend thinks this coming year will be its year to shine. :-) One of the things I'd like to do with this in the future is expand it out into the lawn. Create sort of a woodland garden there (inspired by C. Colston Burrell's talk I saw in Hot Springs). And get rid of some of the lawn, yay!
In fact, getting rid of more lawn is the current plan. I've never been a real fan of it. Back in Austin we had no grass whatsoever! But we put it in here because at the time it was the easiest and cheapest thing to do. We still need to add more beds along the side fence. That'll get rid of some grass as well. But all in good time!