All of the hard work is done in the gravel garden. The gravel is in and it is just lovely. It has a delightful ambiance and a pleasant crunch underfoot. I think it works well because of the dappled shade and green walls that keeps it from feeling too hot and bare.
The row of boxwood that seems random off the center of the space was a solution to what I though would be a problem slope area. I was afraid that people would slip on the grade created from the tree roots. It turns out that it is not slippery at all and all my concerns were for nothing. I am leaving the boxwood in because I kind of like the character they add. I can always move them later if they don't work with the furniture which is my next project. When people come over we always drag them down there and I'm sure that they think we are crazy, after all, it is just a bunch of gravel where there once was grass, but we love it!