You may remember this photo I posted a couple of weeks ago, showing the daffs and irises (and the little sticks to stop people trampling on them). But just look at the scruffy grass...
This is how it looks now...
Much neater! Unfortunately I think the Iris Reticulata have been done away with by the workmen. I was out at work when the task was being done, but Jane tells me that one of the workmen said "We have managed to keep the daffs, but I think the bluebells (sic) have had it"... I may have to plant some more in the Autumn.
This is what the whole area looks like now:
The light-coloured areas (where the grass was) are 20mm shingle, laid over a weed-suppressing membrane. We have had a line of paving stones laid alongside the drive so that when you get out of a car you don't step into unstable shingle. This will be a great improvement on the muddy "grass" that used to be there!
To the right of the front door I have a large plant-pot sunk into the surface, and into this I can easily slot a pot of whatever plant I have that is flowering at the time. Right now it is daffs, but later on I will replace these with Geraniums or something. This will help to make the area look a little less austere.
And I've just had another nice thought -- I can get rid of the lawn-mower and free-up some space in my shed. For the last few years (since I had the grass in the back garden removed) it has hardly seemed worth getting the mower out to cut those paltry 5 or 6 square metres of grass out at the front, which was another reason why the area tended to look less than picturesque!