The most important thing I did this summer outside the house was to create vegetable gardens. I made two beds in the backyard and one in the side yard. The fact that this area used to be riverbeds makes prepping very difficult. There were many many stones to remove, and the earth is mostly sand, requiring a lot of compost. Also, these weeds in the "before" photo had bulb-based roots, and I had to sift through the topsoil to remove all of them as they had dried by the time I removed the plants.
Our plan is to add raised beds with cedar boxes in the back and also along another part of the side yard that gets a lot of morning sun. It's too late for this year but we'll have them in place by next year to start planting in March or April, rather than July!
Here is the garden area before before: grass, weeds, and lillies.
And here it is now: heirloom tomatoes, red peppers, kale, lemon cucumber, and chard, with lettuce, collards, and marigolds just coming up.
This is a small area next to a large oak tree in our side yard, that had been populated by weeds and bluebells.
Here it has been transformed into the second bed: a variety of herbs surrounded by Red Romaine lettuce and Shiraz Beets. These were initially planted in the back yard but were doing very poorly. They are much happier in the sun here, with lots of compost and worm castings.