Here's the final cost breakdown and pics: Flowers - $97. Weed barrier and staples - $22. Mulch - $65. Edgers - $65. Existing shrubs, backbreaking labor, and random time over 9 days and nights - $0. Grand total of $250.
(Excuse the fact that we have to weedeat the yard!)
Today's goal is simple - find the Round-Up and kill the weeds growing through the sidewalk joints. Overall goal is to beef up curb appeal by (hopefully) replacing the rails with those snazzy white PVC rails (or at least replacing the rotted cap on the right-side post and repainting), a garden sign with the house numbers, and a coat of paint around the front door surround and garage doors.
Not too bad considering how we started out with 7 shrubs (down to 5), and nothing but weeds all the way up to the house, huh? Even got bird feed in the feeder! :-)