We installed the back row of boxwoods (which puts us at about 150, phew!) and can say that we're done with the front yard landscaping project! The plants are still looking a little dinky, BUT the boxwoods are starting to spread out a little - hopefully to create a nice leafy border and dimension to the front slope.
So far, maintenance has been low key. We opted to go without weed tarp (thinking it would cause mulch slippage, plus - I kind of hate the stuff) and so far, so good. there are some sneaky fireweeds (my nemesis!!) and clover, but a quick sweep about once a week has knocked them out so far. It's so much better to drive up to the Manor and see happy looking grasses & herbs, instead of the dreaded dead grass eyesore that got me in trouble!