Elevation without meaning
The entire big L-shaped border in front of my house is raised up and carelessly edged with random stones completely inappropriate for a Victorian city house. Not only do the plants do notably less well here than in other places in my yard, the whole thing is a mess. The sandy soil and mulch wash away over the stones and spill out onto the sidewalk with every rain. Yesterday, as I was shoveling the mess up, my neighbor looked over her porch-rail and kindly offered, "The previous owner of the house had a professional do that."
What I should have done when I was in the violent phase of gardening-making–sawing down the unshapely yews, the sickly sweet pink azaleas, the inexcusable barberries–was remove the rocks, set aside the miniscule layer of topsoil, dig out the underlayer, and level the entire bed.
But instead, in my impatience, I just planted into what was there. Now I would have to take a spring-long sabbatical from my life to rectify the situation.