We had a lovely red Japanese maple, a string of manicured evergreen bushes that framed the front of the house and a hydrangea bush in the front right. Well the hydrangea went first. Winter was not it's friend. We had to pull it out. The lovely little red maple went next, along with the bushes in front of the door. They turned an ugly shade of rust and we had to pull them out. Last winter was the final straw, almost everything died.
We'd get regular 'reminders' from my MIL about how nicely all our neighbors kept their yards and wasn't it too bad Norm didn't 'get' his father's talent-desire-ability-gene-pride - whatever, for keeping the yard 'perfect'. The shame was unbearable...we were homeowner failures :-( So we sucked it up, put our big girl and boy pants on and...paid someone to pick out the right shrubs and trees, design a plan and plant it! Here is the result.