The soil in the front beds flat-out stinks. I turned both beds in the fall, then did some more turning and weeding in the spring. The only things that appear to thrive in the front corner bed are an established chrysanthemum and a lily I transplanted in from the back bed. The phlox is struggling and I'm not sure whether I should seed or put some potted perennials into the remaining space. The front bed against the house has done all right after two seedings, although I think the end between the rose (doing much better after being trellised but currently suffering from moldy spore) and the center of the house could use a good amount of improvement, starting with some compost.
The back bed has surprised me greatly. In May we put in herbs from 3" pots (from Lowe's, seeded pots inside aren't ready to transplant outside yet) at 2' spacing and despite two failures (rosemary and pennyroyal), they've thrived and spread so well I'm considering mulching around them to keep them at least nominally in check. The shady end of the bed is still awaiting something to go in it, but I haven't decided yet what would go best in the space. The space is triangular, 4' against the fence, 4'against the house, and almost 6' facing the lawn, shaded from a tree on the other side of the fence, and gets some afternoon sun.