And this is what it looks like "after"!
Matt used the weed-eater really close to the ground, then we raked the grass off, then he used the tiller as much as possible. I dug up the rest of the sod (not all that much) with the shovel by hand, then he re-tilled it to make it smooth. We placed the stepping stones so we'd still have a direct path from sidewalk to the south porch, and I intend to plant a couple of Yucca plants (perennial, supposed to be easy-care, get kind of large) between the stones and the daylilies. I put rocks where I want to put them, but they're hard to see. Then, for now, petunias to fill the gaps, but soon I want to find a perennial low-growing, flowering ground cover, but I haven't found the right one yet.
I am pleased with how it turned out. The pictures don't really do it justice. I have a double shepherd's hook stuck in the ground, and I was going to feed hummingbirds, but I prefer for the hummingbirds to feed from the flowers in the garden - I think it's better for them! The other thought I had was a couple of wind chimes, but then to find two that coordinate. What other options are there for inexpensive things to hang from a shepherds hook?? I put some snowflake christmas ornaments out there this winter, but I'll definitely want something more summery for this season!