I am super pleased with how the front yard turned out. All and all, it was pretty painless having the seven tons of topsoil added in addition to having our front step, and two sidewalk tiles mudjacked back to their rightful spots (due to the settlement issue, our front step had settled about 3 inches below where it should have been). There were a few kinks in the process ie the electrical cord that leads out to our carriage light in the front yard was cut several times which required it to be patched several times which turned into having to replace and trench a whole new line out to the light. Therefore, this requires a new project of seeding the four inch wide by several feet line of mud trailing through our yard, but all and all it could be worse.
Below is the view from the right side of our property line in front. The oranmental grass did a great job of growing in around the utility boxes.
Here is a closer look at the porch area. Behind the Japanese Red Maple you will find 'P.J.M'. hybrid rhododendrons which will offer great flowers in the spring. In front of the Japanese Red Maple we have two types of hydrangeas: mophead and limelight.
View from the driveway. Although it will take a few years for the bushes to grow in, I think the below looks so much better than what we started with in the beginning. All the new plants were a bit high maintenance this year because they needed to be watered almost daily to ensure they become rooted well (we had very little rain all summer and lots of heat once the plants were in the ground).