I often feel the same way...DH and I have some very different ideas on how the yard ought to look. Usually when I come up with an idea he dislikes the idea and is rather discouraging. (But he does admit when my ideas turn out well.) And we have few close neighbors or nearby friends who are into the same things I am. That's why I visit several forums, like this one.
Just keep plugging away. People do
notice, even if they don't always say so.
What're your ideas with the bricks?
(While at the home of Andrew Jackson, in Nashville, I noticed the beds in the flower garden were edged with thin bricks that were standing upright, but only sticking up out of the ground some 3". Peter Fossel, the head gardener and a buddy from organicgardening.com's forums, said they were 8" long and that they kept moles out since they only tunnel at the surface--those 5" of brick kept them at bay.)
I'm using up a lot of native stone here--it's everywhere! I rolled some very heavy ones across the yard to the end of a staggered double row of young cedar trees I planted as a bird-friendly living privacy fence. I built a small square column from them just as a decoration (2.5' high, 18" across)--I was very careful to make sure each piece was supported evenly by the ones beneath it, and topped the whole thing with one large flat 18"x18" stone. It's sturdy enough I can stand on it with just the tiniest wobble (couple millimeters of give).
I had mulched under the whole row with a layer of cardboard from the dollar store dumpster and wood chips from the electric companies tree trimming truck--I stuck several large irregularly shaped chunks of limestone in the mulch, and embedded large pieces of driftwood that had been left in the yard last time the creek jumped the banks to make it look like a proper woodland scene. Even found a few moss and lichen covered stones to tuck into the most shaded areas to give an air of age to the whole scene, even if the trees are still under 12'. (I've already found a nest in one tree, and last year there was a young bluebird puttering around on the mulch--he was unsteady enough on his wings that when walked by, he hid under one of the trees
And I think losing 40+ pounds is awesome!
Losing weight is very hard--it involves more than most folks realize...changing how you eat, what you do to burn calories----you ROCK!