When we moved into our home in the late summer of 2007, this was the only garden with perennials on the property. There were some lovely plants in here (bugle flower, scabiosa, pearl everlasting, and a pair of gorgeous pasque flowers). We rebuilt this deck in 2008 and most of these plants have been moved elsewhere on the property into new beds.
This is the bed at the front of the house when we moved in.
The beginning of my back border: That first fall, I started making a perennial bed along the back of the yard. I planted a climbing hardy rose (the Explorer series 'John Cabot', a peony, and a couple of 'Neon Blaze' spireas. My plan was to increase it bit by bit over the next five years, so that eventually it would go across the width of the backyard. As you can see, if you check the photos from 2009, it only took two years, thanks to friends who gave me many perennials.