Today was spent hauling bark chippings from the nursery. Charlie offered to help but misunderstood what we meant by "bark". However much bark you think you might need, just double it and then you might end up with about the right amount.
We also started planting some of the stuff we bought over the weekend. First was the japanese maple, and then some hostas in the shady corner. I am trying to go with a bit of a Japanese flavour. We went to the Japanese garden in Seattle a couple of years ago which was totally amazing and ever since I have wanted one just like it but I know I do not have the resources or expertise to produce anything like the genuine article. I bought a couple of books on the subject and I will try to follow a couple of the design principles adapted to our climate, budget, and lack of enthusiasm for garden maintenance. We put a rock by the maple and plan to plant a low growing evergreen next to it.