Green Thumb, Black Thumb, Sore fingers

This last weekend I was able to get some more yard work in, although, I'm not gonna lie....kinda wished it would have rained a little more than it did. Now before you start yelling, "WHAT?!" at me; hear me out. I have been working hard in our yard for a few weekends now.  Literally till my fingers are numb and sore.  I'm trying to get my curb appeal back up to par, since we've neglected it for a little while now.
 
However, my neighbors over grown weeds/garden has been leaking through our fence.   Like, I said, I had not been staying on top of it.  To the point that some raspberry bushes have decided to grow take over the area.  As well as this incredibly tall grass.  As in, I swear I could have bucked it and rolled it into hay; it was awful.  My sore fingers will gladly whine tell you all about it too, if you just ask. 
 
This...is our before:
 
Do you see how all those weeds, raspberries, and who knows whatever else, is totally choking out my iris'?  Yes, there are iris' in there.  I did move most of them to a new spot in our backyard.
 
Here...is the after: 
All that green, is actually on the other side of the fence in the neighbors yard
 



Yes, in the midst of all this weeding and yard work, I did find FOUR, yes 4, basketballs!!  Long lost basketballs!  Super embarrassed to admit to that but it is what it is, right folks.
It's pretty bare right now, but, I do have a plan for this area.  I can't wait to get working on it.  I'll give you a hint.  It will involve stones, edging, bushes, color, lots of color and compost.  Maybe a little yard, art projects done by the kids.
 
We are expecting rain for the next few days. 
 
I wonder how many more weeds I can pull up, now that the ground is getting softer?  :)
 
Next on the list:  Greening up that grass.   I think the neighbors dog is using our grass as their potty when we are not home.  Grrr! 
 
Do you have any suggestions or thoughts on how to:
 
A) Keep the dogs out of our yard?
B) Green up our grass?

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