This old one of Nicky & me (gosh, he's so little) kinda gives the idea of the mess it was before. Weathered bamboo borders were around each of the palm trees.
We bought cheapo bricks from Lowes, 34-cents each. And 5 bags of soil, we were actually one bag shy, but I was able to get the task at hand complete. I built two retaining walls, Frank added dirt and rearranged the drip system and I planted three varieties of new flowers. Once the flowers grow a bit, they should fill in the area nicely. They should hide the peeling stucco too. We recently trimmed the oleander, soon it'll grow out and it should make that back corner appear a bit more lush.
Next, we'll do something similar in the opposite corner to finish off the pond. I'll have to remember to take true before and after pictures of that project.