I can't quite tell from the pics, but the path in the foreground looks a little sunken.* Maybe it's just my perception.* What is the black stuff?* Is that a weed barrier?
I've got some questions, hope you don't mind.* Do you know the name of the shrubs will you be planting?*
What variety of sunflowers will you plant?* If planting natives, most bloom in summer or late summer, so you'll need something to fill in the color until then.
Do you need info on native plants?
I'd love to see the pics of the tulips.
When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.