I haven't even planted annuals yet and I am spending some part of every day outside, piddling around with the landscaping. Today I laid down grass seed and straw on a bare area next to the curb in the side yard where the raked leaves and trimmed branches lay for several months until the city decided to pick them up (supposed to be every month, but......).
When they finally picked up the leaves and clippings, they used the claw truck (exactly what you're picturing, a big motor operated articulated arm with a claw, mounted on a flat bed truck next to an enormous compactor bin for collecting the stuff) and took a sizeable portion of my yard away with the branches and leaves. They left a spot about 8 ft by 10 ft scraped clear to the dirt, so I had to try to get some grass started before it became too warm. There's always some bare areas to try to reseed, too, remnants of the pine trees I had removed years ago. The dirt is still too acid, I guess, from the pine needles. Anyway, the grass has a hard time there. So, I strewed seed and spread straw, and now I just have to hope it takes.
I have to keep weeding out daylily sprouts in my side yard landscaping, where they try to take over. Nearly every morning after I retrieve the newspaper from the driveway, I walk around to the side of the house and inspect the bed for weeds and unwanted stuff. This was previously a problematical stretch of roses, daylilies and various bushes that always looked scraggly. Last fall, I finally ripped out everything but the roses - at least as much as I could see at that time - and put in some low evergreens around them. The daylilies keep sprouting everywhere, and I keep grubbing them out when they make an appearance. If I keep at it, they won't get out of control, and I can pull the little seedlings out by the roots by hand. Since this photo, the iris between the roses have begun to bloom and the rosebushes are full of buds.
This little bed is doing well - there's a lot of new growth since this picture was taken.
I am the furthest thing from a gardener, but I do love to work outside in the spring! In a few weeks, it's time for annuals!