Good Questions: Improving a Concrete Garden?

HI! My boyfriend and I love our little rented apartment, and we love the huge front yard but it is a wee bit ugly/uninspired. When we moved in 6 months ago we added the white planter, the window boxes and we created a cluster of potted plants in the middle of the "yard." The potted trees and the furniture are recent additions. Now that all of the plants have given way to winter, the yard looks extra sad and we are hoping for some tips and inspiration on how to improve it. We rent so we do not want to spend a lot of money. Any ideas for raised beds? Removing concrete? Stone gardens? What to do with the trees (I dislike their pots...)?

(Note: Include a pic of your problem and your question gets posted first. Email questions and pics with QUESTIONS in subject line to: newyork(at)apartmenttherapy(dot)com)
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Who's ready to dish out some advice?

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