Our move to the "big city" and to the constraints of suburbia has brought many blessings, but I don't count the small backyard and strict neighborhood rules among them. We have (I think) been dutifully following the rules, and our front yard looks very proper and much like our neighbors. I'm feeling the need to bust out in the backyard a little, though. While the front landscaping pretty much fits with the traditional brick style of our house, in the back it has been time to throw in some color.
For now, the most impact we've made has involved paint, in small doses.
I'm hoping we continue, and that riotous color of the plant variety comes along also. I hope our neighbors won't mind!